Senior executives from the UK electronics industry attended a graduate skills event at the University of Surrey this week which aimed to ensure tomorrow’s electronic engineering graduates have the skills required to meet employers’ expectations.
Electronic engineering students were handpicked from the UK’s leading universities, as UKESF scholars, to meet and learn from industry bosses during a five-day course run by the UK Electronic Skills Foundation.
This year’s CBI Education and Skills survey highlighted a severe shortage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates and a lack in workplace experience and employability skills among graduates such as team working, customer awareness and communication. In electronics there has been a dramatic decline in students entering electronic engineering degrees (47% between 2002 and 2008).
Scholars on the course attended professional development sessions to complement academic learning and met with senior executives including ARM CEO Warren East, Imagination Technologies’ VP Marketing Tony King-Smith, and C-MAC MicroTechnology’s Executive Chairman Indro Mukerjee.
The UKESF is a collaborative initiative between public and private sector organisations, seeking to address the skills pipeline at grassroots level. It supports talented individuals through a combination of skills workshops, industry-sponsored bursaries, work experience placements and industrial mentoring, which run throughout the UKESF Scholar’s university life. The organisation also runs initiatives that seek to increase awareness of the range of careers in the electronics sector among school students and increase the number of UCAS entries.
The five-day intensive course was designed, and is being delivered in partnership with Semta’s National Skills Academy for Manufacturing, the IET and industry partners. Semta’s Academy supports the sector’s global competitiveness by developing top quality, fit-for-purpose solutions to critical training and development needs.