Soitec, Grenoble Alpes University to Address Talent Shortage

Article By : Anne-Françoise Pelé

Soitec and Grenoble Alpes University have signed a partnership agreement to prepare students for a wide range of professions in the microelectronics sector.

The Covid-19 pandemic has —and will continue to— accelerate the digital transformation of the economy, and the global semiconductor industry will benefit from this structural trend. As industry growth collides with increased talent shortageSoitec and Grenoble Alpes University announced they have signed a three-year partnership agreement to prepare students for a wide range of professions in the microelectronics sector.


The partnership between Soitec and the Institut Universitaire de Technologie (IUT1) of Grenoble Alpes University will include the creation of training courses, the reception of work-study students, the support of students in their professional integration and the communication and promotion of recruitment actions.

“We are aware that the outlook for the semiconductor market, highlighted by the shortage resulting from the pandemic and the geopolitical context, will soon result in a shortage of talent,” commented Pascal Lobry, Soitec’s executive vice president People and Sustainability.

“Through this partnership, Soitec hopes to contribute to training and promotion of cleanroom professions, strengthen the work-study model to meet the challenges of employee development and promotion, and integrate new talent that is better prepared for our needs and specificities,” added Michaël Fièvre, senior director of Soitec’s Bernin site. “We are convinced that IUT1, through the quality of its educational offer and its commitment, will be able to fully participate in this ambition.”

Global and local

At this year’s Leti Innovation Days, Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI, indicated that closing the talent gap is “extremely critical for the success and the growth of our industry.”

The global semiconductor market now amounts about $500 billion, with the potential to reach $1 trillion in 2030, he said. Quoting Handel Jones, CEO of International Business Strategies (IBS), Manocha said the memory sector will increase by a factor of 3 from $133 billion in 2020 to $440 billion in 2030 and the non-memory sector will grow by a factor of 2.5, from $235 billion to $558 billion in 2030.

Nonetheless, capturing the semiconductor industry size of $1 trillion by 2030 will only be possible if the talent shortage is addressed on a global level.

“We can probably deal with all the factors that come in our way, and we can probably learn how to deal with natural disasters like a pandemic,” commented Manocha. “But the chip shortage and the growth of the industry will get further hampered if we don’t solve the talent problem.”

In an interview with EE Times Europe, Jean-Christophe Eloy, CEO, and Emilie Jolivet, Semiconductor, Memory and Computing division director at Yole Développement (Lyon, France), outlined the qualified talent pool in Europe, notably in semiconductor cleanroom environments, but also the stronger competition for skilled labor.

“There is a war for talent,” Eloy stressed.

In the Grenoble area, Jolivet said semiconductor companies have agreements that pertain to human resources.

This article was originally published on EE Times Europe.

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