Ministerial role

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade


The Secretary of State is responsible for strategy and policy across the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). The department’s main policy areas are:

  • business law
  • consumer issues
  • employment relations
  • enterprise and business support
  • trade policy
  • higher education
  • further education and skills
  • science
  • innovation

The Secretary of State also has the title of President of the Board of Trade, and:

  • has overall responsibility for the BIS budget
  • focuses on business and banking issues
  • is the lead minister for reducing regulatory burdens across government

Current role holder: The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP

Vince Cable was appointed Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in May 2010. He is the Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham.


Vince was educated at Nunthorpe Grammar School, York and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he studied natural science and economics and was President of the Union. He then studied for a PhD at Glasgow University.

Political career

He served in the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet as Spokesman on Trade and Industry from 1999 to 2003, and Shadow Chancellor from 2003 to 2010. He was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2006 to 2010.

Career outside politics

After graduating, Vince worked as Treasury Finance Officer for the Kenyan Government between 1966 and 1968. From 1968 to 1974 he lectured in economics at Glasgow University. He then worked in a range of senior economic and foreign policy roles, before becoming Shell International’s Chief Economist in 1995.

Personal life

Vince is married and has 3 children by his late wife.


under the responsibility of The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade

  1. Providing better information and protection for consumers

    • 23 January 2014
  2. Making the labour market more flexible, efficient and fair

    • 29 October 2013
  3. Using Industrial Strategy to help the UK economy and business compete and grow

    • 11 September 2013
  4. Preventing and reducing anti-competitive activities

    • 24 June 2013
  5. Boosting private sector employment in England

    • 17 January 2013
  6. Controlling defence, security and dual-use strategic exports

    • 12 December 2012
  7. Reducing corruption in international trade

    • 12 December 2012
  8. Making it easier to trade

    • 12 December 2012


by Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade

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  1. Industrial strategy: early successes and future priorities

    • 23 April 2014
    • News story
  2. Vehicles of the future get £130 million investment

    • 23 April 2014
    • Press release
  3. Tough action promised on hidden company owners

    • 21 April 2014
    • Press release
  4. Cable takes aim at dodgy directors

    • 19 April 2014
    • Press release
  5. Business Secretary considers evidence for tougher regulation of arms exports

    • 17 April 2014
    • Press release
  6. Vince Cable: £100 million to support domestic supply chains and create new jobs

    • 11 April 2014
    • Press release
  7. Regional Growth Fund Round 5 funding announced by Nick Clegg

    • 10 April 2014
    • Press release
  8. Burberry head Angela Ahrendts receives honorary DBE

    • 7 April 2014
    • Press release
  9. Secondary legislation for the regulation of collecting societies

    • 7 April 2014
    • News story
  10. Government responds to National Audit Office report: “The Privatisation of Royal Mail”

    • 1 April 2014
    • Press release

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