Doctors: Training

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 17th June 2019.

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Photo of Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on the economy of the number of people undertaking doctoral training.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

The Government’s target to reach a total of 2.4% of GDP invested in R&D by 2027 will mean increasing the numbers of highly trained people working in research and innovation including those undertaking doctoral training.

Business-academia collaborations, decisions by internationally mobile companies to locate their R&D functions in the UK and the development of industrial clusters of companies all rely on access to pools of talented researchers. In addition, industrial clusters, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, are often co-located in regions where there are also high quality research intensive universities. This co-location enables the flow of graduates and post-graduates between institutions and companies.

More broadly, a 2015 review on the impacts of doctoral training found that the overwhelming majority of doctoral graduates continued to be involved in the creation of new knowledge, innovation and development of new products and processes, both in the academic and business sectors. Employers highly valued the specialists knowledge and problem-solving skills possessed by doctoral graduates. https://www.ukri.org/files/skills/full-report-idc-pdf/

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