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UK set to take advanced therapies and vaccine manufacturing industry to the next level: the Advanced Therapy Skills Training Network launches today – driven by industry and coordinated by the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

  • First network of its kind in the UK will open career opportunities and upskill staff, helping to expand the advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing workforce


  • Initiative is set to increase the UK’s health resilience and contribute to the nation’s post COVID-19 recovery


  • A nationwide skills development programme funded by £4.7m as part of the Government’s commitment to expand the UK’s expertise in advanced therapies and vaccine manufacturing


London, 2nd December 2020 – Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) today announces the launch of the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network (ATSTN). It is designed to reach more people than ever before to propel them towards career opportunities in the advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing industry by assessing their transferrable skills and providing access to training.


Driven by industry and coordinated by the CGT Catapult, the ATSTN delivers a platform consisting of dedicated online resources and national centres to upskill as well as the opportunity for people to identify how they can enter this industry. This is a significant contribution to ensuring continuous growth of the UK advanced therapies and vaccine manufacturing industry, developing the nation’s health resilience by creating opportunities for current and new skilled personnel.


The ATSTN initiative is funded by £4.7 million awarded from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to help grow the sector by creating economic opportunities for new jobs and industry driven learning. With the industry workforce expected to double to more than 6,000 by 2024, this investment is continuing the Government’s commitment to expanding the UK expertise in advanced therapies.


Business Secretary Alok Sharma, said:

 “It is vital that we upskill our workforce to develop and manufacture vaccines and treatments at scale, ensuring the advanced therapy and vaccine manufacturing sectors are stronger and more resilient in the future. 


“Backed with almost £5 million government investment, this first-of-its-kind skills network will equip people at all stages of their careers to pursue opportunities in advanced medicines and vaccine manufacturing. This will help to create highly skilled jobs across the country while putting the UK in the strongest position to respond to future pandemics.”


Kate Bingham, Chair of the Vaccines Taskforce said:

 “One of the tasks of the government’s Vaccines Taskforce is to ensure the UK has the capabilities to respond to future health crises, and this includes scaling up our ability to manufacture safe and effective vaccines and treatments. 


 “By upskilling and expanding the UK’s vaccine manufacturing industry, this new skills network will help to ensure the UK has the capacity to produce successful vaccines at scale, including for coronavirus, helping to protect the UK population for generations to come.”


Matthew Durdy, CEO of Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult commented:

“The ATSTN initiative reiterates our commitment to upskill new and existing members of the advanced therapy workforce, building on the success and impact of the ATAC apprenticeship programme. Not only is it rewarding to work so closely with industry to deliver on this need, but it is also extremely motivating for all involved to think that this initiative is going to be the start of so many promising careers and additional job opportunities. We look forward to seeing the success stories from users of this ground-breaking platform”


The ATSTN has been designed in collaboration with industry to address its needs to upskill current professionals as well as to leverage skills from other sectors, opening opportunities for people to join the cell and gene therapy industry from different ones. ATSTN users will be able to access learning materials, whether remotely or on-site, from a wealth of expertise across the entire industry, while tailoring their personal learning experience to their own needs.


There are three different components to the ATSTN platform: Online Training Platform, National Training Centres and Career Converter. These components allow users, whether they come from inside or outside the industry, to curate job matches based on their current skillset and identify what training they need to progress in that field.


The National Training Centres, that will provide on-site training, are to be announced later in December.  


The ATSTN platform can be accessed from


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Notes to editor:


About the ATSTN learning platform features

The network’s Career Converter tool is a great place to start for people looking to enter the industry by identifying what skills they already have. Once they have built a comprehensive skills profile, the tool will match the candidate with the advanced therapy roles most suited to them as well as a breakdown of the training they would need.


The Online Training Platform is a place for candidates to enrol onto courses so they can start filling the gaps on their skills profile right away. Once they are logged in, they will be able to browse the online course catalogue and schedule their learning at their own pace. The platform, developed in collaboration with industry, can help build skills in areas specific to industry sectors as well as general training into leadership and people skills.


List of organisations that have been involved to date with the development of ATSTN

Achilles Therapeutics, Adaptimmune, Agylia, Allergan Biologics, Anthony Nolan Cell and Gene Therapy Services, AskBio, Autolus, Biogelx, Cancer Research UK, Cellular Therapies Facility Newcastle, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, Charles River,  Cobra Biologics, CPI, Enginuity, EvOx Therapeutics, eXmoor, Freeline, Fujifilm, GOSH, GSK, Gyroscope, Immetacyte, Intertek, Medicines Discovery Catapult, John Goldman Centre for Cellular Therapy – Imperial College, Merck SAFC, National Horizons Centre, NHSBT, HakoBio designed by OUAT!, Oxford BioMedica, Oxford University Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility, Pall Corporation, Phion Therapeutics, Replimmune, RoslinCT, Symbiosis, UKRI, VIMIC. 


About Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult was established as an independent centre of excellence to advance the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry, by bridging the gap between scientific research and full-scale commercialisation. With more than 330 employees focusing on cell and gene therapy technologies, it works with partners in academia and industry to ensure these life-changing therapies can be developed for use in health services throughout the world. It offers leading-edge capability, technology and innovation to enable companies to take products into clinical trials and provide clinical, process development, manufacturing, regulatory, health economics and market access expertise. Its aim is to make the UK the most compelling and logical choice for UK and international partners to develop and commercialise these advanced therapies. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult works with Innovate UK. For more information please visit or visit


For further information please contact


FTI Consulting for the CGT Catapult:

Michael Trace +44 (0) 203 319 5674 /

George Kendrick + 44 (0) 203 727 1411 /


Editor Details

  • Company:
    • Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
  • Name:
    • Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
Last Updated: 02-Dec-2020