Call for engineering firms to prioritise skills

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Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing, is urging businesses to tap into new talent in 2013 and help rescue a 'lost generation'.

The organisation wants to help employers plan effective training for the year ahead, and to secure the future by taking on apprentices and graduates. Sarah Sillars, Semta's chief executive, said: "Semta is ideally positioned to offer advice and coordinate employers and sector organisations who can work in partnership and win funding to ensure employers' skills needs are met. "The economy is forecast to return to growth in 2013 and Semta will be at the forefront, leading the charge on skills that provide a return on investment." While much work is already underway to combat engineering and manufacturing skills challenges, Semta forecasts that more than 82,000 scientists, engineers and technologists will be needed across the UK by 2016 to take advantage of growth opportunities and reduce the impact of skills lost through retirement. The organisation says there is also a need to upskill 363,000 of the current technical workforce whose qualifications are currently below world class standards.