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13 May 2021

What does the Queen’s Speech mean for print?

What does the Queen’s Speech mean for print?

The Queen’s Speech is the annual opportunity for the Government to set out their legislative agenda for the coming year. Yesterday’s event took place without the usual levels of pomp and circumstance, but the Speech itself provides a useful insight to what we can expect Parliament to be focused on over the next twelve months. 

30 or so new pieces of legislation were announced. Here are the ones which will affect our industry:

Skills and Post-16 Education Bill 

The skills Bill will introduce a new ‘flexible loan’ system designed to promote wider participation in further education in England. All adults will be able to apply for this loan, useable at any point in their lives. It can be used to fund full or part-time courses up to four years, covering academic and technical education, for modules or full qualifications.

A ‘Skills Accelerator’ programme will be set up to give employers a statutory role in planning publicly-funded training programmes. Employers will be urged to work together to meet local skills needs, particularly in areas including construction, digital, clean energy and manufacturing.

Professional Qualifications Bill

This piece of legislation will create a new framework for the UK to recognise professional qualifications from across the world. The government said this would ‘ensure employers can access professionals where there are UK shortages.’ It will aim to ensure there is a clear list of priority professions in which overseas skills are needed, such as nurses and teachers. 

Procurement Bill

This will replace EU rules on how the government buys services from the private sector.

National Insurance Contributions Bill

This will include measures for employers based in the eight ‘freeport’ areas being set up around Britain to pay less National Insurance. The freeport areas (announced in the March 2021 Budget) are East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe and Harwich, Humber Region, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside. 

The full Queen’s Speech document can be read here on the UK Government website. 


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