Semta wins £5m investment to boost industry skills

Posted on 24 Nov 2011

Sector Skills Council, Semta, has secured funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (CES) for science, engineering and manufacturing skills.

Semta has secured £5m of UK CES investment to support three Semta work streams, providing high impact skills solutions for companies within the industry.

The three work streams will focus on supply chain companies and SMEs to increase and improve their investment in their existing workforce skills and in new talent through the recruitment of apprentices and graduates.

Semta research shows that there is a need to recruit and train 96,300 engineers, scientists and technologists by 2016 and to upskill 363,000 of the current technical workforce qualified below world class standards.

Launched in March, the Employer Investment Fund aims to raise employer investment in skills across the UK by supporting innovative and sustainable programmes run by Sector Skills Councils. The investment signals plans to kick start sustainable improvements to UK skills and competitiveness.

The first work stream will improve the productivity and competitiveness of supply chain companies. It will enable training plans to be produced, companies to start a High Performance Working journey and support employees to attain skills.

The second work stream will increase the number of SMEs who recruit an apprentice from 11% currently to 20% by 2016.

The third work stream will increase the number of SMEs who recruit a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate by improving employer-university links.

Philip Whiteman, chief executive at Semta
Philip Whiteman, chief executive at Semta

Philip Whiteman, chief executive of Semta, commented: “We are delighted to have secured three funding bids which will allow us to make a real, sustainable impact.”

Mr Whiteman continued: “Higher level skills in engineering and advanced manufacturing are essential in supporting economic growth, innovation and rebalancing the economy but it can be hard for small businesses to invest in the right skills without expert support. Our job is to work with them to identify skills gaps and secure suitable talent to support growth.”

Skills Minister John Hayes commented: “We’re putting power back into the hands of businesses so we can build a skills system that will drive an increasingly dynamic economy.”

Mr Hayes added: “With the opening of round two of the Growth and Innovation Fund, the announcement of the Employer Ownership pilot and the announcement of successful Employer Investment Fund projects, there is now up to £370 million of funding devoted to support employer led skills solutions. This will secure greater commitment from employers to invest in skills and support business to achieve their growth potential.”

Semta will also be putting forward proposals to help sector employers take advantage of the government’s newly announced £250m fund for businesses to design, develop and purchase vocational training and the £1,500 incentive for small businesses taking on their first apprentices.

Businesses interested in finding out more should contact Semta Customer Services on 0845 643 9001.

Tom Moore