Tue, Jul 20, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Display firms seek talent

STAFF WRITER WITH CNA

A lack of talented workers is the major problem facing the opto-electronics industry, and the government should take measures to deal with the situation, industry leaders and local government officials said recently.

They reached the consensus at a seminar held in Tainan County, where the Southern Taiwan Science Park's (南部科學園區) headquarters is located.

Tainan Mayor Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) said that the high-tech industry would be the major driving force behind the nation's development in this century, and that the high-tech industrial parks located in the Tainan and Kaohsiung areas will play a prominent role in this development.

Tainan County Commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) said that a lack of brainpower is the key bottleneck facing southern Taiwan in its efforts to promote the opto-electronics industry, and thus constitutes a big problem for companies operating in the region.

Su called on the Ministry of Education to increase the number of higher learning facilities in the south to train people for the industry in the face of strong competition from South Korea and China.

The optoelectronics industry has replaced the semiconductor industry as the most popular with local high-tech staff, the 104 Job Bank (104人力銀行) said last week.

The nation's major flat-panel display makers, such as AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) and Quanta Display Inc (廣輝), are recruiting more research and development personnel, process engineers and equipment maintenance and troubleshooting engineers in the second half of this year amid expanded production.

But the industry still has a shortage of 20 percent to 30 percent of the qualified manpower it requires, which could amount to as many as 10,000 engineers this year, according to Rocky Yang (楊基寬), the online job bank's chief.

The output value of the nation's optoelectronics industry is projected to grow to NT$838 billion (US$24,741,659,285) this year, a 26 percent jump from NT$664.6 billion last year, and the figure is expected to exceed NT$1 trillion in 2006, according to figures provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Industrial Development Bureau.

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