Budget 2017: BCS welcomes Chancellor's investment in technology infrastructure, training and apprenticeships

8 March 2017

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT has welcomed the government’s investment in technology and education announced in today’s Spring Budget 2017.

BCS broadly welcomes the Chancellor’s range of investment proposals affecting disruptive technologies - biotech, robotics and driverless cars (£270m); his plans to invest in developing research talent in STEM technologies (£300m), which will lead to 1,000 new STEM PhDs; £16m invested in 5G mobile technology hub; and proposals to invest to leverage private sector investment in full-fibre broadband (£200m).

It also welcomes the Chancellor’s commitment to having 3m apprentices by 2020, the support for new technology training apprentices, and his proposals to introduce new T-Level qualifications, which will significantly simplify and provide a clearer career path for many.

David Evans, Director of Policy at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT says: “Disruptive technologies such as Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics have the potential to alter every aspect of the lives of future generations. It’s welcome that there is some investment into the scientists and researchers to develop solutions in this area. But more sustained funding for AI research will be needed over the next 10 years to make sure that the UK is truly competitive on the global stage.

These new technologies are going to fundamentally change the jobs that we do, it’s vitally important that we ensure people are prepared for the coming challenges. This investment will go some way in improving that.”

Bill Mitchell, Director of Education at BCS says: “I welcome the government’s continued commitment to apprenticeships. All the evidence shows that a high-quality work placement is a key ingredient to enable students to have a successful professional career. That’s why we’re hugely supportive of these new T-Level qualifications which focus on providing that kind of placement, but the massive challenge for government is to provide enough of these high-quality placements to meet student demand.”

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