Education Secretary joins Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult to celebrate apprentices

the Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, attended a meeting with the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult), an independent innovation and technology organisation specialising in the advancement of cell and gene therapies, to discuss the important role of apprenticeships in the advanced therapies industry.

Education Secretary joins Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult to celebrate apprentices

The meeting, which took place at Teesside University’s National Horizons Centre in Darlington during National Apprenticeship Week, highlighted how apprenticeships are upskilling people all around the country and providing valuable support for the advanced therapies industry as it continues to grow. According to an industry survey carried out on behalf of CGT Catapult in 2023, the advanced therapies sector is expecting its workforce to grow by 63% by 2028, and apprentices are an important part of this growth.

At the National Horizons Centre, Keegan met with apprentices and businesses that are currently taking part in the CGT Catapult’s Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community (ATAC), including Pharmaron, FujiFilm and CPI. The ATAC programme, which was set up in 2018, is specifically designed to train individuals to work in the advanced therapies industry. It was the first apprenticeship programme anywhere in the world to have this focus and, to date, 345 apprentices have enrolled across 58 employers.

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, ATAC also hosted two events in Stevenage and Bristol that celebrated the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy across the UK.

Education Secretary joins Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult to celebrate apprentices

“Apprenticeships open doors to a range of exciting careers in our booming biosciences and healthcare sectors, so it’s great to see a dynamic organisation like CGT Catapult investing in future talent this National Apprenticeship Week. The northeast of England has a great tradition of industry and innovation, and apprenticeships are bringing that can-do spirit of hard graft into the 21st century, enabling people to pursue careers at the cutting edge of science and technology without necessarily needing to take on student debt.”

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan

“Apprenticeships provide excellent opportunities for people of all ages to gain hands-on experience and the skills they need to progress in their careers, including within the advanced therapies sector. For employers, apprenticeships are a fantastic route to upskill their workforce and ensure they have access to the expertise they need to support future growth. We would like to thank the Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, for her continued recognition of the value of apprenticeships and the difference they can make to people’s careers.”

Matthew Durdy, Chief Executive of the CGT Catapult

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