The electronics industry is now facing a skills crisis says a group of industry trade associations. TechWorks (the former National Microelectronics Institute) is teaming up with the UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF) and coming to Bristol as one of UK’s three key cities to tackle the problem which it says is becoming more acute.

Fundamentally, there are still too few young people studying Electronics and so the demand for capable, employable graduates far outstrips demand, says the group. It is visiting Bristol, Cambridge and Birmingham to rally the industry which needs to take action now, it says. TechWorks is led by some of the UK industry’s most influential technologists with strong connections to Bristol, including Sir Hossein Yassaie and Stan Boland.

“We risk losing some of our best UK graduates, highly experienced engineers and entrepreneurs”

 

“Through lack of action, we risk losing too many non-UK high-calibre graduates from around the world trained here in the UK by our own world-class universities then lost to Europe and Asia,” said Tony King-Smith, CEO of the ElecTech Council, which was formed by TechWorks with two other industry trade associations – BEAMA and Gambica.

“These skilled resources are desperately needed by UK companies large and small, and if the ongoing weakness in our skills base results in technology businesses looking elsewhere to grow in our fast-moving sector, despite the skills we already have here in the UK, we also risk losing some of our best UK graduates, highly experienced engineers and entrepreneurs – ‘Techxit’ as Sir Hossein Yassaie refers to it.”

Along with the UKESF, TechWorks is working on influencing school children, supporting teachers and developing Master-level apprenticeships that allow payments to the national Apprenticeship Levy fund to be channelled into local training and development of engineering teams.

The two organisations are coming to Bristol with a Skills Survey and Skills Workshop on 10th July 2017.

Nick Flaherty