XMOS, the fast growing multicore microcontroller company from Bristol is backing the UKESF programme to help attract the best young talent to the electronics industry and reverse a 26% decline (since 2002) in British university applications for electronics degrees that threatens the £78-billion UK industry.
The company will also be sponsoring UKESF undergraduate scholarships and will actively participate in its Go4SET school-competition series, designed to increase awareness of the industry and spark enthusiasm for electronics and engineering in 12-14 year old students.
XMOS is the youngest firm to partner with the UKESF. The technology behind XMOS was originally developed at Bristol University and the company maintains strong links with the academic community.
XMOS cited the ability to identify and access the best graduate talent at an early stage, and the competitive edge this gives them, as being crucial in its decision to join the UKESF.
XMOS designs multicore microcontrollers that allow engineers to create their exact hardware system all in software. Its CEO, Nigel Toon said: “XMOS is at the forefront of innovative technology. We therefore recognise the need to create and maintain a large talent pool for our – and the industry’s – future growth and we value the fresh and innovative ideas that smart young graduates can bring to a business.
“The UKESF offers us a ready-made programme of activities to facilitate our engagement with school pupils and university students and we will be offering our first UKESF scholarships this year to attract more of them to join XMOS.
Indro Mukerjee, the UKESF chairman and CEO of Plastic Logic, said: “It’s fantastic to have a company like XMOS on board. It is a young company and a great example showing that the UK still provides an environment for new enterprises to flourish, sending out an inspirational message that a degree in engineering provides the knowledge and skills to grow and develop ideas into global businesses.”
The 2013 ESCO report calculated the UK’s electronic systems industry to be worth £78 billion to the economy, employing approximately 850,000 skilled workers, with ambitions to grow this to £120 billion and 1 million people by 2020.
However, the ESCO report also highlighted the then 47% drop in the number of UK students undertaking electronic engineering degree courses at British universities since 2002 as a significant threat to the industry.