The need for workers with validated skills in radio frequency identification (RFID) and the impact a worker shortage could have on adoption of the technology was a hot topic of discussion at the RFID Connect Asia 2007 conference held March 5 and 6.
"RFID is not yet a plug-and-play technology," said Michael Mudd, director of public policy, Asia-Pacific, for Computing Technology (CompTIA). "Each deployment is unique; and within each deployment any number of variables can affect success or failure. Most of the skills that are lacking are in the areas of understanding how the physics of radio frequencies work and how to tag items so that they are readable. To execute any RFID initiative successfully there is a need for trained and certified professionals with knowledge and experience in radio frequency engineering and design; supply chain management; logistics; warehouse management; and familiarity with RFID products and standards, among other skills."
Mudd noted that there are more RFID educational offerings available today, making it possible for organizations to measure the capabilities of their employees, consultants and contractors. In Singapore for example, Siemens PTE Ltd. Automation and Drives and training provider RFID4U recently concluded their first two vendor-neutral training programs. Technicians from Singapore, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong Thailand and Taiwan took part in the four-day course in preparation for the CompTIA RFID+ certification exam.
CompTIA has worked with more than 20 organizations to develop an industry-accepted credential that validates a technician's knowledge and skills in the areas of installation, maintenance, repair, and upkeep of hardware and software functionality of RFID products. The certification, which is vendor-neutral, addresses skills related to the installation, maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting of hardware and software functionality of RFID products.
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