New drive to boost skills in science engineering manufacturing and technology industries

Skills Secretary John Denham has announced a new agreement between the Government and employers to deliver more skilled workers to the SET sector.

The Government will earmark £65 million from the Train to Gain budget to help Semta - the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies in the UK - invest in the skills of the sector's workforce.  

This means part of the budget will now be available specifically to train employees who already hold GCSE or A-level equivalent qualifications (level 2 and level 3) but who need more specific, or more up-to-date, business qualifications. 

In return for this funding, Semta will use its sector understanding to encourage employers to take advantage of Train to Gain, make the Skills Pledge, offer more apprenticeships and ensure their staff are given the opportunity to gain relevant qualifications and training.

This agreement is the first of its kind and the Government says it will announce further partnerships with Sector Skills Councils to help equip key sectors with the training they need to fill skills shortages and to provide people with the ability to apply for and fill the jobs of the future. 

Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills John Denham said: "It is estimated that between 2004 and 2014 there will be a need for an additional 324,000 skilled workers in science, engineering and manufacturing technologies. These are the jobs of the future. We can only meet this challenge by working in close partnership with employers, offering improved training support in exchange for an enhanced commitment to engage with that support."

Government investment in Train to Gain will rise to over £1 billion by 2010-11, supporting over 800,000 learners to improve their skills and gain new qualifications.

Image: The initiative aims to deliver more skilled workers to the science, engineering and technology sectors

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