METIS reports on top skills needed by European microelectronics industry

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SEMI, the industry association, has published its final Yearly Monitoring Report by market research firm DECISION - Études & Conseil, marking the conclusion of the Microelectronics Training Industry and Skills (METIS) project.

The report, conducted under the METIS framework, is an update to earlier versions of the Skills and Occupational Profiles for Microelectronics report. Among this year’s key findings are that ‘data specialist’ became one of the top five critical jobs, joining software engineer, design engineer, process engineer, and maintenance technician.

Other key findings show that the highest priority soft skills required by the semiconductor industry are teamwork, communication and creativity. Critical skills across the various job profiles are primarily associated with digitisation.

“In addition to newer job profiles such as machine learning engineers, emerging skills are becoming crucial for existing roles emphasising the need for digital skills due to the rising importance of automation,” said Léo Saint-Martin, Senior Consultant and Associate at DECISION - Études & Conseil. “Companies are already collaborating and engaging more directly with universities and training authorities to better communicate their needs in the years to come and create a stronger talent strategy.”

The report considers the current skills gap in the microelectronics industry and provides a list of policy recommendations including:

  • Increase the involvement of the microelectronics industry in the education process.
  • Develop communications campaigns to improve the sector’s image.
  • Develop clusters and networks to encourage greater dialog between industry and education providers.

“The need of the hour is to favour intra- and extra-EU mobility and develop interdisciplinarity and joint degrees in microelectronics,” said Christopher Frieling, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at SEMI. “The establishment of the European Chips Skills Academy, a successor to the METIS project, will assist in supporting skills development in Europe by supporting summer schools and internships and expanding teaching opportunities across the continent for professors.”

The European Skills Academy and the European Chips Skills Alliance, both part of a long-term METIS action-plan led by SEMI Europe, are intended to help deepen collaboration in the microelectronics industry. The Alliance will consolidate skills-related activities, share best practices, and build a network across Europe to address the talent shortage, strengthen Europe´s competitiveness in the microelectronics sector, and connect relevant stakeholders with ongoing initiatives.

To meet growing demand for skills and competences in the fast-evolving microelectronics labour market, the European Chips Skills Academy project will be established as a partnership among vocational education and training providers, higher education and the microelectronics industry. The Academy will support the growth and innovation of the European microelectronics ecosystem.

Funded by the European Commission, METIS featured a consortium of 18 partners from 11 countries, led by SEMI Europe.

The consortium developed 88 courses focused on equipping existing and incoming chip industry workers with professional and occupational competences to help fill critical roles. The initiative ran from 2019 to 2023 as part of the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme for advancing education, training, youth and sport.