In order to draw up a strategic and coordinated proposal for training in microelectronics and semiconductors that can meet the objectives of the PERTE Chip from AMETIC, a report has been drawn up to establish a stable framework for cooperation between industry and academia in its implementation, ensuring the highest levels of employability of trained staff.
This document has been prepared in the context of the INDUSTRIA – ACADEMIA working group on training needs in the PERTE for microelectronics and semiconductors (PERTE Chip) made up of experts from AMETIC, its companies, some Spanish universities and research centres and vocational training centres related to microelectronics acting in their personal capacity.
The aim is to build up human capital and acquire the necessary knowledge to underpin the growing domestic demand of the semiconductor industry, in line with the interests of the PERTE and with a view to long-term permanence.
The Working Party is aware that the deployment of the training proposal requires time for the design, approval and implementation of training programmes leading to the generation of trained staff according to the level of training addressed. Therefore, a two-step time horizon is considered in this proposal: a first phase (2023-2027) in the period of implementation of the PERTE Chip and its possible time extension and a second stage (2027-2034) of consolidation.
This training strategy has been developed in a collaborative way with the participation of a representative of the business sector associated with AMETIC, in order to ensure that the offer meets the real needs of the ecosystem and is not exclusively influenced by the visions of the education system, nor by the wishes of the companies without taking into account the situation and constraints of the infrastructure and human resources available in the education system.
The conclusions reached in the report drawn up by AMEIC are as follows:
- The existence of a long-term realistic training plan on microelectronics at different levels of education is a necessary condition for meeting the objectives of PERTE Chip.
- The implementation of the training plan presented must be regularly adapted in terms of both the training content and the number of staff trained to reflect developments in the PERTE and microelectronics sectors in Spain.
- The involvement of the business sector in the training process is a key element of success in ensuring that training content is adapted to changing needs.
- The training needs and estimates of the volume of staff required have been derived from surveys carried out by AMETIC compared with the participants in the working group.
- The estimated training needs show an annual average of more than 600-700 people depending on the evolution of the national and international context, implying a very significant increase in the current skills of the education system.
- Training processes should adopt an overview that empowers the student in a set of broad thematic areas to ensure their future employability complemented by specific bilateral agreements between companies and training institutions.
- Two main areas of training have been considered: semiconductor technology and microelectronic design (both analogue, sensor and digital, with a focus on RISC V in the digital area), and photonic design.
- The training programme must be implemented progressively, given that the formal training offer described above requires long formal approval periods.
- It is necessary to make training in microelectronics more attractive and to avoid a bottleneck in the development of the sector that invalidates the effort around the PERTE and the achievement of its objectives.
- University education should focus on both master and specialist degrees, as well as postgraduate courses based on microcredit, and online courses on open platforms to respond flexibly to business needs.
- In the field of vocational training, it is necessary to create the offer of a higher degree in dual microelectronics with high entrepreneurial involvement, as well as a year of specialisation to students who already have a higher degree in VET.
- The implementation of the measures envisaged will require the implementation of a set of accompanying measures to increase knowledge of the offer and its possibilities, to promote interest among students, to train the necessary teachers and to promote their mobility.
- The availability of additional human resources for both teachers, laboratory technicians and doctoral students is an essential condition for success.
- There is a need to promote entrepreneurial sponsorship programmes for students to develop more industrially and market-oriented research and work streams.
- Increasing the attractiveness of this training should be supported by the creation of a specific tuition and TFM scholarship programme for a significant proportion of students.
- Relations and partnerships with foreign institutions and institutions should be strengthened, and international consultants and experts should be included in both universities and businesses.
- It is necessary to retain national talent and attract foreign talent with a competitive differential, and to reintegrate Spanish talent today in other countries.
- Sufficient financial resources are required for the procurement of hardware and software systems, as well as the availability of access to facilities available in both the public and private sectors for practical training.
- The financing of the training plan also requires co-financing from the companies themselves, to a greater extent in the human resources items, in order to increase the initial resources of the PERTE Chip for training and to cover all the objectives.
- It is also necessary to promote co-financing by the Autonomous Communities through complementary programmes led by the AGE, seeking flexible mechanisms to facilitate co-financing at various administrative levels.
- The economic evaluation of the training plan involves an estimated cost for the PERTE Chip of EUR 102 371 200 and a total including co-financing from the Autonomous Communities and the business sector of more than EUR 134 million until 2027.
The document can be accessed via the following link.