We very much welcome the publication of the Government’s long-awaited National Semiconductor Strategy. Semiconductors are critical to the functioning of our modern world, and we wholeheartedly support their aspiration for the UK to have a thriving national industry. However, a chronic skills shortage threatens our industry’s ability to compete on a global stage.
At the UKESF we believe that the lack of a secure skills pipeline is a significant threat to achieving the Government’s semiconductor ambition. Demand for graduate engineers to help companies drive forward semiconductor innovation is high and vastly outstrips supply. The only viable and sustainable way for our industry, in particular chip design, to grow is to increase the number of UK students studying Electronics at degree level. We simply need more ‘home grown’ talent.
To make this happen we need to start with schools. We need to raise awareness and increase knowledge and interest in electronics and semiconductors at secondary schools. Our programme of ‘hands on’ projects and activities shows that this is possible; however, to have more impact we need to replicate this intervention at scale. We therefore, call on Government to recognise that there needs to a greater focus on Electronics and semiconductors in secondary education and to invest in growing a national talent pool through UKESF’s proven activities.
Stew Edmondson, Chief Executive at UKESF
Find out more about our campaign here