Finance sector short circuits recruitment for electronics

Growth
of the electronics industry in the UK is being threatened by the financial
sector’s more successful recruitment programmes, claims a newly releas-ed
government-backed report.

The
report, by KPMG and the Federation of the Electronics Industry, discovered that
nearly all of those surveyed (98 per cent) agreed that skills shortages are the
most pressing issue for the industry.

It
also claims that the electronics industry is unable to compete with the “golden
hellos” of up to £10,000 being offered to graduates by employers in the
financial services sector.

Bill
Parsons, executive vice- president of human resources of ARM Holdings, agrees
with the report’s findings. He said, “The skills shortage in this country is a
major issue – there are just not enough suitable graduates coming out of
university. Like all UK-based electronics companies we are predominately
recruiting from abroad including America and the Far East.”

He
continued, “The report is [also] correct that closer links with the Government
and education is essential. Electronic companies need to follow our lead
linking up with the top universities.

ARM
sponsors students and research at Cambridge and Liverpool universities, and
runs a four-year degree course in electronic and software engineering at
Loughborough University.

Over
90 per cent of those surveyed claimed that working with the education sector to
alter the perception of the industry would help to improve public awareness and
attract employees.

Crispin
O’Brien, head of electronics at KPMG, said, “The electronics industry has to
develop stronger links with the Government and education to raise the profile
of the industry and change perceptions. This is essential if companies are to
attract and retain high-calibre school-leavers and graduates to the industry.”

www.kpmg.com

By
Paul Nelson

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