Lonadek Global Services, in collaboration with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) subsidiary, the Cedar Stem and Entrepreneurship Hub (CSEH), recently co-hosted a webinar with Chiplab, a prominent microchip technology company in Nigeria. Chiplab’s core mission centers on nurturing the next generation of proficient microchip designers.
Chiplab, founded in Nigeria, arose from a critical imperative within the semiconductor industry – the need to bridge the talent gap and harness the untapped potential of Africa’s burgeoning youth population, particularly in the face of the rapid technological evolution brought about by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Chiplab’s inception was driven by conversations with industry leaders who were committed to diversifying their workforce. This diversity aspiration included promoting the active participation of women and a more inclusive representation of diverse talents in the semiconductor industry.
Over the years, Chiplab has diligently pursued its mission by establishing the Chiplab Academy, a platform that offers immersive, hands-on experiences in Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) and semiconductor design to aspiring young minds. This visionary initiative has served as a cornerstone in fulfilling the organization’s goal of producing highly skilled microchip designers.
Conducted on October 28th 2023, the webinar was strategically crafted to confront the significant scarcity of skilled professionals within the semiconductor industry. Three distinguished guest speakers offered expert insights, thoroughly examining the ramifications of this talent deficit and the existing capabilities within this sector. The webinar titled “Bridging the Talent Gap in the Semiconductor Industry,” was a thought-provoking discussion that delved into various aspects.
This insightful session aimed to shed light on the root causes behind the talent gap and explored effective strategies to rectify this predicament. Key focal points included addressing the shortage of skilled individuals, emphasizing avenues for empowerment, fostering innovation, and advocating for global collaboration within the semiconductor industry, particularly in the African context.
The distinguished panel of guest speakers for the webinar included Dr. Ibilola Amao, Principal Consultant at Lonadek Global Services, Mr. Ola Fadiran, Founder and CEO of ChipLab, and Mr. Yen Choi, Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer at ChipLab. Dr. Ibilola commenced her session by delivering an inspiring narrative showcasing the success stories of four renowned companies, namely Flutterwave, MainOne, Andela, and Paystack. These companies, led by individuals who capitalized on the wealth of knowledge and innovation within the semiconductor industry, have remarkably pioneered groundbreaking solutions addressing global challenges. Dr. Ibilola purposefully referenced these entrepreneurial ventures to instill motivation and ignite a sense of eagerness among the webinar participants. Her intention was to stimulate their thirst for knowledge and capacity building within the semiconductor industry, emphasizing the potential for driving innovation and problem-solving on a global scale.
Ibilola, Ola, and Yen collectively subscribed to the perspective that the endeavour to rectify the talent deficit within the semiconductor industry necessitates a multifaceted approach. They underscored the following fundamental elements in addressing this challenge: Educational Initiatives (ChipLab is currently contributing to filling the knowledge gap in the semiconductor field), guidance from Industry Experts, Empowerment of Young Minds, Active Engagement by Industries which could include internships, apprenticeships, and collaborations with educational institutions and Promotion of Entrepreneurship. The opined that this approach shifts the focus from pursuing opportunities abroad (the “JAPA” syndrome) to addressing local challenges and creating lasting solutions. This perspective emphasizes the importance of local talent development and leveraging that talent to bring about transformative change within the semiconductor industry and society.
Attendees were privileged to acquire invaluable insights into the expansive opportunities within the semiconductor industry and the pressing need for an increased workforce to address this demand. Notably, Chiplab and several other semiconductor entities have introduced diverse learning platforms aimed at equipping individuals with both theoretical knowledge and practical, hands-on experience essential for navigating the industry proficiently. These initiatives are crucial in preparing aspiring professionals to meet the challenges and requirements of the semiconductor sector successfully.
Lonadek Global Services is a multi-award-winning, woman-owned, ISO 9001:2015 Certified Engineering Technology, Asset Performance, and Information Management Company, that builds capacity, capability, and competence in STEM talents to deliver value through the democratisation of technology in the Energy, Power, Infrastructure, manufacturing, Oil, and Gas sectors. With 32 years of delivering on its mandate to turn local talents into global assets, Lonadek has stood out in Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large, with its global recognition, partnership, and excellent service delivery.