UK government invests £1.1 billion to train thousands in future technologies

The UK government has announced a package of over £1.1 billion to train and qualify thousands of individuals in future technologies such as artificial intelligence, 6G, and quantum computing. This investment aims to develop the country’s workforce to be the most highly skilled in these areas, ensuring the UK remains a leader in technological advancements.

The Science and Technology Secretary announced a groundbreaking investment of more than £1.1 billion. This initiative aims to equip thousands of individuals with qualifications in emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, and 6G, which are poised to transform industries like medicine and telecommunications.

This plan was unveiled at the Maths Summit at the Science Museum in London, seeks to position the UK as a hub for innovation, boasting the most skilled and well-trained workforce in future technologies globally. The investment will facilitate the training of over 4,000 talented students across the UK, spanning from Edinburgh to Bristol, in 65 Centres for Doctoral Training. This move is expected to provide exciting opportunities for the UK’s brightest minds to realize their ambitions in their home country.

Advertisement

One of the key highlights of this initiative is the UK’s largest-ever investment in engineering and physical science doctoral skills. With over £1 billion contributed by the government, businesses, charities, and academia, this investment will drive advancements in critical technologies like engineering biology, semiconductors, and future telecoms, thereby giving the UK a strategic advantage in these fields.

The investment also includes a significant focus on geographical diversity, with the majority of opportunities being led outside the south-east of England. Cities like Glasgow, Edinburgh, Bristol, Sheffield, and Manchester will benefit from a substantial number of places for students, ensuring that talent is nurtured and retained across the country.

The investment includes over £60 million for new quantum skills programs running until 2034, addressing the urgent need for skilled professionals in the field of quantum technologies. This includes funding for 100 quantum PhD studentships, early career researchers, and apprenticeship pathways into quantum, aimed at creating a workforce capable of driving innovations in healthcare, materials science, and machine learning, among others.

The government’s commitment to upskilling the workforce extends beyond quantum technologies. A £7.4 million AI upskilling fund has been announced to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Professional and Business Services sector unlock the potential of AI. This initiative is expected to fuel growth across the economy and increase UK GDP by up to 10.3% by 2030.

In addition to the aforementioned measures, further initiatives were announced, including the establishment of a medicines manufacturing skills centre of excellence, a Science & Technology Venture Capital Fellowship Programme, and a Future Telecoms Skills Taskforce, all aimed at ensuring that the UK has the skills necessary for a connected and innovative future.

The UK’s commitment to investing in skills and backing businesses in future technologies is a testament to its ambition to become a science and tech superpower, driving economic growth and prosperity for years to come.