DAME JUDITH HACKITT, former president of IChemE, has been appointed chair of the skills-focussed Semta Group.
Semta – or the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance – is a not-for-profit sector skills council focussed on the engineering and advanced manufacturing sector. Currently, a key focus for the group is ensuring industry and education fully benefit from the introduction of the government’s apprenticeship levy next month.
The levy shifts much of the cost of funding apprenticeships away from the state by taxing companies that have a wage bill exceeding £3m/y (US$4m). The scheme is set to raise £3bn/y for training and create 3m apprenticeships by 2020, as firms that pay in are incentivised to recoup the money by creating their own apprentice positions.
“The Semta Group has a unique and prominent role to play at a pivotal moment in the development of skills in this country,” said Dame Judith.
“The skills landscape is changing as quickly, if not more quickly, than ever – and we need the expertise, experience and vision that the Semta Group brings to guide industry, government and education through the challenges and opportunities that pertain.”
Hackitt stepped down as chair of the Health & Safety Executive in 2016 and took over as chair of the UK manufacturing body EEF, a role she will continue alongside her duties at Semta.
The announcement of Hackitt’s appointment was made yesterday, coinciding with International Women’s Day, which Semta described as entirely appropriate given that it promotes diversity within the sector.
Ann Watson CEO of Semta Group said: “We are delighted that Dame Judith will be our new Semta Group chair.
“She brings a wealth of experience, insight and formidable energy with her – and will be a huge asset to Semta and the sector at such an exciting time.”
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