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Sarah Sillars is appointed chief executive of Semta

05 July 2012

Semta, the employer-led Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies in the UK, has appointed Sarah Sillars OBE as its chief executive. She will take up the post from October 10 2012. Ms Sillars is currently the executive chair of IMI (The Institute of the Motor Industry) and was previously its chief executive.

Sarah Sillars OBE

She will remain as part time executive chair of IMI until December 31 2012, before taking up the full time position with Semta from January 2013.

Semta chairman Allan Cook CBE, chairman of WS Atkins plc, chairman of SELEX Galileo and deputy chairman of Marshalls Group said: “We are delighted that Sarah has agreed to lead Semta, bringing with her such extensive experience and success within the skills arena. This is a critical time for the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector. Our industry is facing challenging times in domestic and international markets and the opportunities for growth are highly dependent on the development of the necessary skills in our businesses. Sarah’s leadership skills will be critical in achieving our ambitious plans.”  

Ms Sillars said: “I am delighted to join Semta as chief executive at such an important time for the organisation. We are in a changing skills landscape where employers have the opportunity to shape provision and co-invest in the design and delivery of vocational training. Semta is well-positioned, with strong employer backing, to make a real difference to the sector’s productivity and competitiveness with a range of targeted services and programmes.” 

An ageing workforce and continued technical advancement means that UK engineering and manufacturing needs to recruit and train 82,000 engineers, scientists and technologists by 2016 and to up-skill 363,000 of the technical workforce to achieve world class standards. 


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