Vocational reform is well and good, but where is Labour's commitment to science? asks the RSC
02 October 2012
Ed Miliband's proposal for a technical baccalaureate was welcomed today by the President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, but she attacked Labour's lack of commitment on investment in science.
Professor Lesley Yellowlees said: "Skilled technical staff have a vital role to play in scientific research and development, as well as in schools and universities where they are helping to nurture our future scientists through their support for students' practical training.
"The RSC recognises this by awarding those who follow a more technical career path with a professional qualification - the Registered Science Technician (RSciTech) - and we welcome Labour's proposal to standardise vocational qualifications and provide a truly recognised route for those who wish to pursue a science career without going to university.
"But the UK needs to have a healthy research environment in which they can apply their skills.
"In contrast to the Liberal Democrats unanimous call last week for an above-inflation increase in the science budget, there has been a deafening silence so far from Labour on their commitment to investment in science and technology.
"We call on Mr Miliband to acknowledge the vital role that research and development has to play in boosting our economy, by making a solid commitment to increase the UK science budget.
"A serious alternative government, committed to rebuilding the economy, should know that science has the answers - and chemistry and the other science communities will work with them if they want to work with us. But at the moment this great British strength isn't being given the opportunity by the opposition to help lead us out of the recession."
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