This is a collection of thoughts and statements about things that annoy me. I am a big, angry man. Hear me roar, or piss off and give me peace.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Silicon Glen? Silicon When?

The Hootsman reports that Silicon Glen is disappearing... I think they're a little late with this observation.

Those companies that are still around are pursuing death of a thousand cuts policies on their manufacturing and R&D operations in Scotland. Good men and women are losing their jobs because, on a spreadsheet, it's cheaper to farm work out to the far east.

From over 2500 people in 2002 to 700 in 2007, and that number is still falling...
"Silicon Glen came and swept us up. But when it disappeared, we did not crash to earth. Those job losses were absorbed. And that may be the more enduring mystery of the Glen that Disappeared."

Try telling that to the hundreds of skilled electronics manufacturing workers who no longer have jobs - yes, they're intelligent folk, but where are they now?

I expect that in a few years, the lower yields, and higher costs from more factory returns, and the higher costs from more engineers required to output the same number of units will eventually force the company to rethink.

In the meantime, we're all fucked. Scotland is losing some truly outstanding engineers - how likely are they to come back to this when it eventually comes full cycles, and we're once again a high tech R&D and manufacturing centre?

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