UKESF skills campaign will protect £120m electronics industry

Action on skills needs to be taken before Brexit comes into effect, says UKESF

A group of students from a wide range of backgrounds taking up digital skills

The UK Electronics Skills Foundation (UKESF) has launched a scheme designed to encourage young people to pursue a career in electronics.

The UKESF explained that the country's electronics industry is worth an estimated 120 million a year - or 6% of our GDP, but the future looks pretty bleak if new talent doesn't enter the sector.

"The UK has a long heritage of technological innovation and a world-class Electronics industry. Adding to that, our Government's new industrial strategy emphasises the importance of AI, robotics and transportation in further boosting productivity and earning power throughout the UK," Stewart Edmondson, CEO of the UKESF, said.

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"The aim of our campaign is to ensure that this hugely important industry isn't consumed by a black hole caused by a lack of talent. We urge supporters to read our manifesto and pledge to help the campaign in any way they can!"

According to the University and Colleges Admissions Service's figures, only 3,300 students enrolled in Electronics and Electrical Engineering degrees in 2017, which is not enough to keep the sectors contributing as much as they are to the economy today. In fact, the UKESF is predicting that the situation will get worse following Brexit, making it extremely important action is taken before the UK leaves the EU.

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The #TurnOnToElectronics initiative is aimed at encouraging young people to consider a degree in electronics and preparing them to seek jobs in the sector. Backed by a number of electronics experts and fronted by Gadget Show presenter Georgie Barrat, the UKESF's campaign will call on employers, universities and other stakeholders working in the electronics industry to work closely with schools to attract more young people to electronics.

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"Electronics matters to me both personally and professionally as part of my key ambition to ignite interest and excitement amongst students and their teachers at schools across the UK," Professor Bashir Al-Hashimi CBE, Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, University of Southampton, said.

"The #TurnOnToElectronics campaign provides a dynamic, inclusive and original approach to increase awareness amongst 11-16 year-olds. I am proud to support it and to promote the potential of the UK electronics sector to a new generation."

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