Skills body supporting the UK's engineering and manufacturing sectors rebrands to cater for rapidly shifting workforce demands and fast expanding low carbon economy
SEMTA, the skills body for the engineering and manufacturing sector, is today rebranding as 'Enginuity' in a bid to position itself at the forefront of the sectors' shift to a low-carbon economy.
As Enginuity, the organisation will aim to be the "connector" for employers between the skills needed in today's economy and those needed for tomorrow's data-led, net zero emission version, it said.
Backed by a £3m investment in the new strategy, Enginuity has embarked on a hiring spree to prepare itself for its role shaping the modern workforce. It has appointed a chief innovation officer, a head of user experience, data scientists, and a "scrum" of developers, chief executive Ann Watson revealed.
The organisation's rebrand mirrors the shift already underway in the engineering and manufacturing sectors that Enginuity serves, Watson told BusinessGreen ahead of the launch, as industries pivot to deliver low-carbon infrastructure and become more reliant on digital technologies.
"We're moving into a space which is using the data, digital tools, and technologies of 'Industry 4.0' that more engineering employers are using these days, and looking at how we can blend those skills, data, the insight it gives us with the kind of the existing deep knowledge SEMTA has in terms of skills, engineering, qualifications and assessment," she said.
Enguinity has existed as SEMTA since 2003, but has acted as a training board for the UK's engineering sector since the 1960s. It is a not-for-profit organisation that awards industry qualifications and works with employers to develop apprenticeship programmes. It also promotes the engineering and manufacturing sectors as career option for young people.
Engineering and manufacturing is changing dramatically as the low-carbon economy develops. Growth in the UK's offshore wind industry and electric vehicle sector, for example, has sparked huge demand for green skills. Meanwhile the advance of digital technologies means employers are having to retrain workers more often, with employees having to reskill every three years compared to every decade, Watson said.
"We've got to better inform employees about what is coming over the horizon," she said. "What are some of those new skills? What are the skills needed for zero emissions, net carbon? What do they look like? How can we then build some practical solutions to help employers, particularly the SMEs, be able to do upskill and rescale?"
"We really want to be in that position where we're actually helping those young people, and those engineers, actually get the opportunity to be problem solvers, to have an impact on climate change," she added.
Watson said Enginuity will combine its experience of the engineering and manufacturing sectors with its new found expertise in digital technologies to build out new platforms to help employers stay at the leading edge of their industry. This includes harnessing the power of predictive analytics to identify what the most in-demand skills for employers will be in the future, and developing new digital tools - including games - to lure tech-savvy young people into the sector.
The latest government figures indicate 235,900 people are employed on a full-time basis in the low-carbon economy, although this figure is slightly lower than in 2014. Most experts believe there is still potential for huge growth in the sector, as the UK reshapes its economy in a bid to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The rebrand comes in the middle of National Apprenticeship Week, during which the government has sought to highlight the career opportunities offered by fast-expanding green industries.
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