Oral Answers to Questions Debate

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Department: Cabinet Office

Oral Answers to Questions

George Freeman Excerpts
Wednesday 21st February 2024

(2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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George Freeman Portrait George Freeman (Mid Norfolk) (Con)
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3. What steps her Department is taking to tackle the space industry skills gap.

Andrew Griffith Portrait The Minister for Science, Research and Innovation (Andrew Griffith)
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Delivering a national space strategy is a key priority for me and the Department. I recognise that a strong space workforce is critical to this, and my hon. Friend will be pleased to know that we will be publishing a space workforce action plan later this year.

George Freeman Portrait George Freeman
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I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his answer and for his work on this. He knows, as I do, that the innovation economy in this country is creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Indeed, 500,000 are forecast over the next 10 years in space, agritech, cleantech engineering and bio, in clusters all around the country, as the recent cluster map showed. Will he ensure that the excellent Department for Education future skills unit liaises closely with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology cluster team to make sure that we are properly building the job creation plans into the local skills improvement plans on the ground?

Andrew Griffith Portrait Andrew Griffith
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My hon. Friend has done so much to advance the interests of skills in the sector during his many years of public service, and he is quite right to draw attention to the successful cluster map that was launched by the Secretary of State 10 days ago. The development of skills is a shared responsibility between Government and industry and we take our responsibilities in that respect very seriously.