Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday signed an agreement with Germany’s Saxony state government and Dresden University of Technology to jointly launch a semiconductor talent incubation program, with an aim to address a shortage of talent.
The program would be the first overseas talent cultivation initiative financially backed by a local government.
The project came after TSMC, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, last month unveiled a new overseas capacity expansion plan in Dresden. The chipmaker plans to build a new factory in the German city at the end of 2027, following its expansions in Arizona and Kumamoto, Japan.
The Dresden fab is to produce 28-nanometer chips used in vehicles for customers such as Robert Bosch GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG and NXP Semiconductors NV.
“With the global semiconductor market estimated to swell to US$1 trillion in 2030, we have to plan ahead and be well-prepared for a potential talent gap,” TSMC senior vice president for human resources Lora Ho (何麗梅) said. “Enhancing semiconductor education will be a crucial approach to solve shortages of semiconductor technicians worldwide.”
Before finalizing the Dresden expansion plan, the chipmaker has dispatched several human resources executives to Europe to study talent supply and related regulations, TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) told reporters following the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Hsinchu.
TSMC is struggling to recruit enough engineers to support its rapid expansions at home and overseas. The chipmaker is seeking to add 6,000 new employees this year, after enlisting more than 12,000 employees globally last year.
The new talent incubation program would support as many as 100 students a year from 11 German universities to take tailor-made semiconductor courses at Taiwan’s top universities, including National Taiwan University and National Tsing Hua University.
Dresden University of Technology president Ursula Staudinger told a news conference in Taichung that her university is to act as a bridge between the students and universities in Taiwan.
Those students would then take two months of training courses at TSMC’s Newcomer Training Center in Taichung, where TSMC’s overseas employees from the US and Japan are trained.
Saxony plans to allocate about 3 million euros (US$3.2 million) a year to fund the talent incubation program. The first batch of German students are due to arrive in February next year.
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