Microelectronics is an essential component of virtually all aspects of our daily lives. With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), we are entering an era of connected intelligence that will make new demands on microelectronics technology due to its capabilities used to sensor, process, and store data for AI uptake.
That is why advanced skills of designing and manufacturing microelectronics components and systems are becoming of strategic importance to Europe. The microelectronics sector in Europe is responsible for directly 200,000 and indirectly 1,000,000 high-skilled jobs and the demand for new skills is unceasing. Without an up-to-date microelectronics skills-base, Europe will not be able to take a leading position in the digital economy and face critical challenges.
Specific challenges METIS intends to address:
- VET provision and occupational profiles in EU microelectronics are generally not aligned with emerging technologies such as AI.
- While large firms are better positioned in advanced microelectronics, SMEs find it difficult to attract the workforce with the right skills to develop next generation solutions for the digital era.
- In microelectronics, cross-border cooperation between education & training providers and industry is weak. Education providers are not always aware of new skills needs, resulting in outdated curriculum and rigid transition to the world of work.
- The sector’s innovation pace is so fast that limits education providers to catch up, making industry–education cooperation essential.
- Microelectronics is an extremely global sector, requiring a strong global understanding and the detailed analysis of its impact on skills needs.
- The sector’s talent pipeline is not diverse and inclusive enough, women participation going down from 40% to 10% along the occupational hierarchy.
- The workforce average age is 45-50+ in many segments, causing problems of trans-generational knowledge flow.
- The image of the sector: learners and future workforce do not connect microelectronics (hardware) with data technologies (AI & software) and with its contribution to societal and environmental issues
- With the exception of a few countries in the EU, work-based learning is not integrated into overall education-industry partnership.