Electronics Production | December 07, 2006
Alarming report about supply of UK engineers
New research of UK engineering academics and students paints an alarming picture of a skills crisis brewing in the UK engineering industry.
A survey of 100 engineering heads of department and 250 undergraduate engineering students highlights the very real dangers facing the once mighty British engineering industry, including the challenge of enticing teenagers to study engineering then, crucially, retaining graduates within an engineering career. The research was conducted in November 2006 by Loudhouse on behalf of C-MAC MicroTechnology, a leading British provider of high-reliability electronic systems, modules and components, which is committed to reversing the UK's declining young engineering population. These findings back up fears that the UK's engineering industry could be in terminal decline unless urgent action is taken to attract and recruit more students, as well as to encourage more engineering jobs in the country. Unless steps are taken, there will be a negative impact on the UK economy, according to 86% of the academics questioned. Key findings are highlighted below. * 45% of universities report a drop in course applications over the past three years - schools a root cause The majority of academics (76%) believe that this trend is due to the demanding academic nature, which is not unusual for many science courses, but a huge 58% also find blame with schools for not promoting engineering as a career option. 75% of academics admit that engineering also suffers from a serious image problem. It is perhaps a reflection of universities desperation to attract students that 63% of respondents stated that course entry requirements have decreased over the past three years: unsurprisingly, 45% of academics believe that the calibre of students has decreased. With a quarter of respondents stating that engineering courses at their university have had to be closed in the past three years, the effect of declining applications is apparent. * Two out of five engineering students have no intention of becoming engineers when they graduate 94% of lecturers believe that no more than half of engineering students will go into careers in engineering. Moreover, despite the fact that 90% of students consider engineering to be their first choice of degree, only 60% of them actually want to become an engineer. By their final year this has reduced further, with only 53% of students committed to an engineering career. When asked what would encourage more people to opt to study engineering in the first place, the top four suggestions from students were: higher employment rates after graduating (57%); industry sponsorships (49%); better promotion of engineering careers in school (47%); and less theoretical and more practical course content (47%). * Lecturers blind to real reasons for student drop-outs There exists a worrying disconnect between lecturers and students about the reasons for dropping out, with an overwhelming 86% of lecturers attributing it to financial hardship. This is in stark contrast to students own thoughts, with the top four reasons being demanding course content (66%); heavy mathematical content (62%); course is boring (46%) and students have been 'put off' since beginning the course (44%). Only 32% attribute it to financial difficulties. This finding comes despite departments altering course content over the past three years, with measures introduced such as the inclusion of more business content (73%); inclusion of more design/media content (61%); and offering inter-disciplinary courses e.g. engineering with languages (30%). It is encouraging that 73% report that they have forged stronger relationships with industry, for example via placements, but the perception or visibility of this among students is clearly low: 49% believe that industry placements will encourage more people to study engineering, so more efforts to raise awareness of this at a grass roots level is urgent. Indro Mukerjee, CEO of C-MAC MicroTechnology, commented: “As the head of a company with a long and proud British engineering and manufacturing heritage, I am extremely concerned about the future of British engineering if the apparent decline of engineering studies is not combated. There are two main challenges; attracting engineering students in the first instance, then retaining them within an engineering career. Industry, academia and schools urgently need to do far more to encourage our young talent and C-MAC, for example, is about to embark on our own education programme, visiting local schools to talk about engineering careers and hosting open days at our Great Yarmouth manufacturing base. “While the academic rigours of engineering will not, and should not change, we must find a way to inspire the next generation of British engineers to choose relevant degrees and nurture them as students to ensure they go on to realise a fulfilling and rewarding engineering career."
NCAB appoints Peter Kruk as new CEO Following the announcement late last year that Hans Ståhl planned to retire in 2020, the board of NCAB Group has now found his successor. Peter Kruk will be taking over as the new CEO of the PCB supplier.
Comtech Telecomm Corp. issues business update New York-based Comtech Telecommunications Corp. has issued a statement on the withdrawal of its business outlook for its fiscal year ending July 31, 2020, as well as an update on its proposed purchase of the Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd.
Xerox provides HP acquisition update Xerox has issued a statement regarding its earlier proposal to buy HP Inc.
As Samsung Display exits the LCD market a major reshuffle is expected According to the latest investigations by the WitsView research division of TrendForce, the oversupply of TV panels in 2019 resulted in a major price drop. As such, panel manufacturers hoped to utilise their excess capacity in 2020 through increasing their production of monitor panels, with Samsung Display (SDC) having the most extensive plans.
Swedish PCB manufacturer updates machine park PCB manufacturer MMAB’s factory in the south of Sweden recently got a new drilling area with updated machines.
Ventec races to build up regional inventories to fight COVID-19 The electronics industry is playing a major role in supporting increased requirements for critical medical devices during the current COVID-19 pandemic. And with that an increase in demand of the building blocks is to be expected.
Elmatica sees a spike in demand - responds with growth in staff Growing demand, new customers and an increase in business within knowledge intensive industries, has reinforced the need for another Country Manager in Poland, a new Technical Manager and an additional resource in the Customer Service Department.
Co-operation negotiations completed at Etteplan Etteplan initiated co-operation negotiations on March 18th 2020 due to temporary changes in customer demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the negotiations have come to a complete.
Indian electronics company support the fight against COVID-19 Indian engineering and technology solutions company, Cyient, says it’s received clearance for its Mysore facility to run its MedTech manufacturing lines to support the production of medical equipment critical in the fight against COVID-19
Tesvolt kickstarts production at new German factory Semi-automated production began today in Europe’s first gigafactory for commercial battery storage systems, located in Wittenberg, Germany.
Global semiconductor materials market revenues slip 1.1% in 2019 Global semiconductor materials market revenues edged down 1.1% in 2019, SEMI reported in its Materials Market Data Subscription (MMDS).
Cirexx Int’l posts COVID-19 update Santa Clara, California-headquartered Cirexx International has released a statement penned by President and CEO Philipp Menges concerning status of operations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Abbott gets OK for fast, portable COVID-19 test Abbott has been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a rapid molecular point-of-care test for the detection of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
COVID-19 limits viability for AT&S Considering current events and the effects that the global pandemic is having on logistics and production chains worldwide, AT&S is preparing itself for a decline in demand in some of its customer segments.
Neways provides update on COVID-19 impact The EMS provider says it has taken various measures to limit the risks to the health of its employees, as well as its clients and suppliers. In addition, the company has taken measures to safeguard business continuity.
Samsung Display plans to stop all LCD production in 2020 The South Korean company has reached the decision to end all of its production of LCD panels in its home country and in China by the end of 2020.
Orbit One updates machine park with new selective soldering machine Swedish EMS provider, Orbit One, has invested in a new ERSA selective soldering machine for the production unit in Ronneby, Sweden.
ZOLL pivots to focus on volume for ventilator production Massachusetts-based ZOLL Medical Corporation has shot capacity up to 10,000 ventilators per month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, representing a nearly 25-fold increase from normal volume production.
Computrol ramps output for ventilator production As the coronavirus pandemic continues its spread through the U.S., Idaho-based Computrol is joining a growing list of electronics manufacturers who are adjusting operations to support companies producing critical healthcare products.
ABB adding jobs, new distribution center in Arizona ABB has announced the creation of a new distribution center in Phoenix, in a move that will bring the company closer to Western U.S. distributors, contractors, industrial customers, and retailers.
8% growth in 2019 drives tenth consecutive year of EDA growth The Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance Market Statistics Service (MSS) says that the Electronic Design Automation (EDA) industry revenue increased 2.2% for Q4 2019 to USD 2626.3 million, compared to USD 2570.1 million in Q4 2018.
Polestar 2 production begins in Luqiao, China Production of Polestar 2 has officially begun in Luqiao, China. The new electric performance fastback is the first electric vehicle to be produced by the facility.
Kimball Electronics updates on the impact of COVID-19 COVID-19 has disrupted the company’s global operations since its initial outbreak. While Kimball Electronics' facilities in China were initially adversely impacted, they have now resumed normal operations.
First Solar says that it's still operational First Solar says that its manufacturing operations will continue at each of the company’s Wood County, Ohio, Kulim, Malaysia and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam facilities at this timeLoad more news