Semta, the employer-led Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies in the UK, has appointed Mrs Sarah Sillars OBE as chief executive from 10th October 2012.

Sillars is currently the executive chair of IMI (The Institute of the Motor Industry) and was previously its chief executive. She will remain as part time executive chair of IMI until 31st December, before taking up the full time position with Semta from January 2013.

“I am delighted to join Semta as chief executive at such an important time for the organization,” commented Sillars. “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.

Semta’s staff throughout the UK have unrivalled experience of the sector and understand the skills employers need to grow their business and improve performance. Semta can provide a range of cost-effective services – from consultancy and an apprentice managed service through tailored programmes to total training management – to boost business performance.