Understanding your sector
Understanding your sector

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3 Government information and support

Another important source of information about business and the economy is the government, both national and local. Several national government departments are responsible for supporting, advising and liaising with business and employers as well as implementing government policy decisions.

Since July 2016, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has the primary authority in this area with its responsibilities including industrial strategy and business (BEIS, 2021). It has a plan and set of priorities linked closely to that of the government, works with agencies and public bodies, and is, therefore, a key agent in setting the context within which all UK businesses and employers operate.

Visiting the BEIS website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] reveals much about this policy and implementation framework but also allows you to access BEIS research into different areas of the economy that might provide you with an insight into your particular sector or issues that affect it.

BEIS is not the only government department, of course, and many others will have policy responsibilities for different areas of the UK economy. It is worth consulting these if you want to find out more about the legislation or policy that might affect your particular sector. Bear in mind, however, that a significant amount of responsibility for policy and implementation has been transferred to the regional administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so if you live in these areas you might need to widen your search appropriately.

Activity 4 Identifying the responsibilities of government departments

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Table 5 lists possible areas that you might want to research about your sector. See if you can identify which government department would be best to consult in the first instance. A good place to start to find your way around government departments is the GOV.UK website .

Table 5 Identifying the responsibilities of government departments
Area of researchGovernment department
Health and safety
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Pensions
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Taxation
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Qualifications and training
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Housing and local services
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Culture and history
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Secondary education
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Higher education
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Climate change
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Law and justice
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Roads and transport
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Words: 0
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Comment

Table 6 lists the main government departments with responsibility for the areas in question. It is worth noting that sometimes more than one department or agency will cover the same territory.

Table 6 Suggested government departments and their areas of responsibility
Area of researchGovernment department
Health and safetyDepartment of Health (also Health and Safety Executive)
PensionsDepartment for Work and Pensions
TaxationTreasury (also HM Revenue and Customs)
Qualifications and trainingDepartment for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Housing and local servicesMinistry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Culture and historyDepartment for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Secondary educationDepartment for Education
Higher educationDepartment of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Climate changeDepartment for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Law and justiceMinistry of Justice
Roads and transportDepartment for Transport

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