Date: 26.04.2024


Developing skills for the future

Our Skills Academy continues to deliver the Catapult’s programme to help build the compound semiconductor workforce for the future. Working with industry and academia reinforces the growing demand for skills in compound semiconductors, while creating awareness of the huge opportunities for young people remains a challenge. Market analysis suggests that the industry’s aggregate annual growth could average from 6% to 8% a year up to 2030. 

Partnerships are essential to our delivery of skills initiatives. We work in collaboration with UKESF, CS Connected and its member companies, Innovate UK, Driving the Electric Revolution and the Gatsby Foundation. 

Working with schools

The Catapult developed three STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) outreach initiatives in primary schools. We delivered a partnership with Innovate UK’s Driving the Electric Revolution programme in South Wales by a third-party company, Primary Engineer. 

It is supported by engineers from across the compound semiconductor cluster. 

We have a bespoke programme targeting Year 8 in schools across South Wales. 

“Spark their imagination, power their future”, a programme aimed at Year 10 and 11 learners in Wales, delivered in partnership with the UK Electronic Skills Foundation (UKESF),  is a significant opportunity to scale up our skills programme.  

Engineering students

Supporting the move into industry

As members of the UKESF Scholarships Scheme, the Catapult supports electronics undergraduates in several ways, including an annual bursary, paid work placements, mentoring and networking opportunities. 

Every year, five scholars join our team, each specialising in a specific technology area. 

We make the most of the potential these interns have to influence the next generation while they are with us, and they play a powerful role in our STEM outreach, delivering sessions at events such as Cardiff Science Festival. 

Nurturing transformational expertise

CSA Catapult sponsors PhD student research at the Compound Semiconductor Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) and the Sustainable Electrical Propulsion CDT. 

STEM ambassadors

Driving the development of skills for a thriving compound semiconductor industry is an extremely important part of our role. Skills development is embedded in our day-to-day operations with the involvement of all colleagues, 30% of whom are volunteer STEM ambassadors, and this encourages career pathways in science, technology, engineering and maths. 

Our skills development activities during this year spanned all of education, as we: 

  • supported five PhD students from across the UK, including two via Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) 
  • sponsored ten undergraduate interns
  • hosted over 30 teachers at industry training and engagement visits to the Innovation Centre
  • engaged with more than 400 families through our electronics outreach programme
  • provided 65 schools’ careers and business engagement advisors with our information and marketing materials

Planning for the future

CSA Catapult uses a bespoke, accurate impact assessment method to model future skills needs and develop targeted programmes at every level of education. Over time, this will help us develop system-wide skills forecasting as well as provide evidence of knowledge transfer. 

We are involved in a UK-wide programme for skills foresighting, funded by a grant from the Gatsby Foundation, with our involvement covering South Wales. 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)  

  • as the first Catapult to be awarded knowledge base status by Innovate UK, we have already identified several KTP candidates to transfer technology in areas including the Internet of Things, human–machine interaction and solar energy harvesting


  • the Catapult works with the Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centres (DER-IC) to bring together the University of Bristol, Bath University and the University of West of England (UWE) to provide upskilling and reskilling programmes 


  • the Catapult works with the Careers Transition Programme (CTP) to identify skills that ex-service personnel can bring to the compound semiconductor industry and assess if we can offer ‘top-up’ programmes to enable a much swifter transition into the industry
Vedant - UKESF Scholar

“Coming for an industrial placement at CSA Catapult was a truly tremendous experience!

“Having worked in the power electronics department, I had the privilege of learning a lot from such intelligent individuals who were so passionate about the projects they were working on.

“I was able to get hands-on experience and apply the knowledge accumulated at university first hand in real-time projects and develop my understanding and skills. This has been a great stepping stone as I begin my career in this industry and would highly recommend that anyone interested in being at the forefront of innovation apply.”

Vedant Shah, UKESF Scholar

Get in touch

To learn more about how we can work together, get in touch with a member of our team today.

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