Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program: Human resources

  • Date: 2017-08-01

I. Background

Human resources are the foundation for economic growth and international competitiveness—and the key to a nation’s ability to develop sustainably. To meet Taiwan’s development needs for the next three decades, the government must invest more into human resources and secure priority funding for these efforts. For this reason, the government has set aside a special budget of NT$17.4 billion (US$575.2 million) under the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program to fund a plan for nurturing talent and boosting employment.

This special budget will be divided into three terms over four years (2017-2021), with NT$4.2 billion (US$138.8 million) going into the first term (September 2017 through December 2018). When the special budget for the first term is combined with the regular budget for the year, the resulting total of more than NT$22 billion (US$727.2 million) will mark a significant increase over the NT$13.3 billion (US$439.6 million) budget of 2016, demonstrating the government’s commitment to the development of human resources.

II. Five main projects

The plan to nurture talent and boost employment focuses on creating a world-class entrepreneurial cluster in Taiwan. Objectives include attracting foreign professionals to Taiwan, promoting entrepreneurship and employment among young people, encouraging industrial, academic and research cooperation with other countries, and internationalizing Taiwan’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. The plan contains five main projects:

A. Improve the practical learning environment at vocational schools

1. Objectives: Help students find their way to the future, and help companies find the people they need.

2. Strategies: With a focus on emerging innovative industries, build industrial training bases for bright students, provide training for teachers, and cultivate professional-level technicians. Create a factory-like environment for practical learning to cultivate a diverse talent pool with work-ready skills. Create interdisciplinary learning spaces, install fundamental instructional/learning equipment and facilities, work with industries to create mission-oriented courses and resource-sharing mechanisms, and build a system to train the type of technical and vocational education personnel that meets society’s demands.

B. Promote international industry-academic alliances

1. Objectives: Over four years, establish 20 forward-looking technology alliances, recruit participation from 200 domestic and overseas member companies, set up NT$4 billion (US$132.2 million) worth of industry-academia cooperative projects, and cultivate at least 4,000 technical personnel with the skills needed by industries.

2. Strategies: Create a school-based membership platform, set up a tiered membership fee system, and used customized services to attract and recruit membership from domestic and overseas companies. Set up an Industrial Liaison Center and recruit high-level liaison professionals with venture capital or industrial backgrounds to be responsible for matching business needs with the alliances’ R&D capabilities.

C. Create technology innovation and entrepreneurial bases for young people

1. Objectives: Attract 100 international-level teams (including at least 50 from overseas) to the bases each year. Nurture 2,000 entrepreneurs and promote NT$2 billion (US$66.1 million) in investments within four years.

2. Strategies: Create world-class tech startup clusters in Taiwan by attracting international business accelerators, venture capitalists and high-potential innovative teams. Encourage interactions between domestic and international teams as a means of spurring innovation in universities and cultivating young tech entrepreneurs.

D. Train and employ high-level professionals in focal industries

1. Objectives: Provide industrial training for 1,000 Ph.D.-level personnel and help them find employment.

2. Strategies: Where research institutes and academic research organizations engage in cooperative projects with private companies, provide doctorate-level personnel with on-the-job training and industrial internship opportunities. Strengthen Taiwan’s industrial talent pool by encouraging Ph.D.-caliber personnel to enter industrial careers.

E. Nurture young scholars

1. Objectives: Train approximately 320 young researchers, from Taiwan and abroad, in four years.

2. Strategies: Provide young researchers with generous long-term resources, cultivate a new generation of scientific searchers, and create a new era for Taiwan:

(1) Einstein Program: Through multi-year research projects, encourage young researchers embarking on academic careers to engage in innovative-thinking research topics and projects that foster free and diverse thinking abilities.

(2) Columbus Program: Encourage young researchers with basic scientific research skills to strengthen their foundations by engaging in pioneering and innovative research projects that involve international exchanges. Have them initiate interactions with overseas laboratories or research centers to expand their international horizons and sphere of influence.

III. Conclusion 

People are the nation’s greatest asset and the key to national development. For a small country with few natural resources and a dense population, the competition to build stronger human resources is one that Taiwan cannot afford to lose. Cultivating a work force with the skills and competencies relevant to today’s needs will ensure that Taiwan continues to grow and that its future remains bright.