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SEMI Taiwan Talent and Public Policy Initiatives One Key to Industry Growth

Over the next five years the Taiwan government plans to invest NT$1.546 billion to build the workforce direly needed for future semiconductor industry research and development. The largesse is a tribute to efforts by SEMI president and CEO Ajit Manocha to enhance the competitiveness of the semiconductor industry by stressing the importance of talent development during his annual visits with the Taiwan president. He has been instrumental in bringing together Taiwan government agencies and local industry representatives – two players in developing the talent pool of the future – to discuss workforce initiatives.

As the talent gaps threatens to choke the long-term growth potential of the chip industry, Manocha has emerged as a passionate champion of workforce development. In a letter to more than 2,000 semiconductor companies worldwide, he urged to executives act together to build the workforce vital to industry growth. In 2018, he met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to discuss ideas for attracting and retaining skilled workers to help ensure Taiwan remains a top investment destination for high-tech multinationals.

Workforce Ajit 2In early 2019, SEMI Taiwan established its SEMI Taiwan Workforce Development Council to promote talent and career development. Already, the group’s work is resonating in the global semiconductor industry. In September last year, Manocha joined executives from industry heavyweights ASE, MediaTek and TSMC in a visit to President Tsai to urge the government to pursue industry sustainability through talent development.

President Tsai responded by instructing her staff to review government resources available for talent development, help drive public-private dialogue and partnerships, and form talent development projects involving the government, industry, academia and research institutes.

To carry out comprehensive workforce initiatives, SEMI Taiwan continues to work with the National Security Council and the Executive Yuan (the cabinet). We also launched the Semiconductor Industry Development Council in partnership with leading high-tech companies in Taiwan including ASE, TSMC, MediaTek, PSMC, VIS, MXIC, Nanya, Etron and UMC. Focused on developing semiconductor talent and technology, localizing equipment sourcing, and improving cybersecurity, the council has formed the following seven initiatives:

  1. Make existing government talent development programs more flexible to better meet the industry’s workforce needs.
  2. Recruit outstanding scholars and leading experts in scientific research, and solicit world-class scientific research teams.
  3. Extend age restrictions and other requirements for the Einstein Program (established by the Taiwan MOST, Ministry of Science and Technology) to attract outstanding foreign scholars to Taiwan.
    Workforce STEM
  4. Establish a domestic semiconductor research ecosystem and provide sufficient research funding to cultivate R&D talent.
  5. Strengthen female education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and encourage women to re-join the workforce to help meet the industry’s workforce needs.
  6. Continue to promote MOST University-Industry Collaboration Projects (Large Alliance) to connect the upstream academic and research sector with downstream industries.
  7. Encourage cooperation between science and technology universities and the chip industry to develop the talent necessary for smart manufacturing to thrive.

SEMI’s advocacy efforts with the Taiwan government, the industry and academia are clearly paying off. The Executive Yuan recently announced three major talent development strategies – expanding the talent development capabilities of higher education institutions, promoting industrial-academic cooperation and encouraging businesses to strengthen recruiting efforts and increase funding for semiconductor talent development.

Workforce PQThe building momentum includes plans by the Taiwan Ministry of Education plans to establish semiconductor technology research centers at several national universities. By passing the sandbox law and loosening regulations organizational personnel, finance and education, the government is freeing up more funding to support semiconductor industry talent development. The ministry also plans to gradually expand the number of students enrolled in STEM curriculum and continues to promote talent training programs and recruiting strategies to help close the workforce gaps and reduce related industry risks.

A highly skilled workforce is indispensable to the development of the semiconductor industry and among the most strategic resources in any region. It’s only through long-term partnerships between the government, industry and academia that impactful and sustainable workforce development goals and initiatives can be developed to help the chip industry realize its full potential to innovate and solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

The programs are key to the ability of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry to sharpen its competitive edge. More importantly, they are also the center of gravity in the region’s pursuit of its position as the global semiconductor hub.

Jo-Ann Su is senior director and Winnie Chang is marketing and public relations specialist at SEMI Taiwan.

Topics: Workforce Development , R&D , Taiwan , research and development , STEM , TSMC , Industry Advocacy , Public Policy , MOST , ASE , UMC , semiconductor industry , VIS , microelectronics industry , talent , semiconductors , Nanya Technology , cybersecurity , Ajit Manocha , MediaTek , sustainability and power , SEMI Taiwan Workforce Development Council , MXIC , Etron , Taiwan National Security Council , Taiwan Executive Yuan , Ministry of Science and Technology , Taiwan government , Taiwan president , Tsai Ing-wen , equipment sourcing , universities , Taiwan Ministry of Education

 

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