The National Microelectronics Institute has applied for £1m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to support a new MSc course in semiconductor manufacture processing.
The course would be run in conjunction with about eight universities drawn from the UK’s main semiconductor producing areas in Scotland, Wales and the North-east of England.
The one-year course comprises specialist modules to be delivered by the most appropriate university, with input from local manufacturers.
The MSc is part of the NMI’s drive to increase the supply of skilled staff and improve partnership between industry and the academic world. Founded in 1996, the NMI’s mission is to bring more and higher value microelectronics jobs to the UK.
The country’s wafer fabrication plants now employ about 15,000 people, and the NMI expects that by 2000 up to 4,000 more operators and technicians and 1,000 graduate engineers will be required. The number of skilled technicians is expected to double.
In a separate move, the NMI has applied for EU funding for a remote learning course in semiconductor manufacture processing.
The PC-based course will enable technicians to upgrade production line skills without taking costly outside training.
It will be piloted at Motorola’s East Kilbride semiconductor plant this year.