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27 September 2018

Digital IC Design Engineers: Why there’s never been a better time to choose the UK

Caroline Pye

Caroline Pye

Principal Consultant

Caroline is a senior consultant heading up the digital IC design recruitment team. After graduating…

We are always on the lookout for Digital IC Design Engineers, and 2018 has seen us even busier in our search for top notch chip developers for opportunities in the UK.

Our clients are looking for top-notch RTL design and verification skills, and a real “under the hood” understanding of the workings of the IC design flow. Areas that are particularly in demand are low-power design, high-speed interface technology, CPU development and CMOS imaging.

As ever, Bristol and Cambridge are the hot spots of silicon design activity and create demand for Digital Design, ASIC Verification and Physical Design Engineers. Bristol in particular is home to a number of major multinationals as well as a number of exciting start-ups who are all actively recruiting for talented chip designers. On the other side of the country, innovation in Cambridge continues to thrive and we’re working with a number of fascinating entrepreneurial start-ups looking to expand. Machine learning, AI and processor development are undoubtedly a main focus as we move towards intelligent machines, and we need to find the people to drive this fascinating technology forward.


Brexit and the Visa Situation

Of course, it’s early days so we’re still yet to see how things will affect the Semiconductor industry as the effects of Brexit roll out. However, what we do know is that anyone with a job isn’t going to be asked to leave, and innovation here is not going to cease. The UK still offers a vast amount of opportunity, technological invention and hubs of companies to ensure future stability for an IC Design Engineer and their family. Whilst impending Brexit does deter some people from coming to the UK, there is still a steady stream of engineers drawn by unrivalled career opportunities, challenges, educational and lifestyle opportunities on offer here.

Visas and work permits have for a long time been a difficult hurdle. A handful of companies do hold licenses to provide sponsorship, however for the past few years this number has been pretty small, with those companies that can sponsor only able to do so for those with exceptionally specific skill sets.

Interestingly, whilst ‘unskilled’ migration may be stemmed after Brexit, the cap on work permits should rise or disappear, so skilled workers should more easily be able to enter the UK. An increasing number of companies in the UK are looking to obtain sponsorship licenses, which we expect will make it a much easier path for more Digital Designers looking to settle in the UK.

You can find our Semiconductor jobs here.

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