TESA: Thailand needs to expand skilled IC workforce
Growing a pool of skilled electronics workforce is the first order of business for Thailand's IT policymakers in promoting the development of IC design into higher quality manufacturing, as reported in the Bangkok Post.
Strong IC design skills will fuel the growth of the electronics industry, yielding roughly 20 per cent higher margins for operators opposite the 5 per cent from labour-intensive manufacturing, Apinetr Unakul, president of the Thai Embedded Systems Association (TESA), told the Bangkok Post.
While the country has a sizeable automotive industry involving assembly plants operated by multinational carmakers, Apinetre said that the country should go for the more sophisticated automotive firmware market. This figures in the car electronic parts supply chain where electronic parts are gradually replacing mechanical ones.
It is said that Thailand's electronics industry is valued at $61.51 billion, getting contributions from less than 10 IC design firms.
For its part, TESA created a three-year programme to train a hundred IC design engineers—who can be possibly employed as interns at some design firms—and build laboratories for its partner educational institutions.
TESA expects to send qualified students in the neighbouring countries where demand is high, as well as increase the number of IC design firms in the country to 20. However, Thailand will require more than that if it wanted to compete with Vietnam—which according to the same Bangkok Post report is about 1,000 skilled engineering students a year with cooperation from 50 IC design firms.
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