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Responding to the Autumn Statement today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Peter McGettrick, Chairman of British Safety Council, said:

“This was a Chancellor keen to show his support for businesses and working people, and several measures in the Autumn Statement will be welcome in the face of the continuing cost of living pressures and ongoing skills shortages – especially for self-employed people and those on the national living wage.

“Artificial intelligence and automation are already changing many aspects of work, including how we practice health and safety. With the right regulation in place, we can make the most of this opportunity while protecting people, so the investment announced today can only be a positive boost to a growing sector in the UK.

“Likewise, the £4.5 billion of investment to support UK manufacturing and unlock unexploited manufacturing potential will help attract business investment across a range of sectors.

“Extra funding to boost apprenticeships is welcome, but they must continue to deliver skills which employers and their workforces need for their future.

“Announcements by the Government to reform occupational health and encourage people to take up employment support are to be applauded, as long as individuals’ needs are taken into account. Working from home can offer welcome opportunities for many people with health conditions or caring responsibilities but it is not always possible, or even appropriate, for every disabled person looking for work.”