Wed, Oct 01, 2003 - Page 10 News List

IC companies launch recruitment drive to fill gap

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

To cater to the rapid growth of the nation's integrated circuit (IC) design industry, four leading high-tech companies announced yesterday that they plan to jointly recruit as many as 1,000 IC designers by the end of the year.

"There is an urgent demand for IC designers in Taiwan, especially in the face of competition from China," James Lai (賴政昌), CEO of Career Consulting Co (就業情報), told a press conference yesterday.

Career Consulting will organize a job fair to hunt for new blood in IC design for AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), ALi Corp (揚智科技), Etron Technology Inc (鈺創科技) and Elan Microelectronics Corp (義隆電子) on Saturday. The companies are looking for people specialized in software design, display design, system engineering and other related professions.

Career Consulting plans to whittle down the field from 2,000 applicants to a final list of 1,000 to be sent to the companies, Lai said. As of yesterday, the consulting firm had received 1,500 resumes.

Taiwan's IC design sector churned out NT$147.8 billion worth of products last year, an increase of 21.1 percent from the previous year, Lai said, citing Ministry of Economic Affairs statistics. The production value for this year is expected to grow by 30 percent to NT$192.6 billion, he added.

While IC design is expanding and becoming a promising sector in Taiwan, high-tech companies, however, find it difficult to recruit IC designers.

"There is a shortfall of around 20 percent for staff in the IC design division in my company," Yeh I-hao (葉儀皓), president of Elan Microelectronics, said at the press conference. "Compared with China, where about 400,000 students graduate with high-tech backgrounds every year, Taiwan has only around 5,000 to 6,000 graduates for the IC industry each year."

According to ministry statistics, there are 7,292 job vacancies in the IC design sector in Taiwan this year, and the number is expected to increase to 7,836 next year and to 10,458 in 2005.

Fortunately, Taiwan is now in a leading position in the IC sector, which makes it a better environment to cultivate quality talent, said Joseph Ting (丁達剛), senior vice president of Etron Technology.

Taiwan is now competing head-to-head with China and South Korea in the IC design industry. While Taiwan is still five to 10 years ahead of China in terms of IC design capability, the nation needs to recruit more talent to maintain its leading position, said Liu Chun-ting (劉軍廷), associate vice president at AU Optronics, the world's third-largest maker of flat-panel displays for personal computers.

AU Optronics has 500 IC designers, and it plans to increase this number to 1,000 by the end of next year, Liu said.

"We welcome people with solid education and training in engineering and the industrial design field to join us," Liu said.

Demand for high-tech talent started to show signs of rising in the second half of the year. According to a recent poll released by the online job bank CTJob (中時人力網), 49.09 percent of job vacancies were related to high-tech industries such as computers, optoelectronic components, semiconductors and telecoms.

To fill the vacancies, high-tech companies have been holding recruitment activities.

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