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Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre

Sector Skills Councils -Engineering

The following SSCs have been identified as having an impact on the engineering subjects in higher education:

For a complete list of SSCs go to


First licensed 01 Apr 03, relicenced 11 May 09.
SEMTA is the Sector Skills Council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies and represents the sectors of:

  • aerospace
  • packaging
  • meteorology
  • mechanical engineering and metal trades
  • shipbuilding
  • pharmacy and parts of the pharmaceutical industry
  • genetics
  • biotechnology
  • motor vehicles
  • mathematics
  • nanotechnology
  • electrical engineering
  • forensic science
  • electronics, including semi-conductors

The sector is at the forefront of technological development, competing with Europe, Japan, North America and the Pacific Rim.

The sector faces a constant challenge in up-dating skills to create and sustain a competitive workforce.

A particular gap is evident in mathematical skills.

An aging workforce has also been identified as a potential problem.

Contact Details
14 Upton Road
WD18 0JT
Tel: 01923 238 441

The Institute of the Motor Industry (formerly Automotive Skills)

First licensed 01 Dec 03.
IMI is the Sector Skills Council for the retail motor industry. The SSC covers the following sub-activities:

  • New vehicle sales
  • Fast fit (tyres, exhausts, batteries, etc.)
  • Used vehicle sales
  • Valeting/preparation
  • Routine maintenance & repair
  • Parts and accessories sales
  • MOT inspections
  • Roadside rescue/recovery
  • Accident/body repair
  • Contract hire/operational leasing
  • Restoration/rebuilding
  • 'Daily' rental (self drive or with driver)
  • Post-factory fitting and adaption (electricals, motability, etc.)

The sector needs more highly skilled, more productive and better managed people to meet the ever increasing business challenges facing the industry. This can only be achieved by improving the quality and quantity of training supply across the board, from apprenticeship level to management and leadership development.

Contact Details
The Institute of the Motor Industry
SG13 8PQ
Tel: 01992 511521

Energy and Utility Skills

First licensed 01 Dec 03.
Energy & Utility Skills is the Sector Skills Council for electricity and renewable, gas, waste management and water industries. It represents:

  • generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, combined heat and power;
  • production and distribution of gas and water; and
  • removal of waste water and treatment of waste products.

These industries cover a range of fundamental services that are vital to a successful UK economy and are key to the attainment of environmental targets on water quality, fuel utilisation and waste management.
The safe, reliable and affordable provision of electricity, gas, waste management, water and related services are essential to the UK economy and well-being of domestic customers.
The skills required to provide these services are diverse in their scope. The range of these skills is continually evolving as the industries continue to be at the centre of significant change.
During the past decade the electricity, gas and water industries have rapidly undergone far-reaching structural change as a consequence of the government's programmes of privatisation and market liberalisation.
This structural change is leading to innovative multi-utility developments, which in turn are impacting on the scope of future skills requirements.
A key demand from government, producers, suppliers and users is for greater efficiency in the use of natural resources. This includes both fuel for energy or water for supply.
Pressures such as these will have growing impact on the people and skills required to run these businesses more efficiently. The impact will be felt throughout the entire process chain.
Contact Details
Energy & Utility Skills
Friars Gate Two
1011 Stratford Road
West Midlands
B90 4BN
Tel: 0845 077 9922

Proskills UK

First licensed 01 Aug 05.
Proskills is the Sector Skills Council for the process and manufacturing sector in the building products, coatings, glass, printing, extractive and mineral processing industries.
The sector includes:

  • coatings;
  • extractive and mineral processing industries;
  • glass manufacture and glazing;
  • building products and refractories;
  • print and printed packaging

A need has been identified across the whole sector for improved skills in product development, production and supply chain mechanisms.
To keep UK process and manufacturing industries competitive there is a need to accelerate the development and identification of strategic issues including continuous improvement methodology and change management.

Contact Details
Proskills UK Ltd
Centurion House
85B Milton Park
OX14 4RY
Tel: 01235 833844


First licensed 01 Feb 04, relicenced 11 May 09.
Cogent is the Sector Skills Council for chemicals and pharmaceuticals, nuclear, oil and gas, petroleum and polymers.
The SSC covers five sub-sector groupings, which share a common foundation - science and technology. The groupings are:

  • oil and gas extraction;
  • nuclear and radiological technology;
  • chemicals manufacturing;
  • pharmaceuticals manufacturing;
  • petroleum sector; and
  • polymers.

Key challenges for the sector include the need to attract young people into the industry, to adapt the workforce skills to a fast-advancing technology advances and to develop the highest standards of safety and competence.

Contact Details
Unit 5, Mandarin Court
Centre Park
Tel: 01925515200


First licensed 01 Jan 04, relicenced 11 May 09.
Skillset is the Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries. The sector covers:

  • broadcast;
  • film;
  • video
  • interactive media;
  • photo imaging.

A fast growing sector which is increasingly dependent on the skills of the workforce, and maintaining and enhancing skills to promote and exploit rapid technological development.

Developments in digital communication technologies are increasing the opportunities to exploit the global marketplace for the UK's media industry.
Skillset has received strong support from large companies in the sector, who recognise and accept their reliance on the skills of their supply chain.

Contact Details
Focus Point
21 Caledonian Road
N1 9GB
Tel: 020 7713 9800


First licensed 01 April 04.
Lantra is the Sector Skills Council for the environmental and land-based sector. This includes:

  • animal care
  • agricultural livestock and crops
  • animal technology
  • environmental conservation
  • aquaculture
  • equine
  • farriery
  • fencing
  • floristry
  • fisheries management
  • land-based engineering
  • game and wildlife management
  • landscape
  • productive horticulture
  • trees and timber
  • veterinary nursing

The sector is diverse and undergoing substantial structural change. Whilst some sub-sectors are in decline, others will require the recruitment of high quality entrants and new skills for existing workers.

Contact Details
Lantra House
Stoneleigh Park
Nr Coventry
Tel: 024 7669 6996


First licensed 25 Sep 03.
ConstructionSkills is the Sector Skills Council for the construction sector and covers a wide range of sectors in the development and maintenance of the built environment, including:

  • house building (public and private);
  • infrastructure (roads, railways and utilities);
  • non-residential building in the private sector (schools and colleges, hospitals, offices);
  • industrial building by the private sector (factories, warehouses); and
  • commercial building by the private sector (offices, shops, entertainment, health and education);
  • Additionally, the sector covers maintenance and repair work in all sectors. The sector also covers the renting of construction machinery and professional and design work in consultancies (engineering, architecture and surveying).

Construction is a national industry spread across all parts of the UK. It is vital in contributing to the national economy and in providing the essential infrastructure to support other sectors. The construction sector is of strategic significance to areas such as urban renewal, housing, health, education and transport. There are clearly identifiable skills shortages facing the construction sector, requiring measures to be put in place to tackle them.

Contact Details
Bircham Newton
Kings Lynn
PE31 6RH
Tel: 0844 844 0046


First licensed 01 Dec 2003.
SummitSkills is the Sector Skills Council for the building services engineering sector. The sector covers:

  • design, installation and maintenance of electrotechnical, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and plumbing;
  • oil and gas fitting design, installation and maintenance.

The vast majority of businesses in the sector are micro-businesses and 'one-man-bands' and the majority of them were started by individuals who trained as apprentices in the sector.

The sector is currently experiencing a mini-boom at the same time as it is experiencing a skills shortage exacerbated by the boom-and-bust nature of the wider construction industry.

In addition to the training of new recruits, the sector is also facing the challenge of new technology in the business and engineering processes that companies employ as well as in the new technology that it installs for clients.

Contact Details
Vega House
Opal Drive
Fox Milne
Milton Keynes
MK15 0DF
Tel: 01908 303960
Fax 01908 303989


First licensed 01 Nov 04.
GoSkills is the Sector Skills Council for passenger transport, which includes:

  • aviation (airlines, airports and ground handlers);
  • bus;
  • coach;
  • taxi and private hire;
  • community transport;
  • rail;
  • trams;
  • driver training; and
  • transport planners.

GoSkills will have a core role in ensuring that the UK has the skills the sector needs in responding to the Government's ten-year transport strategy.
New legislation is imposing more regulation on the sector's operators and workforce and there is a need to invest in providing better skilled people at operator level drivers or cabin crew, but also at a supervisory and managerial level.

There is a current lack of access and availability to work-based training and other learning opportunities within the sector. GoSkills has a vital role to play in matching supply with demand and ensuing there is access for everyone across all industries of the sector.

Contact Details
Concorde House
Trinity Park
West Midlands
B37 7UQ
Tel 0121 635 5520

Improve Ltd

First licensed 01 Jun 04.
Improve Ltd. is the Sector Skills Council for food and drink, which represents employers operating in all sectors of the food and drink manufacturing and processing sector. The sector includes:

  • sea fishing;
  • craft bakery;
  • meat and poultry;
  • dairy; and
  • general food and drink.

The food and drink manufacturing sector is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the UK economy.
Food and drink products and brands have a tremendous influence on our lifestyles and standard of living every household in the country consumes the sector's products.

Many companies have invested significantly in automation, using highly sophisticated computer control techniques with high productivity. At the other end of the scale some small companies maintain a craft approach making a virtue out of labour-intensive hand production.

The sector is fiercely competitive and is heavily influenced by the leverage of the supermarket multiples.

The demands of consumers are changing. As social trends alter, new lifestyles are impacting upon the food and drink products, which end-users want to buy.

There has been an increase in niche products, such as ethnic foods, organic produce, wheat free goods, low fat products and healthy living goods.

Contact Details
Improve Ltd
Ground Floor
Providence House
2 Innovation Close
YO10 5ZF
Tel: 0845 644 0448

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