Shortage of skills in electronics in Europe

Shortage of skills in electronics: Europe wants to act quickly to save the European Chips Act

While states have embarked on proactive policies to promote the development of their IT and electronic ecosystems, the shortage of technological profiles may well ruin all their efforts. This in addition to the many issues affecting the market, such as the shortage of electronic components, which causes many problems in the supply chain. However, the shortage of skills in electronics is likely to be more damaging in the medium/long term.

Putting the necessary skills back in a field is a long and tedious undertaking. But there is urgency and the observation is clear for European officials: if the shortage of skills in electronics persists, it risks undermining the European Chips Act, the objective of which is to revitalize the production of semiconductors in Europe. To deal with this risk, a meeting bringing together SEMI (the association of manufacturers and designers in electronics), the European Commission, as well as 80 representatives of stakeholders in this industry made it possible to define a Pact for Skills for Microelectronics.

A series of actions to improve the image of the industry

The pact includes a series of key actions to be taken to close the skills gap essential to the European semiconductor ecosystem. And there is urgency: the research firm Decision revealed in its report METIS4Skills Strategy 2022 a worsening of the shortage of talents in Europe since 2020, while the European Chips Act places particular emphasis on the need for engineers and process technicians, service technicians, and other workers related to semiconductor manufacturing.

This is why the Pact for Skills for Microelectronics defines a series of actions to improve the image of the semiconductor industry, create vocations and attract students and young talents. It also aims to help workers upgrade their skills or retrain, and to work towards a more diverse and inclusive workforce in Europe.

Among these recommendations, SEMI Europe recommends these initiatives:

  • Implement an industry image campaign to raise awareness about how technology is shaping the future and about careers in the semiconductor industry.
  • Facilitate entry into the industry for the best university graduates, in part by revamping immigration policies that affect the microelectronics sector.
  • Harmonize workforce development initiatives across Europe and create a European university network for microelectronics with a focus on internship and work opportunities for students.
  • Encourage children and adolescents, especially girls, to pursue education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, recruit more teachers in these subjects, increase talent development initiatives for the microelectronics industry, such as competitions open to middle and high school students around the design of electronic chips.

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