£4.7 million UK Government investment will enable the development of state-of-the-art training facilities and a virtual learning platform. The industry supported initiative will upskill staff for the manufacture of advanced therapies and vaccines at scale.
The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) announced today the award of £4.7 million funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to establish national initiatives for upskilling in advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing. The funds will be utilised to develop training facilities and a virtual learning platform to address the demand for skills in the UK cell and gene therapy industry. This builds on existing skills platforms, currently delivered in partnership with industry.
Employment in the UK cell and gene therapy industry is projected to double by 2024, with the greatest increase projected in bioprocessing roles such as manufacturing and supply chain. Survey respondents on average stated that 60% of new staff employed would already have industry skills and experience, reflecting an urgent demand for specialist skills to support the rapidly growing sector.
£2.7 million of the investment from BEIS will support the development of national Centres for Advanced Therapies Training and Skills (nCATTS), this means facilities to provide industry-standard skills and experience including aseptic techniques for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). The additional £2 million will enable the development of a virtual Centre for Advanced Therapies Training and Skills (vCATTS), providing online training programmes for advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing.
This strong Government commitment to upskill new and existing staff in the sector will support the manufacture of advanced therapies and vaccines at scale and help to drive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing the rapid growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry.