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Overcoming Malaysia's semiconductor skills shortage

AvantiKumar | Nov. 7, 2013
MIMOS, SFAM and TalentCorp launch a talent development programme to create more semiconductor professionals.

PRimary MITI modified 

Photo: A group being trained at MIMOS' world-class wafer lab under the SFAM Talent Development Programme 2013.


Malaysian agencies MIMOS and TalentCorp have joined forces with The Semiconductor Fabrication Association of Malaysia (SFAM) to launch a development programme to help address the shortage of skilled semiconductor engineers in the country.

SFAM chairman Dr Kamarulzaman Mohamed Zin, who is also chief executive officer of Silterra Malaysia, said there was an immediate need to increase the number of engineers, scientists and technologists to serve this highly competitive global industry sector as this is also in tune with "the aspiration of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) in moving up the value chain within the Electrical & Electronics industry."

This will, in turn encourage more foreign investment into the country and set Malaysia up as a cost-effective semiconductor hub with sufficient local resources, said Dr Kamarulzaman during the launch in Kuala Lumpur, which was also attended by YB Datuk Haji Ir. Hj Hamim Samuri, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry.

He added that SFAM's talent development objectives include bridging the gap between academia and the industry and creating more local semiconductor technopreneurs. "It is envisioned that an increased pool of higher-tiered skilled workforce in the country will move Malaysia up the value chain and encourages more local start-up companies in high-tech fields."


Secondary MITI modified 

Photo - MITI Deputy Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri signs a plaque signalling the launch of the talent development programme. Looking on (from left) are: MIMOS Chief Operating Officer En Abd Aziz Abd Kadir; MOSTI Deputy Secretary-General (Science) Prof Datin Paduka Dr Khatijah Mohamad Yusoff; SFAM Chairman Dr Kamarulzaman Mohamed Zin

Giving back to the community

National research and development agency MIMOS chief operating officer Abd Aziz Abd Kadir said MIMOS already has a state-of-the-art Wafer Fabrication plant and is committed to provide talent development, semiconductor shared facilities and services to the E&E industries in Malaysia. "We are giving back to the community by positioning Government assets to enhance the E&E eco-system by offering them for industry and academia use."

Abd Aziz said: "MIMOS's Wafer Fabrication plant has facilities for IC Design, Failure Analysis, Testing and Reliability Lab and Advanced Skills Lab. MIMOS will be providing training for a specially-designed programme for SFAM members called SFAM Graduates Upskilling Development (GUD). Not just limited to SFAM members, MIMOS's Advanced Skills Training Centre is also open to E&E based companies, universities and other training organisations."

"MIMOS's experience of more than 15 years in Wafer Fabrication, analysis, design and support equipment repair allowed it to offer on-the-job high-end training schemes based on industry's needs," he said. "To-date, MIMOS has trained 850 local engineers to become highly-qualified experts. In a nutshell, the economic return from having skilled talents is about RM1.3 billion [US$0.41 billion] to RM1.7 billion [US$0.53 billion] a year."

TalentCorp Malaysia chief executive officer Johan Mahmood Merican said SFAM's Talent Development Programme 2012 is being sponsored by TalentCorp Malaysia.

"A programme like this is a shining example of the public and private sectors working together to collectively address their talent requirements by empowering our young Malaysian talent with the right knowledge and skills to further boost their employability within the sector," said Johan.

SFAM, founded in 2012, is made up of players in the E&E industry, namely MIMOS, X-Fab, Silterra, ON Semiconductor, Osram, Fuji Electric and Infineon; with a main goal to strengthen the E&E eco-system in Malaysia.


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