The UKESF works collaboratively with stakeholders in education and industry to address the skills shortage in Electronics Engineering. Here we detail our impact in skills advocacy, including apprenticeships and reports, research and responses to government consultations.

Creating a Skills Pipeline for UK Semiconductors:

The Case for Investment in Secondary Education


The UKESF has published a report, Creating a Skills Pipeline for UK Semiconductors: The Case for Investment in Secondary Education, which outlines their campaign calling for urgent action to tackle the semiconductor design skills shortage. As semiconductors become more critical to the success of UK plc, so there is an increased urgency to address this skills shortage, starting at the beginning of the semiconductor skills pipeline with greater focus and more investment in secondary education.

Future Engineering Skills in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

The UKESF, who are skills advocates on behalf of the UK’s semiconductor sector, has published a new report, Future Engineering Skills in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, compiled following extensive industry consultation.  The report concludes that the UK’s role in this vital multi-billion-pound global industry is being held back by a significant skills shortage.

Call for Evidence “Fit for the Future”: Apprenticeships

In February 2023 there was a submission to the Call for Evidence for the inquiry about apprenticeships led by Lord Knight and Lord Willetts, in partnership with Engineering UK, is made by the UK Electronics Skills Foundation, TechWorks and the ERA Foundation. We speak about skills on behalf the Electronics Systems, semiconductors and ElecTech sectors in the UK. TechWorks members include close to 300 employers and include SMEs, as well large, global, companies.

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee –  The Semiconductor Industry in the UK

Consultation Response

In June 2022, the UKESF responded to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee’s enquiry about the The Semiconductor Industry in the UK. Our response specifically addressed the question:

6. Does the UK have the required skills, talent and diversity to be able to boost its current semiconductor industry and to respond to future disruption?

The BEIS Committee published the report The Semiconductor Industry in the UK in November 2022.

Compound Semiconductor Skills Survey 2018

Compound semiconductors have enabled a wide range of communications and sensing applications, and will play an increasingly important role in next generation technologies – from connected autonomous vehicles to robotics, aerospace, energy and healthcare. There is a growing Compound Semiconductor Cluster (CS Connected) in South Wales, which currently directly employs around 1,500 people and is set to see significant growth. These are high value jobs at the start of the semiconductor supply chain and demand is expected to grow significantly over the next five or so years. There are expectations that the UK will be at the fore of a global compound semiconductor market predicted to be worth $140bn by 2023. However, it is a highly technical sector with some very specific skills sets.

"A Skills Survey was carried out into the Compound Semiconductor sector and findings were released in July 2018 by the UK Electronics Skills Foundation. The CCRSP considers this to be the most definitive source for the sectors skills needs given its highly targeted approach and the expertise of those carrying it out."

Employment and Skills Plan 2022 - 2025, Cardiff Capital Region Skills Partnership

Degree Apprenticeships

Degree Apprenticeships offer students the opportunity to achieve a full bachelor’s (Level 6) or master’s (Level 7) degree by combining full-time work with part-time study through a training provider or a university. Apprentices are employed throughout their programme, spending part of their time at university and the rest with their employer.

Did you know that there are degree apprenticeship programmes in Electronics? For Electronics, there are two options:

There are many benefits to providing Degree Apprenticeships:

  • Develop your workforce and upskill existing staff
  • Support young engineers to develop tailored skills and knowledge for your business
  • Demonstrate your investment in your workforce

What’s more, companies paying the Apprenticeship Levy (annual payroll of £3m+) will be able to fund up to 100% of a degree apprentice’s tuition costs from their Levy contribution.

How to find out more

Several universities in England offer Degree Apprenticeships, take a look at our factsheet here for more information. If you’re thinking of getting involved, the first step is to reach out to a university.

More generally, useful resources include:

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like to discuss degree apprenticeships by emailing [email protected].

“In order to leverage our world-leading IP and technical capabilities we need to ensure that we have the infrastructure and the appropriate skills pipelines in place to ensure we can sustain and grow our global leadership and in so doing, significantly enhance our productivity.

A key requirement of the work was to hold meaningful interviews with key industry players – a task requiring a highly reputable and credible interview techniques and thorough analysis. After extensive consultations, the UKESF was commissioned to undertake the work based on their proven track record within our industry sector.
The survey results generally confirm expectations but provided empirical and independent evidence to assist the education sectors in their planning to meet the growing needs of the industry.”

Chris Meadows from IQE and CS Connected

“This is an important study; we have shown that in order for the CS Cluster to grow and flourish as an area of expertise in this global industry sector, it is essential that the appropriate educational and training capabilities are in place. For the UK to maintain its position as a leading global economy, investment in people’s skills is essential.”

Stew Edmondson, CEO of the UKESF