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Taiwan Looks to Vietnam and Indonesia for Future Chip-Industry Talent

Taiwan is turning to Southeast Asian students to address the potential talent shortage in its semiconductor industry. Minghsin University of Science and Technology offers training and internship opportunities to students, with a focus on real-life semiconductor practices. Taiwan plans to invest 5.2 billion New Taiwan dollars to attract 320,000 international students by 2030, with an emphasis on STEM fields.

Taiwan, known for its thriving semiconductor industry, is facing a potential talent shortage as its birthrate declines. To address this challenge, the island nation has turned its attention to Southeast Asian students as a valuable source of workers for the semiconductor sector.


In Hsinchu, often referred to as Taiwan's Silicon Valley, students at the Minghsin University of Science and Technology are being trained on state-of-the-art equipment used in real semiconductor factories. The university also offers internship opportunities at leading chip companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., ASE Technology Holding, and Powertech Technology.


MUST's Semiconductor School, also known as a "mini TSMC" (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.), aims to produce highly skilled specialists who can immediately contribute to the industry. Notably, nearly 700 of the university's approximately 2,300 students come from Vietnam.


One Vietnamese student pursuing a master's degree in Taiwan chose to study there to learn from the world-leading semiconductor industry. After graduation, the 23-year-old plans to work for a Taiwanese company for three to four years to gain valuable experience.


These programs reflect the concerns of Taiwanese technology companies regarding a potential talent shortage. "We need tens of thousands more workers," said Chang Ho, dean of MUST's Semiconductor School. He emphasised the need for collaboration between companies and universities to nurture talent.


Taiwan's declining birthrate, coupled with stagnant wages and rising property prices, has contributed to the shortage of skilled workers. In 2023, annual births hit a record low of around 135,000, compared to over 300,000 in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, competition for talent in the semiconductor industry continues to intensify. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. alone hires over 6,000 workers annually.


With the demand for chips expected to grow further due to advancements in generative artificial intelligence and other technologies, Taiwan faces pressure to develop long-term strategies for securing a skilled workforce, given its reliance on the semiconductor industry.


To address this challenge, Taiwan has announced plans to invest 5.2 billion New Taiwan dollars ($163 million) by 2028 to attract 320,000 international students, with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. This represents a significant increase in the pace of student intake.


Additionally, the Taiwanese government and employers have introduced a new framework that provides financial support to foreign students in exchange for their commitment to work in Taiwan for a specific period after graduation.

The goal is to have around 70% of international students stay and work in Taiwan after completing their studies, compared to the current rate of 40% to 50%.


Southeast Asian students, including those from Vietnam and Indonesia, are a key target of this initiative. Recruitment programs have been launched in these countries, as well as in the Philippines and other parts of the region, to attract talented students to Taiwan's semiconductor industry.

 
  • Taiwan is turning to Southeast Asian students to address the potential talent shortage in its semiconductor industry.

  • Minghsin University of Science and Technology offers training and internship opportunities to students, with a focus on real-life semiconductor practices.

  • Taiwan plans to invest 5.2 billion New Taiwan dollars to attract 320,000 international students by 2030, with an emphasis on STEM fields.


Source: NIKKEI ASIA

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