Electronic Design Training Crucial to Industry Growth


Reading time ( words)

The electronics industry is in a growth period. In 2015, the European electronics industry is set to grow by around 4% over the previous year. The demand for consumer electronics is growing worldwide year-on-year, driven by demand for TVs, headphones and high-definition sound systems. Within commercial and industrial industries, the requirement for smarter, more efficient electronics is also driving strong growth.

In the UK, the electronics industry contributes over £80 billion (approximately US$120 million) to the economy, representing 5.4% of UK GDP, employing over 850,000 people. There is, however, in many countries, a growing concern around labour shortages within the electronics industry, with worries over appropriate workforce skill levels growing.

The story is no different anywhere else, with American small/medium enterprises (SMEs) under similar pressure to recruit and train the most appropriate staff to undertake PCB design work. The U.S. is the world's largest producer of electronic products, accounting for around 21% of the world’s total.

A recent study found that 72% of manufacturers believe a labour shortage of electronic design professionals exists, and two-thirds have found difficulty recruiting production and design engineers in the past two years. One of the most adversely hit industries is PCB fabricators, designers and manufacturers, a sector of which 95% are SMEs.

As these companies look to cut costs and drive efficiencies to stay competitive, many larger organisations have considered moving manufacturing functions to other countries to take advantage of cheaper labour costs. This, unfortunately, only further compounds the reported skill shortages within the UK, Europe and U.S.

A recent study by IPC highlights a number of reasons for these concerning issues. Demand for talent in electronics manufacturing has grown faster than the supply, due in part to an ageing workforce. Another IPC study of the North American Electronics industry found that leading issues impacting recruitment included a negative public perception of the industry, job candidate salary and development expectations and continuous professional development opportunities within the industry.

Within the past few years, there has been a greater focus on encouraging young people into manufacturing and electronic industries, with the resurgence of apprenticeships and a greater push for organisations to work in unison with local government, business networks and education providers.

There are many examples of areas where these initiatives have been successful, such as one lead by the UK Electronic Skills Foundation, a great example of where bridging the gap between employer and education providers has helped to promote the industry. Electronics organisations from Cambridge held competitions for students in order to stimulate interest and raise awareness of the electronics industry and its career opportunities. It is hoped that projects like these will gain momentum and be championed elsewhere.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the May 2015 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

Chris Hanson: New Ventec IMS Dielectrics Rated for Higher Temps

07/07/2020 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007 Magazine
Andy Shaughnessy recently spoke with Chris Hanson, global head of IMS Technology for Ventec International Group. During their conversation, Chris discusses his group’s recent efforts to create new IMS materials, with a focus on dielectrics. As Chris explains, Ventec has developed several new dielectrics that can withstand much higher operating temperatures, one of which is UL-rated for a maximum operating temp of 155°C, which may be the highest for an IMS dielectric.

Just Ask Happy: PCB Design For EE Undergrads?

07/02/2020 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
We asked for you to send in your questions for Happy Holden, and you took us up on it! The questions you've posed run the gamut, covering technology, the worldwide fab market, and everything in between. Enjoy.

PCB Builder from Digi-Key Lets Customers Order Directly From Board Shops

06/04/2020 | Andy Shaughnessy, Design007
On June 2, components distributor Digi-Key Electronics announced the release of PCB Builder, a tool that lets customers have PCBs shipped directly from the fabricator. PCB Builder also allows customers to perform file layer checks and receive instant quotes from multiple fabricators. Andy Shaughnessy spoke with Josh Mickolio, supplier business development manager for Digi-Key, about the development of PCB Builder and what this tool means to PCB designers and design engineers.



Copyright © 2020 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.