WJEC launches first ever Semiconductor qualifications for learners in Wales

WJEC launches first ever Semiconductor qualifications for learners in Wales

WJEC is the first awarding body in the UK to launch a suite of Semiconductor qualifications; providing learners with a new and exciting pathway into this thriving industry.

Wales is home to world-leading research and manufacturing for semiconductors, and alongside significant growth, there has also been an increase in employment opportunities for learners and workers across the country.

To support this, WJEC has teamed-up with the semiconductor cluster CSconnected, colleges, universities, and industry experts to solve this emerging skills gap. These new qualifications have been designed to enable learners to enhance their knowledge of the sector and equip them with the skills for higher technical roles within semiconductor manufacturing.

Commenting on this innovative development, WJEC’s Executive Director: Commercial Development, Steffan Edwards, said: "Utilising over 75 years in the development and delivery of valid and reliable qualifications and assessments, we are delighted to offer a fully integrated semiconductor learning suite to support learners gain entry to this industry.

“We are grateful to the support of our partners from industry, FE and HE who have guided our development work to ensure that these new qualifications are aligned with their requirements and offer learners direct pathways to employment in this thriving industry.

“These new qualifications are a testament to our commitment to offer qualifications at all stages of learning, providing learners with strong theoretical knowledge and practical skills that can be applied directly to the workplace or for further study."

This exciting development has been endorsed by Dr Lewis Kastein, Senior R&D Photonics Product Engineer at IQE PLC and member of WJEC’s Qualification Development Group:

“Semiconductor technicians are critical to the success of the Semiconductor industry in South Wales and beyond. These long overdue qualifications are needed to introduce more people to the growing industry that is right on their doorstep.

“Many people are not aware of the array of semiconductor job opportunities available or that semiconductors are in almost all of the technology that they use on a day-to-day basis. The qualifications will help to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to grow and succeed in this important technological field.”

These new qualifications are available to learners from April 2024. The initial focus will be to equip learners in Wales with new pathways in to this industry, the long-term ambition is to rollout these qualifications to training providers across the UK.

Empowering learners to access employment opportunities

This new suite initially consists of two qualifications:

  • Level 2 Introduction to Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (Semiconductors) – which is designed for learners with little or no knowledge of the semiconductor industry. The qualification offers a broad introduction to the sector and will develop foundational knowledge to support learners to progress into further learning, training or employment.
  • Level 4 Higer Technical Certificate for semiconductor technicians – is designed to qualify learners for technician level jobs within the sector. The qualification offers a progression pathway for learners completing a level 3 qualification who do not wish to progress to higher education and/or would prefer to pursue an apprenticeship route. The qualification is also available to learners working the sector in non-technical roles who which to up-skill/retrain into technician roles.

Supporting learners in Wales

These new qualifications will initially be delivered through the ‘Semiconductor Skills Foundry Wales’ which is being led by Cardiff-based training provider, iungo Solutions. This initiative is being funded by the UK Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

This new programme will train 100 new entrants by December 2024, where attendees will learn about semiconductor materials, processes and the global supply chain, develop their electronic design, test and programming skills, and complete a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

For further information:
Jonathan Thomas
PR and Brand Manager
029 2026 5102