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Jo Johnson, Brother of the London Mayor Boris Johnson, has recently been appointed the title of new minister for universities and science!
After the recent elections, Prime Minister David Cameron entrusted Greg Clark to take the lead as secretary of state at the Department of Communities and Local Government, and in turn, this effectively assisted Jo Johnson to make his mark within the sector.
Enormous opportunity for science and engineering to drive economic prosperity
Naomi Weir, Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) acting director, expressed her views on Johnson’s recent appointment: “There is enormous opportunity for science and engineering to drive economic prosperity and public wellbeing. In his new role, Jo Johnson is in a strong position to ensure science and engineering is a central feature of the government’s long-term economic plan. I look forward to working with him to ensure the UK has the people, the funding and the policies for science and engineering to thrive.”
Well placed to make a greater contribution to growth
Prior to his new role, Johnson was a journalist and an investment banker, and recently he wrote an article for the Financial Times discussing his extensive support for overseas students studying in the U.K, stating: “Britain’s universities are a globally competitive export sector and well-placed to make a greater contribution to growth… with economic growth at a premium, the UK should be wary of artificially hobbling it”.
However, changes and reforming of the student visa system called by the 2015 Conservative Manifesto are expected to “tackle abuse and reduce the numbers of students overstaying once their visas expire”
Experts within the industry express fears that this new policy could enhance larger shortages of skills that the industry of science and engineering are facing at current.
Chief executive of the manufacturing body EEF, shared his opinion amongst last month’s Conservative Manifesto launch: “Measures that focus on home-grown talent should be complemented by widening the talent pool to include skills from overseas”
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