Nationwide Skills Development Program for Advanced Therapies Launches in UK

CGT Catapult has launched the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network, designed to open career opportunities and upskill staff in advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing in the UK.

According to a Dec. 2, 2020 press release, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) has launched the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network (ATSTN), designed to open career opportunities and upskill staff in advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing in the United Kingdom.

The nationwide initiative, driven by industry and coordinated by the CGT Catapult, comprises dedicated online resources and national centers to upskill, and provides an opportunity for people to identify how they can enter the industry. ATSTN is funded by an award of £4.7 million (US $6.3 million) from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

“It is vital that we upskill our workforce to develop and manufacture vaccines and treatments at scale, ensuring the advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing sectors are stronger and more resilient in the future,” said UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma, in the press release. “Backed with almost £5 million government investment, this first-of-its-kind skills network will equip people at all stages of their careers to pursue opportunities in advanced medicines and vaccine manufacturing. This will help to create highly skilled jobs across the country while putting the UK in the strongest position to respond to future pandemics.”

“One of the tasks of the government’s Vaccines Taskforce is to ensure the UK has the capabilities to respond to future health crises, and this includes scaling up our ability to manufacture safe and effective vaccines and treatments,” added Kate Bingham, chair of the Vaccines Taskforce, in the press release. “By upskilling and expanding the UK’s vaccine manufacturing industry, this new skills network will help to ensure the UK has the capacity to produce successful vaccines at scale, including for coronavirus, helping to protect the UK population for generations to come.”

“The ATSTN initiative reiterates our commitment to upskill new and existing members of the advanced therapy workforce, building on the success and impact of the ATAC apprenticeship program,” commented Matthew Durdy, CEO of CGT Catapult, in the press release. “Not only is it rewarding to work so closely with industry to deliver on this need, but it is also extremely motivating for all involved to think that this initiative is going to be the start of so many promising careers and additional job opportunities. We look forward to seeing the success stories from users of this ground-breaking platform.”

Source: CGT Catapult