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WAQ78138 (e) Tabled on 10/04/2019

What is the Welsh Government doing to help young people obtain the skills required by semiconductor and high technology companies in Wales?

Answered by Minister for Economy and Transport Answered on 15/04/2019

Raising skills levels to meet employer need and the demands of existing and future markets helps to drive productivity, prosperity and more resilient communities. It is essential that people are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to ensure that they can exploit the opportunities an evolving labour market presents.

 

The Compound Semiconductor sector has been recognised as strategically important for Wales and will feature as a key priority of the South East Wales Regional Employment and Skills Plan. This will ensure that the skills needs of the Semiconductor and high technology companies are fed into Welsh Government via the Regional Skills Partnership as well as being a key priority for the Cardiff City Deal.

 

In 2018, the Welsh Government introduced funding to support apprenticeships up to and including degree level, covering Cyber Security, Software Engineering and Data Science. Degree level apprenticeships in Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing will be available in October 2019.

 

The Compound Semiconductor industry has been supported by Innovation and Engagement funding in order to enhance greater collaboration between the Further and Higher Education sectors and industry. Key outputs relate to industrial engagement, mapping of provision, and placements of staff into industry and education which will help support the skills requirements of the sector. Six staff from Further Education institutions in South East Wales recently completed an introductory day with Newport Wafer Fab to experience the job roles, working conditions and demands of the sector directly.

 

The Institute for Compound Semiconductors will enable researchers and industry to work together to meet consumer demand by progressing academic research to a point where it can be introduced reliably and quickly into the production environment. The Institute will focus on formal and informal specialist training, including new equipment demonstration and housing, outreach, brainstorming and networking events.

 

Finally, the Cardiff University-led Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing will provide outstanding PhD-level training aligned with the needs of industry, further enabling our young people to obtain the skills required by Semiconductor and high technology companies in Wales.

 

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