The Labour Party Manifesto, published today ahead of next month’s General Election, has the potential to unleash UK innovation and address the nation’s severe skills gap.

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), said: “The Labour Party Manifesto sets out a positive vision for unlocking and realising the strength of the UK research and innovation base. We warmly welcome the security of 10-year budgets for research and innovation to create greater certainty in the system and encourage private investment. We are pleased to see the critical role of universities, alongside employers, recognised in the design and delivery of Local Growth Plans.”

Marshall continued: “We also applaud Labour’s promise to deliver a comprehensive strategy for post-16 education and reform the immigration and skills system, to ensure Britain is developing home-grown skills to meet the needs of business and the economy. The latest results of the Employer Skills Survey show a significant increase in skills gaps and vacancies have been persistently high at around 1 million. Decisive and strong policy change is vital to rectify our growing skills crisis.”

Marshall concluded: “More generally however, we implore the next Government, whichever party, to have greater ambition for UK business. The Industrial Strategy should not just be about how we harness the latest technologies but should position the UK at the forefront of reaping the economic and social benefits for the UK from developing and designing the groundbreaking innovations of the future.”