The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has been merged with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory reform.

The move that took place on the 5th June saw the creation of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS), which will be headed by Lord Mandelson.

The Chairman of the ECA which is funded by DIUS and has worked closely with the Department on the ‘Learning Revolution’ White Paper and the Informal Adult Learning Pledge says, “We await with interest clarification of the role that the new Department will see for itself in supporting learning for individuals and communities. The White Paper recognised the contribution of such provision to the arts, culture, personal development, resilience and social cohesion. These are vital during a period when an increasingly aging population is going through a process of adjustment, compounded by the effects of climate change and the credit crunch.”

With a remit ‘to build Britain’s capabilities to compete in a global economy’ the new department will: -

* Advocate the needs of business across government, especially of UK small businesses;
* Promote an enterprise environment that is good for business and good for consumers;
* Design tailored policies for sectors of the UK economy that represent key future strengths and where government policy can add to the dynamics of the market;
* Assess the changing skills needs of the UK economy, especially the intermediate and high skills vital in a global economy and design policies to meets them through public and privately funded life long training;
* Invest in the development of a higher education system committed to widening participation, equipping people with the skills and knowledge to compete in a global economy and securing and enhancing Britain's existing world class research base;
* Continue to invest in the UK's world class science base and develop strategies for commercialising more of that science;
* Continue to invest in skills through the Further Education system to help people through the downturn and to prepare Britain for the future;
* Deliver on the government's ambitious objectives to expand the number of apprenticeships;
* Encourage innovation in the UK;
* Defend a sound regulatory environment that encourages enterprise and skills;
* Collaborate with the RDAs in building economic growth in the English regions;
* Work with the EU in shaping European regulation and European policies that affect the openness of the single market and the competitiveness of European and British companies;
* Continue to work to expand UK exports and encourage inward investment to the UK.

In a statement Number 10 said it “would invest in a higher education system committed to widening participation” including "maintaining world class universities, expanding access to higher education, investing in the UK's science base and shaping skills policy and innovation". It adds that "It also puts the UK's further education system and universities closer to the heart of government thinking about building now for the upturn,"

Date Added: June 8th 2009