New Department for Business Innovation and Skills

by | Jun 24, 2009 | Articles

The new  Department  for Business, Innovation and Skills was created on the 5th of June with the key role to build Britain’s capabilities to compete in the global economy.

The Department has been created by merging BERR  ( with it’s focus on business support and employer relationships) and DIUS ( with it’s strengh in innovation, research and skills).

Pat McFadden MP, the new Minister for Business Innovation and Skills spoke about the aims of the new department at the 3rd annual conference of Unionlearn a few days into his new job on the 11th of June.

In his speech he said that the aim of merge of the 2 organisations was to pull together all the key elements needed to help the country through the current economic difficulties and in the long term, to try and shape the economic future of the country.

Building Britain’s Future – New Industry, New Jobs (a report produced before the budget)  was the genesis of the marriage between what was the Department for Universities and Skills and the Department for Business and Enterprise. In a world that is changing radically, the UK needs to build on its strengths and build on capabilities that will enable the country to take advantage of the changes we are facing in areas such as :

• Improving efficiency – delivering more quality with fewer resources
• Addressing global completion & increased international supply chains
• Responding to new technologies that are transforming business process
• Shifting to low carbon thinking – the need to reduce travel and open up opportunities
• Meeting demographic changes.

In his speech at Unionlearn’s event, the Minister went on to make 3 points about learning that he believes are essential in these tough economic times:

• Learning is critical to support the vulnerable
• Learning as a way out of the recession
• Learning as a way of taking advantage of the upturn

Many have long been advocating the need to have closer alignment of skills provision to business needs within business itself, this new department has the potential to align these 2 on a national level and so we watch with interest!

You can read the Ministers full speech here.

You can also see a summary  and watch the main speakers from the Unionlearn conference here

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