By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, May 16: The Ministry of Education, Innovation, and Talent Development (MEITD) will kick off the ‘Sarawak Digital Economy Transformation: Talent Development in Semiconductors and Chip Design’ programme, which aims to produce 500 semiconductor professionals by 2027 with guaranteed job placements in Sarawak.
According to MEITD deputy minister Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, the programme is also part of the strategic framework of Sarawak Microelectronics Design (SMD) Semiconductor Sdn Bhd, and the ministry launched it to prepare young Sarawakian graduates for careers in the high-value, highly skilled semiconductor industry.
“The Talent Development in Semiconductors and Chip Design programme is a partnership between Sarawak institutions and international semiconductor industry players that aims to produce industry-ready talent and complement Sarawak’s goal of increasing labour productivity growth, innovation capacity and higher-skilled jobs.
“This move will provide high-value employment opportunities for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) graduates in Sarawak, as well as point them in the right direction for a career in semiconductors and chip design.
“With this strategy, we can materialise the Sarawak Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 and Sarawak’s aspiration towards greater economic prosperity by preparing Sarawak with innovative next-generation Integrated Circuit (IC) designers, highly skilled wafer fabrication, and passionate IC test engineers,” Harden said during a press conference on the Talent Development in Semiconductors and Chip Design programme held today in a hotel here.
He also stated that SMD Semiconductor is Sarawak’s own innovative chip design and technology solution provider and a subsidiary of the Sarawak Research Development Council (SRDC), which falls under the purview of MEITD.
“Semiconductors, classified as a manufacturing sector, are one of six economic sectors identified in the State Talent Development Master Plan as contributing to PCDS 2030.
“MEITD embarks on a semiconductors and chip design talent development initiative to meet the PCDS 2030 target of 30 per cent skilled workforce and adequate local talent,” he noted.
Furthermore, Harden emphasised that the framework includes upskilling and reskilling programmes for graduates that cover high-value, highly skilled training programmes through industry-proven training modules.
“Academic and university programmes in Master and PhD in Microelectronics/Semiconductors, exchange visitor programmes, and research and fabrication of new ICs/Systems are also part of the framework.
“The programme will be implemented by Sarawak’s training institutions, CENTEXS, Sarawak Skills, Swinburne, and UTC, with support from SDEC, SRDC, and Yayasan Sarawak. SMDS’s partners will issue the certification,” he added.
In addition, he stated that the manufacturing sector industry is growing globally, and chip demand will continue to rise in the coming years.
“Sarawak can contribute to this demand. For this reason, we will need to train and upskill trainers and graduates to meet technical needs and requirements,” he explained. — DayakDaily