Nuclear Skills Strategy Group

12 Mar 2020

Summary – HM Treasury Budget

HM Treasury Budget 11th March 2020

New Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, presented his first Budget on 11th March. This is the first Budget for the new Government, and the first since the UK left the European Union. It also launches a Comprehensive Spending Review to be completed by July - the first since 2015, after it was delayed from last year due to competing political priorities.

The Chancellor stressed themes of infrastructure investment for the future, R&D and new technologies, and measures to meet the Net Zero Carbon 2050 target introduced by the previous Prime Minister. Items of particular interest to the nuclear sector, and skills issues, include:

  • £2.5bn over 5 years for the National Skills Fund announced last year – with consultation in the spring on how to target this Fund most effectively
  • Capital investment for 8 new Institutes of Technology and £1.5Bn for Further Education Colleges
  • Increases in public R&D investment to £22bn p.a. in 5 years’ time - including for nuclear fusion - and increases to R&D tax credits
  • Continuing the review of the Apprenticeship Levy (no timescale is announced)
  • Sufficient funding from the Levy to increase the number of high-quality apprenticeships in small and medium-sized businesses

The Budget documents are available on HM Treasury’s website.