Industry quick to support UK Electronics Skills Foundation
28th September, 2010
The UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF) has reported strong industry commitment to its university scholarship programme since it launched in January. Within the first four months nine electronics businesses had signed up to provide over 30 scholarships and work experience opportunities. The scheme is aimed at undergraduates studying for electronics degrees at leading UK universities.
UKESF was founded by a collaboration of public bodies, private companies and UK universities to address the threat of the rapidly diminishing skills base in the UK electronics sector. Its principal aims are to increase and sustain the supply of industry-ready graduate engineers and boost career take-up in the sector. A new dedicated UKESF website has just gone live at www.ukesf.org and undergraduates are now applying for the first UKESF scholarships.
Derek Boyd, CEO of the National Microelectronics Institute (NMI) and UKESF founder board member said “This is a great start to tackling a serious industry issue. The UKESF scholarship scheme was designed to be attractive to companies of all sizes in helping them to engage with some of the most promising engineers of the future. The initial uptake by a range of companies clearly demonstrates just how fit for purpose the scheme really is and that our industry is passionate about encouraging young people into the exciting and challenging careers that it offers. I invite all UK electronics companies, large and small, to get involved in the scheme.”
James Collier, a non-executive director and co-founder of CSR plc. said, “It’s essential that our sector continues to nurture its own young talent to maintain the country’s global competitiveness and its position as one of the world’s leading innovators. The UKESF scholarship scheme will do this by helping UK universities produce the country’s next generation of engineering innovators.”
Paul Double, founder and managing director of EDA Solutions said, “It is important that all electronics businesses, including small companies like mine, should have very clear requirements and real expectations for their graduate engineering intake and it’s vital that industry works together with the universities to ensure that engineering graduates arrive with the pre-requisite skills set that are needed.”
UKESF has formed a strategic advisory board to guide its vision, growth and sustainability. Indro Mukerjee, founder chairman of UKESF and CEO of C-MAC MicroTechnology commented “I believe strongly in nurturing skills and capability as a basis for sustainable sector performance and in order to achieve this, it is important that broader national initiatives are complemented by focused and tangible mechanisms such as the UKESF. We have made a great start yet UKESF has a long-term role, and I look forward to overseeing its immediate impact and enduring contribution”.
The UKESF’s operational plan aims to have achieved the following levels of engagement with undergraduate students, companies and universities within five years:
• 160 new undergraduate scholarships each year.
• 100 sponsoring companies.
• 10 partner universities across England, Scotland and Wales.