The UKESF’s 10th Anniversary: Creation of the Foundation – Indro Mukerjee Interview

Indro Mukerjee, Former Chair

 

As Founding Chairman, what were your hopes for the Foundation?

“The UKESF was started as a project to do something practical to address the skills gap in the industry. The skills gap has been a well-known thing in the UK and much discussed, but doing is better than just discussing so the intention was to take a practical step of action. It took a lot of hard work and determination to get things going, but it was very satisfying when we were able to launch what was effectively a private/public partnership, to link industry with universities.”

 Are you pleased with how things have progressed over the last 10 years?

“I’m very pleased and proud of what’s been achieved over the last 10 years. The original aims have certainly been achieved. The Foundation works well in practice, and feedback that’s been rigorously tracked from all stakeholders has been positive throughout. It’s certainly relevant in the industry, very well connected with all parts of it and often consulted and involved by both industry and government on skills matters. The fact that the UKESF is still around and going strong after 10 years is testimony to its value to industry, universities and other stakeholders. That’s the most pleasing thing of all.”

Indro speaking at the 2017 UKESF Celebration Event

Do you have any particular highlights?

“There have been many, many highlights over the 10-year journey, from connecting with new industry and university partners, knowing that stakeholders have been happy, developing the Electronics Everywhere project from scratch… I would, however, pick two particular areas to highlight;

“Firstly, each Scholar the UKESF has helped has been a highlight. The future of our industry depends on the development of our young people and the UKESF has certainly played an important role in engaging with, inspiring and supporting these people as they make their journeys from university to industry. For each of the many scholars who have gone through the UKESF program, the Foundation has been an important part of their journey.

“The other thing I’d like to particularly highlight is that for its entire existence, the UKESF has been solvently and professionally managed by a great team, supported by experienced volunteers on the board. We’re a small charity and are proud that we’ve managed to do this through good times and not so good times.”

Looking to the future, what are your aspirations for the UKESF?

“Just as today’s technology and society are different to those of 10 years ago, they’ll be different again in 10 years’ time. So, I’d want to see the UKESF continue to evolve and adapt to add value as things change, harnessing and helping to develop talented young people by proactively providing better access to Electronics education for all, and more inclusion and diversity.”