Policy Connect's Christmas Wish List
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been sharing our thoughts on the election campaign, analysing manifestos and dissecting policy progress made by the previous government. We’ve taken a look across all our policy areas (Health, Sustainability, Education & Skills, and Industry, Technology and Innovation) and created a list of what we’d like to see from the new government.
Bring forward the environment bill and ensure it has impact on a global scale
Introduced in October of this year, the environment bill showed promise of making real impact. However, with the distractions of Brexit and a general election, it seems action on this bill has fallen by the wayside. We are calling on the new government to ensure that bringing this bill forward is a priority, and that recommendations included in our Plastics Packaging Plan are progressed in Parliament next year, with a key focus on banning the exports of the UK’s plastic waste by 2030. We are also looking forward to seeing BEIS' heat roadmap in 2020, as called for in our report Future Gas pt 3: Uncomfortable Home Truths.
Introduce an Apprenticeship Premium to improve the challenges around access to apprenticeships
We have seen from the Liberal Democrat manifesto that they intended to introduce an Apprenticeship Premium in the shape of their prospective Social Mobility Fund and we hope to see this reflected as a priority in the new government’s agenda. We call for this premium to be introduced to ensure the improvement in the flexibility of access to apprenticeships. In our previous report, Spotlight on... Apprenticeships and Social Mobility, we called for the introduction of subsidising travel, bringing the discounts in line with those available to people in full time education.
Tackle the silent killer, Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Monoxide, dubbed as the ‘silent killer’, was notably missing across party manifestos, save for new tools for housing regulation and arguably ambitious energy efficiency programmes. We welcome the cross-party attention being paid to issues that contribute to CO safety, including the regulation of rental properties; energy efficiency; and low-carbon fuel, and with the Conservative Party’s commitment to introducing a Social Housing White Paper, we hope to see this as a priority. Policy Connect hopes to see the new government adopt our recommendations for preventing CO poisoning and commit to expanding CO alarm requirements to all tenures.
Create an innovative and creative industry sector, and public services that tackle key societal challenges in productivity, inclusivity and information
Having spent the last 12 months working on developing policy across industry, innovation and technology sectors, we are hugely invested in seeing real change in this area. From assistive technologies, to design and manufacturing, we look forward to seeing how the new government tackles inclusivity and positive relationships within these branches. From a manufacturing perspective, we hope to see the continuation of the industrial strategy with a focus on Local Industrial Strategies ahead of the publication of our report on the topic in the new year. 2020 will see both the 50th anniversary of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act and the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act. Policy Connect looks forward to continuing its work to support getting more disabled people into employment and we hope that the Conservative government will push this forward to ensure more disabled people than ever are employed. While this year, major parties have had less to say about the design and creative industries, we hope that the new government will start to recognise the value and importance of design across the wider economy. However, the sector as a whole must continue to speak with one voice to make the case to be perceived as a vehicle for innovation and meeting the challenges and opportunities of the new decade and the possibility of a post-Brexit Britain, and we look forward to publishing our Visual Arts as a Global Force report next year, which will offer a closer look at the industry as it stands.