Latvian Electrical Engineering and Electronics Industry Association – LETERA was founded in 1995 to represent the interests of its members and promote the growth and popularization of the industry. Association unites more than 80 members, ISSP UL being one of them. Among other things, LETERA wants to promote educational and scientific developments, the establishment of new enterprises, of the existing economic and technical developments, as well as to create a favourable environment for innovation, to encourage the creation of new products with high added value.
On March 26, the annual general meeting of LETERA members took place remotely. The general meeting evaluated the results of LETERA’s activities last year, approved the report for 2020 and the budget for 2021, discussed activities and goals for 2021, as well as elected the board and president of the association.
From the results of the survey of LETERA members presented at the general meeting, it could be concluded that despite the COVID-19 crisis, the industry continues to develop. Good results have been achieved in 2020 and also this year most LETERA members plan to grow. The lack of qualified staff was pointed out as a factor hindering development - the industry is in dire need of various types of engineers, programmers, project managers and electronics assemblers.
As a priority for 2021, the establishment of the LETERA education fund was set. The President of LETERA pointed out that the industry needs to take the initiative to train the necessary specialists, because the government does not listen to the needs of the industry.
Andris Anspoks, Deputy Director for Innovation of ISSP UL and Anta Gailiša, Head of the Innovation Department of Materize, represented our institute with a presentation “STEM education and choice”. In the presentation, the following things were suggested:
- to set up a coordination unit, concentrate its activities (including support for schools, school olympiad members, interest education groups, camps), to make activities more powerful and visible, to speak with politicians and officials (state and local government) in one voice;
- presence of the industry at events, information about industry in schools, feedback to industry about the situation and achievements;
- support of the industry for employee education - complete studies, provide internships, to promote further education.
It was also emphasized that there is need for unified communication with (1) students and (2) schools and teachers about the importance of STEM education because Latvia has an excellent industry, science and opportunities and the new educated people are in high demand.
ISSP UL representatives proposed to set the 25th week of the year as STEM week and encouraged LETERA members to participate in the initiative by moderating and hosting interactive webinars (meetups) with questions and answers as well as short discussions during the week at the end of the school year.
LETERA unites companies, research and educational institutions operating in the fields of electrical engineering and electronics, optical equipment, information technology and telecommunications, defense equipment, aviation and space technology.
More information about the LETERA general meeting and all the presentations are available on the LETERA website in Latvian: https://www.letera.lv/letera-biedru-kopsapulce-merkis-2021-gadam-izveidot-letera-izglitibas-fondu/