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.”
By Paul Nelson