Skills agenda to be prioritised at House of Lords debate
The benefits of developing higher level skills in the workforce will be discussed in the House of Lords today.
Organised by Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and advanced manufacturing, representatives of small and medium sized firms from across the UK will hear from leading figures in advanced manufacturing on how the skills agenda is evolving and making a real difference in the workplace.
Richard Hamer, education director and head of early careers at BAE Systems, will promote the benefits of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Higher Apprenticeship, which has been developed to combine practical skills with a higher education qualification.
Jo Lopes, head of technical excellence at Jaguar Land Rover will talk about the innovative Advanced Skills Accreditation Scheme (ASAS) based on the car giant's own successful scheme and developed with Semta to provide a flexible programme of Master's level training, which is now available across the sector.
Representing SMEs, Andy Robinson, chief executive of Bedfordshire-based Automated Technology Group, will talk about its own academy, opened last month, to provide structured training to both school leavers and graduates.
Semta's chairman Allan Cook CBE, and UK operations director Lynn Tomkins, will also speak at the event hosted by Baroness Wall.
"It is fantastic to have three employers speaking about how the development of facilities and new qualifications is helping to address the real skills challenges we are facing," said Ms Tomkins.
"We need all businesses in advanced manufacturing and engineering, but in particular SMEs, to work with us to find the best solutions for their business.
"Semta research indicates that industry needs to recruit and train 82,000 engineers, scientists and technicians across the UK by 2016, while 363,000 of the current technical workforce is qualified below world class standard and needs to be skilled up.
"Events like today provide a fantastic opportunity for businesses of all sizes to share experiences and learn what is available to ensure these targets can be met."