Employment and GDP contribution in electronic systems sector boom in last two years

It’s 10 years since the Electronics Innovation and Growth Team published its report on the future of the UK’s electronics sector, concluding the industry was fragmented, lacking in confidence and essentially invisible.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and the world is a much different place. We have seen the establishment of the Electronics Leadership Council and its demise, the establishment of the UK Electronics Alliance and, more recently, its replacement by the Electronics Systems Community, or ESCO.

ESCO was launched with a flourish two years ago, with a report – ‘A Blueprint for Economic Growth’ – based on extensive research into a number of areas. The report pointed out the value of electronics to the UK’s economy; not just in numbers, but also in terms of its pervasiveness.

To read more, click here here

To see Ian Phillip’s video presentation of the latest ESCO analysis, click here

To see the full analysis, go to ESCO Economic Calculations 14 vs 12 6 july 2015

ESCO says employment and GDP contribution is rising faster than expected

ESCO is making good progress with its seven year plan to boost the contribution of the electronics industry to the UK’s GDP.

According to figures produced by the organisation, the number of people employed within the electronic systems sector has exceeded 1million – 3.28% of the working population – while the contribution to GDP has risen to almost £100billion. In its clarion call report, published in 2013, ESCO targeted 1m people being employed in the sector and a GDP contribution of £120bn by 2020.

To read more, click here

To see Ian Phillip’s video presentation of the latest ESCO analysis, click here

To see the full analysis, go to ESCO Economic Calculations 14 vs 12 6 july 2015

UKESF announces the appointment of its first CEO

Stewart Edmondson has joined the UK Electronic Skills Foundation (UKESF) as its first CEO yesterday, Monday 22nd June.

Stewart replaces Wendy Daniell who is now retiring and who has been an important driving force in developing UKESF from inception to the successful, well-regarded programme it has become.

As the new CEO, Stewart’s role will be in expanding the scope and scale of UKESF to play a transformational role in the UK electronic systems industry’s skills landscape.

Stewart joins the UKESF with a well-grounded appreciation of engineering skills gained from an excellent technical background and senior management experience. He served 24 years as an Engineering Officer in the Royal Air Force, specialising in operational communications-electronics systems prior to assuming senior positions responsible for ICT policy and training, maintenance regulations and information management. Subsequently, he has worked at QinetiQ before undertaking executive roles in HR Services at Xchanging and then BAE Systems with a focus on early careers programmes.

For more informstion about the UKESF, please click here

A call to the Electronics Systems Community to help develop an R&D agenda for the UK

ESCO is conducting a survey to inform future Research and Technology priorities and is calling on industry to provide feedback before 30th June 2015.

Electronic Systems underpin technology progress in all key markets and capabilities, including Transport, Energy, Health and the Internet of Things. It is a vibrant industry in the UK, employing more than 800,000 people and contributing more than 5% to GDP.

For the first time the community is seeking to develop a complete and comprehensive picture of R&D capability and technology trends which will be used to influence investment and joint working to further support and grow the industry.

Dr. Alison Burdett, Chair of The ESCO Technology Group (TG) and CTO at Toumaz Group, said: “gaining insight into the research and technology needs of the UK Electronic Systems community gives us an opportunity to help drive economic growth. This survey is a practical way to help us do this. We encourage all parts of the industry, from component suppliers to end product manufacturers, to participate in the survey and help set the course.”

Warren East CBE, Chair of ESCO and CEO (Designate) of Rolls Royce Holdings, said: “The launch of this survey is highly significant in the development of the electronic systems capability in the UK and I would encourage all interested parties to participate”.

To compete this short survey, please click here

Attracting High Quality Talent to our Industry – UKESF Update

The enormous potential of our electronic systems industry is clear for all to see. But without a constant stream of skilled workers not only will it fail to reach this potential, but the industry’s current worth and workforce will be in serious jeopardy.

The indications are that demand is growing.  In the NMI 2015 Employment Survey, respondents revealed an increasing demand for engineering talent at all levels. Compared to the 57% of participants who had recruited graduates in the last 12 months, 71% of participants are looking to recruit graduates in the next 12 months.

In addition to securing under-graduate work-placements for promising students, UKESF facilitates employer engagement with schools.  The ‘Our Electronics Environment’ project piloted in 2013 is now an annual event in both Bristol and eastern England, and will be launching in Scotland in 2015.

UKESF’s employer-sponsored summer school at the University of Southampton attracted 80 A-level and Scottish Higher students from 77 schools across the UK – twice as many as the inaugural course in 2011.

Charting the progress of UKESF’s Scholarship Scheme, employers from the electronics industry have so far awarded a total of 174 UKESF scholarships, backed by over £1 million investment. The current academic year sees 25 companies involved, offering a total of 65 scholarships.

Only by acting together now and supporting sector-specific initiatives like UKESF can we ensure that we have the necessary pool of exceptional talent to drive our industry in the future.

Yes, the future for electronic systems looks bright, but only if we have enough bright sparks!

Contact derek.boyd@nmi.org.uk for further information.

IET research study – please have your say on Electrical and Electronic skills in the UK

The IET are conducting a research project that will evaluate the employer perspective on the supply and demand for electrical and electronic engineers in the UK, now and in the future.

This is an important piece of work that will enable the IET to capture views from across industry. The IET would like to hear the views of all employers of electronic or electrical engineers or those responsible for recruiting electrical or electronic engineers.

If you are able to help, please register your willingness to participate here

Please note the deadline for registration is Sunday 10th May.


ESCO welcomes funding for the Internet of Things

ESCO is delighted to welcome the Government’s decision, announced in the Budget, to allocate £40m to catalyse the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), described by the Chancellor as the “next stage of the information revolution”, through demonstrator programmes, business incubator space and a research hub.

This is an important demonstration of the Government’s commitment to IoT, as outlined in the Prime Ministers’ Speech at CeBIT in Hanover in March 2014, when he said ‘’I see the Internet of Things as a huge transformative development, a way of boosting productivity, of keeping us healthier, making transport more efficient, reducing energy needs, tackling climate change. We are on the brink of a new industrial revolution’’.

Warren East, Chairman of the ESCO Council said last week following the Budget announcement ‘’ESCO members have played a role in helping to shape the bid. It is a significant first step on the road to making the UK a world leader in this area. We expect that a wide range of companies and other stakeholders interested in IoT will benefit.’’

As ESCO represents many of the disparate parts of industry involved in the delivery of IoT including the physical infrastructure and many of the devices that have the potential to be linked by IoT, it is well placed to take a leading position in developing and contributing ideas on the best use of the funds.

ESCO believes that this funding will be vital to test not only IoT technology but also IoT related business models and the benefits of IoT at the same time.

techUK’s Report on Export Controls published by BIS

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has today published techUK’s report on export controls process for UK based electronic component and systems manufacturers. In response, the Export Controls Organisation (ECO) has committed to implementing change to improve the export controls environment.

Through research and discussion with electronics exporting companies, techUK identified three areas which can impact negatively on UK exporters along with the actions that can be implemented to improve business opportunities:

1.   Companies supplying components to military and other non-consumer product manufacturers both within the EU and worldwide are increasingly losing business to competitors in Europe.

2.   Where UK companies apply for licenses to export certain bespoke electronic components, the time taken for the license to be processed can far exceed the time taken to manufacture the goods.

3.   Advice and guidance, concerning the classification of products, from both the ECO and from UKTI recommended consultants, can be unclear and confusing.

All but one company surveyed stated that the current enforcement regime in the UK has a negative impact upon their export business compared to similar companies or branches of the same company located in the EU and/or USA.

In response to these findings, and following discussions with Ministers, BIS and techUK, ECO has published an interim response committing to support change in a number of areas, including:

1.   Bringing forward proposals to re-introduce a Control List Classification advice service.

2.   Examining ways to introduce improved and more flexible open licensing solutions to meet exporter requirements.

3.   Undertaking a review of End User Undertakings to determine options for ensuring UK exporters are not at an unnecessarily disadvantage.

Paul Hide, techUK Director of Operations said: “techUK welcomes the positive engagement and agreement on improvement measures as a result of the report that we produced with input from our electronics network partners. The acceptance by senior Ministers of the need for change and the support of key stakeholders within BIS and ECO can lead to a more efficient export controls process. We look forward to working with ECO and BIS to ensure that businesses can benefit from the improvement actions, as outlined in ECO’s interim report, at the earliest opportunity.”

The full report and response can be found here.

Details of the next IIOM International Conference announced

Following the successful launch of the International Institute of Obsolescence Management (IIOM), IIOM has announced that the inaugural IIOM Exhibition & Conference will be held in the magnificent city of Edinburgh, Scotland. The conference will be held on 16th – 18th June 2015.

Key industry personnel from around the world will meet to review the latest issues and initiatives in the Obsolescence Management discipline. The Conference and Exhibition will be held at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh.  The Gala Dinner and workshops will be held at The George Hotel, George Street, Edinburgh.  The Conference will provide ample opportunity to learn from, and network with, key industry personnel with its full technical and social programme.

The event will be the largest dedicated event outside of the USA this year. The conference is expected to be attended by more than 100 delegates who will be professionals or managers who are impacted by obsolescence risk. They will represent all levels of the supply chain from across a wide range of industries.  This Conference aims to bring together the best knowledge that exists within the industry emanating from the UK and Europe, the US and elsewhere, to the mutual benefit of all delegates.

The principal sponsor for the event will be IHS Global, the information, expertise and analysis specialists.  IHS will also be part of the speaker programme and will be exhibiting at the event

Speakers have been confirmed from the USA, UK, Germany, and New Zealand.  World famous companies such as BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Siemens, GE, Alstom, Thales, Atkins, CALCE (University of Maryland) & Cranfield University are speaking at the event.

A trade exhibition will be held in the Assembly Rooms, adjacent to the conference venue. Conference refreshments, including lunches, will be taken in this area, maximising the opportunity for exhibitors and delegates to interact. Companies that have already committed to exhibit include Astute Electronics, BAE Systems-AVCOM, e2v, Jactron, HIS Global, North Shore Components and Winslow Adaptics.

There are a number of sponsorship opportunities available for organisations to enhance their visibility at the conference. This is a great way to raise profile and be recognised as an official event sponsor

There will be a welcome reception on the evening of 16th June 2015 at The Caves (a unique venue that makes up the sub-structure of the 18th Century South Bridge).  The George Hotel will host our Gala Dinner and Award night on the 17th June 2015.

Two workshops have been organised for the first day of the event they have the titles – A Guide to Pro Active Obsolescence Management &- Managing Obsolescence in Legacy In-Service Equipment

More Information on the conference, workshops and social programme are available on the online registration site that can be accessed here


Contact COG/IIOM

Ian Blackman, COG/IIOM Secretariat

Mobile: 07970-053669

Email: iblackman@cog.org.uk


About IIOM

The International Institute of Obsolescence Management (IIOM) replaces and expands the remit of the Component Obsolescence Group (COG) from January 2015. As a global organisation, IIOM will accept membership from individuals and corporations who practice Obsolescence Management, or have a need to mitigate the risks caused by the obsolescence of materials, software and electronic, electrical or mechanical components.

IIOM’s mission is to advance the science and practice of Obsolescence Management; to promote and recognise high standards of practice and professional competence; to provide a Competence Framework to enable members to train for and attain professional qualifications in Obsolescence Management; and to generate widespread awareness and understanding of the discipline.

New Trailblazer Electronic Systems Degree Apprenticeship Approved

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced today that the new degree apprenticeship standard submitted by the Electronic Systems Community (ESCO) has been approved.

Permission was granted to the sector to develop a degree level apprenticeship standard, only the second one in the UK, and the process got off to a flying start with a round table meeting at No. 10 in January, led by ESCO co-chairs, Baroness Neville-Rolfe and Warren East.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “I was delighted to be able to set the ball rolling with the round table. It was attended by a wide selection of industry representatives, universities, trade bodies and government officials, all lending their support, enthusiasm and input to make this initiative a success.”

Warren East observed: “The approval of this standard marks the beginning of the development of new, industry-designed training provision for the Electronic Systems sector in the UK. The standard is the first in a planned programme which will see a continuous ladder of apprenticeship provision being developed for the industry, ranging from Craft level to Masters’ level apprenticeships.”

The preferred focus for these new apprenticeship standards, is to consider the requirements for a specific job rôle and base the standard on that, with this in mind, the degree level standard is for an Embedded Electronic Systems Design and Development Engineer.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The apprentice agenda is not simply a numbers game, it is about quality as much as quantity. Degree apprenticeships bring together the very best of higher and vocational education, and allow apprentices to achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree, whilst training on the job. The initiative sees employers, universities, and professional bodies joining forces to develop the highly skilled workers our economy needs.”

The standard was developed by a group from industry and the resulting draft then made available for public consultation. An extremely high degree of support for the standard was demonstrated through both online surveys and letters of support.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “Degree apprenticeships are opening the door to professions such as Electronic Systems for many more young people across the country. They also play a key role in developing the high level technical skills British employers need to compete on the world stage.

“Apprenticeships provide life changing opportunities and I would like to thank ESCO for their hard work and commitment to this important initiative.”

Having gained approval, the next steps for the working group are to design assessment and grading programmes; consider the requirements for professional registration; work with universities and training providers to ensure that it can be delivered and assess the likely cost of delivery, so that the level of Government funding applicable can be determined.

The standard and the Consultation Report are available on the ESCO website: http://www.esco.org.uk/skills/

ESCO, the Electronic Systems Community comprises senior representatives from some of the country’s leading businesses and the leading trade bodies for the UK sector. Three associations in particular have been leading on this initiative, Electronics Yorkshire, GAMBICA and NMI.

This degree level apprenticeship is being supported by: ARM; Automated Technology Group; Bae Systems; Embecosm; Emerson Process Management; FlexEnable; Frontier Silicon; Imagination Technologies; Measurement Technology; Renishaw; Schneider Electric; Selex ES; Sensium Healthcare; Thales; Toumaz, and some of the UK’s leading universities.

You can read the final version of the standard at ESCO Trailblazer Standard – Electronics Design and Development Engineer Level 6 Apprenticeship FINAL

You can read more from BIS on the recently announced Trailblazer apprenticeship approvals at 

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