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UK manufacturers offered support to tackle skills gaps and stay competitive

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Semta, the employer-led sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies has launched the UK Metals, Mechanicals and Electrical Sector Skills Agreement (MME SSA), which will strengthen business through workforce development. 

Drawn up in conjunction with manufacturing businesses, trade and professional bodies, unions, educationalists, training providers and government, the agreement sets out how best to improve competitiveness, based on detailed research of employer skill needs. To support companies in its sectors, Semta has secured access to £65 million of funding with the Government, for companies in its footprint to access for skills investment. 

Four key themes are identified in the MME SSA:

  • Improving leadership and management through training and coaching.
  • Enabling significantly more businesses to adopt lean manufacturing techniques to improve QCD performance.
  • Addressing the technical skills gaps which impede business growth.
  • Increasing the number and quality of apprenticeships to offset skills lost through retirement and new skills needed through changing technology.

Semta’s research found that the UK MME sectors are losing an estimated £570 million per annum due to lost productivity. 17% of companies in the metals and equipment manufacturing sector surveyed by Semta, revealed they are unable to fill key positions. A lack of skilled staff is restricting growth and causing deadlines to slip, which has subsequently led to a loss of business orders.

Philip Whiteman, Chief Executive of Semta, commented: “During a period of economic turbulence, one of the ways companies can invest in future success is to train staff; the MME SSA enables employers to understand the types of training and development that can lead to the best economic results. Ideally, employers would aim to implement each of the four key themes identified in the SSA over time. Using proven diagnostic tools, Semta can help employers start the journey towards improving company performance and sustaining this over the long term. Employers in the sector can the 65 million pounds of funding government have set aside to support their training requirements. With the right skills, this sector can compete against the best in the world.”

The launch of the MME SSA will take place on Tuesday 18th November at the JCB Visitor Centre in Rocester, Staffordshire. Among the keynote speakers will be Lord Tony Young of Norwood Green, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Skills and Apprenticeships.










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