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
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.
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:
- Level 6: Embedded Electronic Systems Design and Development Engineer (Degree): the industry-specific Apprenticeship Standard. Designed to meet the needs of the Electronics Industry, this qualification takes 36+ months and results in a BEng degree which is recognised by the IET. This is currently available at around 16 universities in England.
- Level 7: Electronic Systems Principal Engineer: the industry-specific post-graduate Apprenticeship Standard. Aimed at post-graduate engineers, this apprenticeship is aligned with the competencies required by the Engineering Council for professional registration.
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:
- gov.uk: Higher and degree apprenticeships
- The Institute for Apprenticeships
- IET: Introducing Apprenticeships
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.Chris Meadows from IQE and CS Connected
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.”
“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