IPC Addresses Critical Industry Skills Gaps With Electronics Workforce Training


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Our commitment at IPC is to help the world build electronics better, and a core component of that promise is education. In this article, we will review how IPC certification and workforce training programs work to fulfill the pressing educational needs of the electronics industry.

Over the past three decades, IPC standards and certification programs have played a critical role in protecting public safety and promoting excellence by ensuring the quality, reliability, and consistency of electronic products. In 2019, IPC worked with its global network of certification centers to certify over 108,000 individuals across 200 countries and 21 languages to seven IPC standards. The ubiquitous adoption of these programs speaks to the strong partnership forged between IPC and the electronics industry.

Just like certification, training has always been an indispensable part of doing business, and rarely has it been more so than the present. The rapid pace of technological innovation and new ways of working require skills that most potential employees simply do not have. In fact, a recent report by Deloitte revealed that the skills gap—the difference between the skills that employers need and those that are available from workers looking for a job— may leave an estimated 2.4 million U.S.-based manufacturing jobs unfilled between 2018 and 2028. The resulting loss in productivity, revenue, and missed opportunities for expansion could cost as much as $2.5 trillion.

While the IPC certification programs serve a critical role in ensuring that our workforce is knowledgeable about IPC standards and their requirements, the industry has been clear that these programs are only part of the solution. Throughout 2017 and 2018, IPC interviewed over a thousand industry members across the globe to better understand their training needs. The results of this study, as well as subsequent interviews with both IPC members and nonmembers, led to the development of the IPC Electronics Workforce Training Initiative. In 2018, IPC signed the Pledge to America and committed to deploying this initiative in combination with its certification programs to train one million workers in the electronics industry over a five-year period.

The IPC Electronics Workforce Training Initiative
The goal of the IPC Electronics Workforce Training initiative is to provide easy-to-implement, cost-effective, and efficient training programs that teach the knowledge and skills needed to perform specific job functions to industry-defined levels of proficiency. Each of our Workforce Development Programs is built through a partnership with the industry. We routinely speak with dozens of industry members around the world about the issues they face.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the December 2020 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.

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