Driving vocations forward

Posted on 6 Jul 2011 by The Manufacturer

June was a busy for sector skills council Semta as it escalated support for apprenticeships with new qualification launches, partnership annoncements and awards

As WorldSkills London 2011 moves ever closer to its October competitions Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies, has taken responsibility for thrwing its support behind the event which it sees as an unrivalled opportunity for the promotion of vactional skills.

The international WorldSkills competiton involces around 1000 competitors from 50 countries. The final round of competions, across 45 skills areas, will be held over for days IN October.

Semta has played an important part in supporting applicants for the engineering and manufacturing categories for Team UK at the competition.

Since the WorldSkills UK engineering competitions in 2008, sector skills council Semta has increased the number of registered competitors from 12 to 334.

Philip Whiteman, chief executive of Semta is passionate about encouaging young people to consider manufacturing as a career option and clear about the importance of doing so for the UK economy.

Whiteman said: “[Our] research shows that 32,000 new employees will be needed across the UK engineering, manufacturing and science sectors each year between now and 2016 to cover retirements and industry growth. So we need to convince potential recruits that this is a sector where careers are secure, stimulating and well-rewarded.”

Ensuring that those recrutis are given the right skills to take manufacturing companies forward competitively Semta has also recently announced a range of new foundation degrees including a new bioscience foundation degree framework.

Furthermore the organisation has been thorough in building employer led information into these new degree strucutre. A strategic partnership with the National Skills Academy Process Industries, also announced last month, will ensure composites businesses have the training support they really need. The new partnership is called the Composites Skills Alliance.

Similar aid is available for other sectors. The Applied Bioscience Technology Upskilling framework, created in partnership with the University of Kent and Cogent, a sister sector skills council, will be available from November next year.

The new framework has been designed to work with existing in-house training programmes. Supported by interactive e-learning resources and mentoring it will utilise the workplace as a learning environment.

Whiteman comented on the flexible modular structure of the new frameworks which can be taken in “bite sized chunks” saying: “This is important both for businesses and individual employees as it provides a flexible approach, adapting delivery to organisational needs, and allowing staff to learn in their workplace.”