Educating Young People Key to Solving STEM Skills Shortage
3 min read
A recent report from STEM Learning has revealed a dramatic skills shortage in the sector:
89% of STEM businesses struggle to find qualified workers
The sector has a shortfall of 173,000 skilled workers
This skills shortage is costing businesses in the sector £1.5 billion a year.
The findings also revealed that half of employers are looking abroad for skilled workers, 70% are hiring candidates that have no background in STEM, and 60% are leaving crucial vacancies unfilled.
STEM Learning are the largest provider of STEM education, training and career support in the UK, and their report has shone a spotlight on the stark reality and bleak future that businesses - and the sector as a whole - face if this skills shortage endures.
So what does this mean?
The underlying concern is that the UK's technology, engineering and manufacturing industries will be left behind.
This may seem to be grim reading, but the report reminds all stakeholders of the importance of investing in and promoting new talent.
RMP Enterprise has spent eleven years working with forward-thinking employers who invest in young people through undergraduate, school and college leaver work experience programmes. We believe that attracting, recruiting and ultimately retaining talented, career-conscious students is the most effective way to resource a business.
Inspiring young people to take the first steps towards a career is at the heart of what we do.
Lizzie Brock, Marketing Director at RMP believes herein also lies the solution for plugging the STEM skills shortage. Lizzie has worked in the early talent space since 2009:
"Educating young people from an early age around the opportunities in STEM is key to reducing the skills shortage.
“With the latest stats from The Education and Employers Taskforce showing that students who have four or more encounters with employers are 89% less likely to be unemployed, employers have a huge role in shaping young people’s futures. This education has to start in schools, building meaningful relationships with Careers Leads to inspire the next generation of students to engage with STEM opportunities."
In effect, the STEM workforce needs to be grown from the bottom up.
The talent is there; it's in our schools, colleges and universities, and it's the responsibility of educators and organisations that are affected by the skills shortage to inspire this talent to pursue careers in STEM.