Results 1–20 of 2791 for speaker:Chris Skidmore

Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [Lords] (15 Nov 2021)

Chris Skidmore: Let me start by thanking the Secretary of State for what I thought was a rather conciliatory speech. Hopefully, it will set the tone for this evening’s debate on a Bill that has already gone through the other place. We have seen a number of amendments tabled, not least the one on essay mills—I am very grateful to the Government for adding it to the Bill. That was the result of a...

Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [Lords] (15 Nov 2021)

Chris Skidmore: My hon. Friend’s intervention brings me to my second point, which is about the need to take a truly place-based approach to these reforms, if they are to succeed. We cannot necessarily legislate, top-down, and expect the reforms somehow to be successful. We have to involve local communities, because they know what will work in their local ecosystems. Many points have been made today about...

Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [Lords] (15 Nov 2021)

Chris Skidmore: It is not an amendment for this Bill so I am simply not going to respond to that point. I will finish by reflecting on the wider tone in which we take this debate forward. The former Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Staffordshire, talked about the need for partnerships between universities and further education colleges, and about ensuring that we do not pitch one...

Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill (3 Nov 2021)

Chris Skidmore: I welcome the Government’s action to introduce the regulated asset base funding model for the financing of new nuclear power plants. As a former energy Minister, and indeed a former science Minister twice, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to see at first hand the brilliant services that our nuclear energy industry provides, despite the many compounding hardships that it faces....

Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill (3 Nov 2021)

Chris Skidmore: I believe that we do not have a choice. We must look at every form of renewable energy, nuclear energy, carbon capture and storage and hydrogen to reach net zero. We cannot make the perfect the enemy of the good. Equally, in looking at how to decarbonise, there are no good and bad actors; the most important thing is outcomes. We have a target set for 2050 but cannot ignore that we wish to...

Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill (3 Nov 2021)

Chris Skidmore: That depends on the potential for innovation for the future. We have an energy crunch coming down the line with perhaps just a single nuclear plant open by 2030 and, at the same time, we will move from existing nuclear fission reactors through to small modular nuclear reactors, advanced modular nuclear reactors and, ultimately, fusion. As science Minister, I assigned Government investment for...

Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill (3 Nov 2021)

Chris Skidmore: That is a very important question. It is not just 2030 that I am concerned about, but 2025. Nuclear currently accounts for 18% of electricity generation. The current closure rate of plants means that by 2025, nuclear will go from 18% down to 10%, so we will lose 8% of energy supply in the next three years alone. We will not be able to cover that gap; the hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. We...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: New Clause 27 - Duty as to workforce and training innovation (27 Oct 2021)

Chris Skidmore: As I said, I will not push the new clauses to a vote, but I will just reiterate that there clearly is a massive structural supply and demand imbalance. I do not believe that the status quo will be sustainable in the longer term. I do appreciate the Minister setting out the ecosystem as it exists, but I fear that that ecosystem, in the longer term, cannot keep up with the changing demands on...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: New Clause 27 - Duty as to workforce and training innovation (27 Oct 2021)

Chris Skidmore: I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: New Clause 27 - Duty as to workforce and training innovation (27 Oct 2021)

Chris Skidmore: Thank you for allowing me to speak to these two new clauses together, Mr McCabe. They are essentially interrelated and were the product of a roundtable that I put together and hosted with Universities UK and the deans of medical colleges in my role as co-chair of the all-party university group. These were the two asks that the universities and medical colleges had for the Bill. I offer these...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: New Clause 27 - Duty as to workforce and training innovation (27 Oct 2021)

Chris Skidmore: The hon. Member is absolutely right. When it comes to the foundation year, I was interested in looking at what future reform might come in the workforce. We would need to work with the royal colleges and vested interests on a replacement, or at least on what could make the foundation process more flexible so as to allow in-work training on that foundation year pathway. That is a huge...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: New Clause 9 - Duty to promote research (27 Oct 2021)

Chris Skidmore: I thank the Minister for his forensic dissection of the new clause; it is greatly appreciated. He makes a strong point about the legal status of the National Institute for Health Research potentially making the new clause defective, and there would be little point in pressing the measure to a vote for that reason. However, to reiterate what I said earlier, it is a goose that will continuously...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: New Clause 9 - Duty to promote research (27 Oct 2021)

Chris Skidmore: I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time. The clause would introduce for the first time a duty to promote research, particularly on the Secretary of State. The Committee may remember that in discussion on clause 19, I spoke extensively on integrated care boards’ duties to promote research. This reflects the importance that research plays in our healthcare system. We recognise...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: New Clause 9 - Duty to promote research (27 Oct 2021)

Chris Skidmore: Absolutely. I thank the hon. Member for making that point. When I was Science Minister, we recognised the need to look again at some of the processes that underpin research applications for UK Research and Innovation, for instance. We have the bureaucracy review that is currently being chaired by Adam Tickell, current vice-chancellor of the University of Sussex who is moving on to the...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: Clause 38 - Reconfiguration of services: intervention powers (21 Sep 2021)

Chris Skidmore: I want to speak generally to the clause and the schedule, rather than in support of any amendments. I thank the Minister for setting out the continued role of the IRP and the four tests that have been put in place. I am sure that all of us on the Committee have at some stage in our local communities faced a healthcare service reorganisation. They are very painful processes, as the hon. Member...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: Clause 33 - Report on assessing and meeting workforce needs (21 Sep 2021)

Chris Skidmore: I thank the Minister not only for his kind words to me personally, but for his considered response to this set of amendments. It is clear that he is mulling over this, and I would like to give him time to think about potential opportunities for changing the clause. I know how these things work; I have sat in the very same seat that he is sitting in. I know he has to spin off various pieces of...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: Clause 33 - Report on assessing and meeting workforce needs (21 Sep 2021)

Chris Skidmore: I think there is a subsection here about how clause 33 relates to clause 19 and the duties on ICBs as the placemaking organisations that can provide the training opportunities for the future. I also think there are great opportunities in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for potential further devolution of the skills budget through a mayoral system. That skills budget...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: Clause 33 - Report on assessing and meeting workforce needs (21 Sep 2021)

Chris Skidmore: I beg to move amendment 94, in clause 33, page 40, line 6, leave out from beginning to end of line 11 and insert— “(1) The Secretary of State must, at least once every two years, lay a report before Parliament describing the system in place for assessing and meeting the workforce needs of the health, social care and public health services in England. (2) This report must include—...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: Clause 33 - Report on assessing and meeting workforce needs (21 Sep 2021)

Chris Skidmore: I wanted to speak to amendment 94, which is the product of a revision on my part. I initially tabled an amendment to clause 33, but it was as a result of the oral evidence sessions when the clause was discussed at length by a number of organisations that I decided to re-table amendments with further detail. Clause 33 is one of the shortest clauses in this substantial Bill, but it is one of...

Public Bill Committee: Health and Care Bill: Clause 19 - General Functions (16 Sep 2021)

Chris Skidmore: Although I entirely support clause 19 as an essential ingredient of the Bill that will provide certainty and legal confidence to ICBs, I wish to draw the Minister’s attention again to the duty to promote research. The past year has demonstrated the increased engagement, across all healthcare settings, in research and those activities relating to the pandemic. Research demonstrates the...


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