"Identifying and recruiting the best talent has always been challenging, but UKESF vastly simplifies this for us."

Andy Repton, Dialog Semiconductor

Three more Russell Group universities join UKESF

Three more Russell Group universities join UKESF

Press Release: Glasgow, Newcastle and Nottingham join programme addressing threat of diminishing skills capability

Engineering at University of Nottingham

The UK Electronics Skills Foundation has added three further Russell Group Universities to its programme, which seeks to reverse a significant decline in the number of British electronic engineering degree students and to attract more talented young people to the electronics industry.

The addition of the universities, Glasgow, Newcastle and Nottingham, ranked among the best in the UK, takes the total number of UKESF partner universities to 11. The UKESF simplifies the process of university liaison for employers and, by adding formal links to more universities, a growing number of companies can now reach a stronger pool of talented undergraduates.

The UKESF was established in 2010 to help reverse a significant declinein UK students applying to electrical and electronic engineering (EEE) degrees. Industrial scholarships with work placements lie at the heart of the programme, allowing UKESF participating companies to reach out to the most talented EEE university students and start their recruitment process earlier.

The UKESF programme also includes professional development courses that advance its scholars’ non-academic business skills, summer schools to attract A-level and Higher students to EEE degrees and a project that introduces younger school students to electronic engineering as a potential career.

There has been a 29.2 per cent drop in British EEE applicants between 2002 and 2012, with a 7.9 per cent drop between 2011 and 2012 coinciding with the introduction of higher university tuition fees.

However, UKESF analysis of 2007 to 2012 UCAS data also shows an increased demand for vocational courses with the proportion of students applying to courses such as engineering, medicine and law rising and now standing at 37%.

Indro Mukerjee, chairman of the UKESF strategic advisory board and CEO of Plastic Logic commented: “University outreach programmes have traditionally been the preserve of firms with larger budgets. The UKESF programme changes this by offering a formal liaison process to companies of all sizes. I am delighted that we have further widened the talent pool available to employers engaging through the UKESF, by bringing more universities on board.

“The integral role electronics plays in our society is well demonstrated by the wide range of employers requiring electronic engineering expertise. These companies will certainly benefit from the increased popularity of vocational courses, by getting involved in programmes that provide financial support and work experience to students undertaking EEE degrees. Moreover, by defining a clear route to rewarding employment as part of the programme, these companies will ultimately attract more talented graduates into our exciting industry.”

Andy Repton, a senior engineering director at Dialog Semiconductor said: “Identifying and recruiting the best talent has always been challenging, but UKESF vastly simplifies this for us. We’ve been exceptionally impressed by the quality of the available students and Dialog now takes on three new scholars each year. And, following his graduation last year, we’re pleased to announce we’ve employed our first UKESF scholar too.”

Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill, head of The University of Nottingham’s electrical and electronic engineering department said: “The UKESF model has been carefully planned and by partnering with the organisation we can better tailor our courses to industry needs and foster links between our students and the UK’s most innovative technology firms at the same time.

The three universities join Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Imperial College, Manchester, Southampton, Surrey and York.