The Week, 7 December 2018

7 December 2018
By Luke Heselwood
Profile picture for user Luke Heselwood

Reformer of the week

The Office for Life Sciences for developing a new partnership between government and industry to detect deadly diseases before they appear and discover new treatments to improve patient care.

Good week for

Data-informed healthcare

The UK has achieved its target, set in 2012, of sequencing 100,000 genomes to improve diagnosis and treatments for patients with cancer and rare genetic diseases.

Technical education

Damian Hinds MP outlined his ambitions for technical education, which includes matching skills with local jobs, to boost productivity and rival top performing technical education countries like Germany.

Bad week for

Social Mobility

UCAS figures show that the number of disadvantaged young people going to university is rising – but at a stubbornly slow rate. This reflects the findings in ­Reform’s report last week. 

Apprenticeship Levy spending

Ofsted’s annual report raised concerns that too much funding is spent on higher apprenticeship levels, squeezing out the recruitment of young people at lower levels. Earlier this year, Reform assessed the quality of apprenticeships offered through the levy. 

Quotes of the week

“As a nation I’m afraid we’ve been technical education snobs. We’ve revered the academic but treated vocational as second class.”

Damian Hinds MP on Thursday.

“I want the UK to have the most advanced health and care system on the planet. Technology and artificial intelligence have the potential to revolutionise healthcare by unlocking the next generation of treatments, diagnosing diseases before symptoms appear and helping patients take greater control of their own health.”

Matt Hancock MP on Wednesday.

Reform’s week

Reform published two blogs this week. Adam Prince from Sage wrote a blog on securing the best trading environment for SMEs post Brexit. Andrew Haldenby, Director at Reform, examined how best to move beyond “austerity”.

This week, Reform­ held two events. One was a research roundtable on the potential of AI for mental health. The second was a roundtable, sponsored by Sage, which discussed the best trading environment for SMEs post Brexit with Chris Heaton-Harris MP.