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Sarah Sillars steps down as CEO of skills body Semta

Sarah Sillars OBE is to stand down as Semta chief executive at the end of 2014.

Sillars and her executive team are in the final stages of a two-year project to significantly restructure Semta, acknowledging that the skills landscape has dramatically changed in the past five years from being government funded to employer led under the direction and guidance of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, UKCES and employers.

Semta, which represents 138,000 companies with a combined annual turnover of over £300 billion in the engineering and advanced manufacturing sector, helps ensure that companies have the appropriate skills to satisfy increased level of demand in a growing market.
Chairman Allan Cook CBE, chairman of Atkins, Selex ES and Finmeccanica UK and also lead non-executive board member at BIS, said: “Sarah has professionally led Semta through this important transition phase with energy, inspiration and skill to bring about the fundamental changes that were required to support our companies for the future. I am eternally grateful to Sarah for leading this programme."

Sillars will hand over to current Semta chief operating officer Ann Watson on January 1.

“Ann has extensive experience in our sector and is the best-qualified person to continue our evolution. I am very confident that under Ann’s leadership, we can continue to work with our stakeholders to achieve success,” said Cook.

Sillars was executive chair of the Institute of the Motor Industry until joining Semta in 2013.

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