SEMI Applauds Launch of EU Pact for Skills


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SEMI, the global industry association representing the electronics manufacturing and design supply chain, announced strong support for the Pact for Skills launched by European Commissioners Nicolas Schmit and Thierry Breton to help reskill and upskill Europe’s microelectronics industry talent in the coming years. Initiatives under the pact are expected to draw 2 billion euros in public and private investment to train more than 250,000 workers and students in Europe’s electronics sector.

Prior to the 10 November announcement of the Pact for Skills, SEMI participated in a high-level roundtable organized with representatives of Europe’s microelectronics ecosystem on 5 October 5. The roundtable established that the magnitude and complexity of the skills challenge facing the microelectronics industry requires Europe to make reskilling and upskilling its workforce a common priority. The pact will promote joint actions to mobilize investment in workforce development and calls on stakeholders to work together to tackle the skills challenge facing Europe’s microelectronics industry.

The Pact for Skills will be instrumental in upgrading teaching facilities, training equipment and digital education infrastructure in Europe and will support campaigns designed to position Europe’s electronics sector as a more attractive career destination. The Skills Partnership for Microelectronics presents the sector’s initial support of the Pact for Skills and aims to improve labour market intelligence and prepare Europe’s talent for the future of work. All stakeholders are eligible to sign the Pact for Skills Charter and join the initiative to benefit from reskilling and upskilling opportunities provided under the Pact. Signatories are strongly encouraged to translate their engagement into concrete upskilling and reskilling commitments. The Skills Partnership for Microelectronics will build on the experience of the METIS Erasmus+ Project, the blueprint for microelectronics cooperation on skills led by SEMI Europe together with 19 industry partners. 

Industry Executives Support Pact for Skills
Laith Altimime, president of SEMI Europe: “The Pact for Skills launch is a significant step forward for Europe that will help ensure the continent’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and bolster its digital and green transitions. The microelectronics industry provides the foundation for digital infrastructure, and while the industry’s strategic importance is recognized worldwide, a future talent shortage could limit industry growth. The pact places Europe on a path to the continued growth of this critical industry.”

Sabine Herlitschka, CEO: “Triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Europe is facing an enormous unemployment rate while at the same time a shortage of skilled workers of about one million people in electronic related sectors. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to focus on the upskilling and reskilling of our talent across national borders. Specifically, we have to address and motivate those groups whose skill potential has not yet been fully realized, most prominently women. The more diverse our teams are, the more successful we will be to solve current global challenges. I highly welcome the Pact for Skills initiative. It offers reskilling and upskilling opportunities for the future and is essential for enabling sustainable growth. Know-how and the ‘best brains’ are key success factors in the technological and economic competition in a tougher global environment. The right ‘skills power’ is the most important success factor for a strong and future-oriented Europe.”

Luc Van den hove, president and CEO: “The launch of the Pact for Skills in microelectronics by Commissioners Breton and Schmit represents a strong and timely signal for our microelectronics industry. It recognizes that addressing the skills challenge is a pressing common priority for Europe’s microelectronics R&D, design and manufacturing ecosystem. More than ever, electronic components and systems are essential in safeguarding our crucial infrastructure and in supporting Europe’s premier position in important sectors such as automotive electronics, health systems, communications, IoT, Edge AI, automation and power electronics.”

Frits van Hout, executive vice president and Chief Strategy Officer: “We need to provide purpose to the younger generation and get them engaged in education by having technology ambassadors from industry pass on their passion for technology and science to the next generation.”

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