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New courses to target future skills needs

Media release

New short courses focused on the advanced manufacturing skills of the future will be rolled out in Western Sydney, with the aim of unlocking the half-a-trillion dollar global semiconductor market.

Semiconductors are the building blocks of modern computing and power almost all electronic devices, from smartphones to military communication and medical devices.

Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade and Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said three new semiconductor micro-credentials would be rolled out under the NSW Government's $37 million New Education Training Model (NETM).

"The global semiconductor shortage in recent years has affected all manufacturers of electronic goods, including computers, smartphones and cars," Mr Henskens said.

"NSW is perfectly positioned to capitalise on the opportunity that the semiconductor industry presents, but to truly cement our spot in the market, we need future-focused skills and knowledge.

"These new micro-credentials will be driven by what industry needs and will teach local people how to design and test semiconductors, fostering innovation, creating jobs and securing a brighter future for Western Sydney."

The University of Sydney, along with Cadence, a leader in electronic systems design and computational software, have developed three micro-credentials, or short courses, which will build knowledge, skills and experience in designing semiconductors.

Western Parkland City Authority Chair Jennifer Westacott said the NETM is being delivered by the Authority in collaboration with industry, universities, vocational education and training providers and government.

"As we attract new industry and create skilled new jobs in the Western Parkland City, giving people access to the right skills, training and education will be critical to taking advantage of these new high quality, high paying jobs," Ms Westacott said.

"The NETM is industry-led and designed to fill the gaps in traditional training quickly. It allows businesses to create micro-credentials that plug gaps in their workforce training and lets them expand and grow into new and emerging industries."

The launch of the new micro-credentials follows the NSW Government's recent $4 million investment to establish the Semiconductor Sector Service Bureau (S3B) which will build capability and talent in the semiconductor industry.

S3B Director Dr Nadia Court said by 2025, the leading use of semiconductors is expected to be in smartphones, especially as these devices support advanced technologies like 5G and extended reality.

"The use of semiconductors in the automotive industry is also expected to triple with an increase in autonomous driving and e-mobility," Dr Court said.

"It's so great to see two leaders in their fields, Cadence and University of Sydney come together to deliver three amazing micro-credentials to design semiconductors."

By 2025, the NETM will develop 100 micro-credentials providing more than 7,000 training opportunities. Some of the courses currently on offer include practical foundations of biology, microbiology, organic and inorganic chemistry, technical drawing and additive manufacturing.

For more information about the NETM visit our page here.