Three-quarters of microelectronics employers in Ireland would expand their workforce if the highly skilled engineers required were available, a new report suggests.
The report, conducted by the Microelectronics Industry Design Association (MIDAS) amongst its members, shows that 90pc of companies invested in research projects in new areas during the past year.
More than 75pc anticipate business growth in the next 12 months and more than two-thirds of employers reported salary increases.
“This is a positive sign for the microelectronics sector in Ireland,” says John Blake, chairman of MIDAS Ireland.
“We currently employ 8,000 in the sector and there’s certainly room to grow that figure. It is because this field is so successful that the skills demand is so strong today, and the increasing earnings of the vast majority of those who work in microelectronics companies reflects that narrative.”
The microelectronics sector is notable for its close connection to academia and commitment to R&D. Many firms expressed the view that business growth would be aided through a rethink of the tax system to give additional breaks for R&D.
Linda Doyle, associate professor at Trinity College Dublin and director at the Centre for Telecommunication Value-Chain Driven Research, with John Blake, chairman of MIDAS Ireland
“Many companies called for increased investment by Government in the education of undergraduate engineers, and I would echo that call, highlighting that the investment should be channelled into equipping students with the correct tools as required by microelectronics firms,” says Blake.
“The sector wants to work closely with the education providers to ensure the best fit between the graduates coming through and the skills needed by industry. Through enabling more people with the right skill set, Ireland can continue to lead the world in the sphere of microelectronics.”
Fixing a microcircuit image via Shutterstock