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 responsibilities:

  • overall responsibility for the department, strategy and all policies
  • overall responsibility for the BIS budget
  • President of the Board of Trade
  • lead Cabinet 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.


  1. Preventing and reducing anti-competitive activities

    • 19 August 2014
  2. Providing better information and protection for consumers

    • 31 July 2014
  3. Making the labour market more flexible, efficient and fair

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

    • 11 September 2013
  5. Boosting private sector employment in England

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

    • 12 December 2012
  7. Making it easier to trade

    • 12 December 2012


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  1. Boost for firms as Small Business Act becomes law

    • 26 March 2015
    • Press release
  2. Manufacturers get more support from government

    • 26 March 2015
    • Press release
  3. Banks agree protocol on branch closures

    • 26 March 2015
    • Press release
  4. Women on boards numbers almost doubled in last 4 years

    • 25 March 2015
    • Press release
  5. Cable calls for new debate on role of adult further education

    • 24 March 2015
    • Press release
  6. Government wants UK to lead global robotics technology

    • 23 March 2015
    • Press release
  7. £15 million to train next generation of quantum engineers

    • 23 March 2015
    • Press release
  8. Government to increase pay transparency

    • 20 March 2015
    • Press release
  9. New National Minimum Wage rates announced

    • 17 March 2015
    • Press release
  10. Surge in British built vehicles with British made components

    • 13 March 2015
    • Press release