Silicon Saxony: Largest Microelectronics Education Initiative Co-Funded by Erasmus+ Program
SEMI and 19 partners from 14 countries today launched an initiative to fill the skills gap and boost workforce diversity by tightening collaboration between the microelectronics industry and education providers. The project, dubbed METIS – Microelectronics Training, Industry and Skills – will focus on the skills and related training needed to support emerging verticals such as artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous driving and Industry 4.0.
A Sector Skills Alliance co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program, METIS is designed to overcome the skills shortage in the electronic components and systems value chain. Under METIS, SEMI and the partner organizations will establish a Microelectronics Observatory and Skills Council consisting of representatives from industry, academia, NGOs, think tanks and government. The consortium will develop a New Skills Strategy for the microelectronics industry in Europe with a focus on raising occupational profiles and skills critical to the future of the sector.
The project will boost online education and work-based learning in microelectronics design and manufacturing. METIS will also promote workforce diversity in the sector and target increased participation of under-represented groups in microelectronics education and employment. METIS, a four-year project, will receive 4 million EUR in public funding to be invested in microelectronics workforce development in Europe.
The talent shortage is one of the most severe issues challenging SEMI members today," said Laith Altimime, president of SEMI Europe. "We are excited to partner with leading businesses and universities from across Europe to help build the robust talent pipeline crucial to microelectronics innovation and growth."
"Digitalization is the key opportunity for the knowledge-oriented economy of our time, in particular for Europe, and semiconductor solutions are key drivers of digitalization," said Dr. Sabine Herlitschka, CEO of Infineon Technologies Austria AG, a METIS consortium member. "Therefore, microelectronics offers highly attractive job opportunities at the forefront of research and applications relevant to all of us. With this project, we need to convey this enthusiasm for technology to more young talent, in particular women. One effective way of doing so is by tightening the collaboration between the industry and education institutions. This is a strategic core of our new METIS project."
Sector Skills Alliances work to improve skills intelligence and provide a clear strategy in a target sector through a double-barreled approach of identifying existing or emerging sector-specific labour market needs and enhancing the responsiveness of education and training organizations to industry needs. Sector Skills Alliances are established to facilitate cross-border certification and therefore ease professional mobility and increase recognition of qualifications at European level within a sector.
The METIS consortium consists of SEMI, Infineon, Bosch, X-Fab, Graphenea, Summa, Arcelik, Silicon Saxony, Imec, Technical University of Graz, Dresden Chip Academy, University of South-Eastern Norway, Technical University of Sofia, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Innovation Learning Work, Fast Track into Information Technology, European Association of Career Guidance, European Association for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, CIMEA and Decision.
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Images: Silicon Saxony