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Why Promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Careers? Presentation

Slide 1 (title slide).

Why Promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Careers ?

Slide 2.

“A strong supply of people with science, technology, engineering and maths skills is important to promote innovation, exploit new technologies, produce world class scientists and for the UK to compete internationally.” Reference: Educating the Next Generation of Scientists DfE November 2010

Slide 3. Why?

Changing Labour Market

  • Ageing Population
  • Climate Change
  • World Economics
  • STEM Skills Shortages

Slide 4. Changing Labour Market 2012-2020*

General Points:

  • Growth in higher skilled roles (42% of total employment in 2010 to 46% in 2020) and decline of semi skilled manual roles (18% to 16%).
  • More replacement jobs than new jobs as large numbers retire from work.
  • Forecast of growth in output and employment, albeit small, in 6 sectors up to 2020.
  • Note the need for STEM skills and qualifications.

Six Growth Sectors to 2020:

  • Utilities ( Gas, electricity, water);
  • Chemical/engineering based manufacturing;
  • Construction (major infrastructure projects);
  • Communications, distribution/retail;
  • Business services especially computing;
  • Public health and education.

*UKCES Working Futures 2010-2020

Slide 5. Ageing Population.

Pressure on health and medical services will increase meaning greater demand for STEM skills.

Opportunities will be in:

  • Biomedical Engineering (replacement joints , heart valves);
  • Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (molecular biology – DNA, cancer cells);
  • Pharmaceutical research (cancer drugs, mental health, insulin);
  • Biotechnology (using living cells in medicine (stem cells) & industry (enzymes, bacteria, yeast).

Slide 6. Climate Change.

STEM skills are needed to develop:

  • Clean coal technology to build new coal fired power stations with lower carbon emissions.
  • Nuclear engineering to decommission old plants and build new nuclear power stations.
  • Fuel cell technology: fuel cells to combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce water, electricity and heat, a potential source of alternative energy.
  • Renewable energy technology: generating electricity from renewable sources.

Slide 7. World Economics.

Growth of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations is challenging 200 year dominance by Europe and the U.S. Chinese economy will overtake U.S. by 2025 and be twice as big by 2050. China and India together make up 36% of the world’s population and will dominate the world economy. For UK to meet this global economic challenge, more people with STEM skills are needed.

Slide 8. STEM Labour Market.

  • 72% of UK firms employ STEM skilled staff, but not enough people are studying STEM subjects to meet growing demand.
  • Females and some ethnic minority groups are currently greatly under represented in those taking STEM subjects and entering STEM jobs.
  • 45%* of employers expect difficulty recruiting STEM-skilled staff at all entry levels especially at technician level in the next 3 years to 2015.

Slide 9. UK STEM.

The UK has world class science sectors in Pharmaceuticals, Aerospace, Telecommunications, Mobile Technology and Oil and Gas Exploration. There’s also ‘hidden’ science in the high street including:

  • supermarkets (food and drink, packaging, logistics, IT, finance);
  • fashion (textile technology, materials, computer aided design, dyes);
  • the built environment (construction engineering, materials sciences, environmental issues, energy);
  • 47% of retail employers say they are seeking scientific and mathematically qualified staff.*

(*STEM Careers Review Nov 2010).

Slide 10. A National Strategy for STEM.

In a Government review Sir Gareth Roberts noted:

‘The views of parents, teachers, careers advisers and society in general towards study and careers in science and engineering can play a significant role in shaping pupil’s choices as to whether to study these subjects at higher levels. Regrettably, and incorrectly, pupils often view the study of (these subjects)as narrowing their options, rather than broadening them’.

A ten year national programme, which concludes in 2014 , was established to address this; one element is Careers Awareness . This resulted in better STEM careers communications and resources being made available all of which are incorporated in this online module.

Slide 11. STEM Careers Review.

A separate review by The Gatsby Foundation made 14 recommendations to improve STEM careers education, information, advice and guidance in England including:

  • Careers professionals need to be well informed about careers available to people with STEM qualifications and skills....The National STEM Centre should produce a high quality STEM careers training module designed for use in the initial and in-service training of careers professionals.
  • Teachers of science, mathematics and other STEM subjects in secondary schools and FE colleges should be better equipped with knowledge of STEM careers and the pathways to them.
  • Careers awareness should be embedded seamlessly into the teaching of STEM subjects, especially science and mathematics.

Slide 12. Key Messages.

STEM qualifications:

  • lead to a wide range of opportunities at different levels and are valuable for non-STEM jobs. They keep options open; can help to address key global challenges such as climate change; are valued by employers – 40% of businesses prefer STEM degrees when recruiting graduates. STEM courses and careers are open to all and can help raise aspirations. STEM helps develops enterprise and employability skills – analytical capabilities, problem solving and creativity. Many STEM jobs need creativity and design skills in combination with mathematical and scientific abilities. Good salaries are available and locations for work vary, often not a desk or a laboratory.

Slide 13 (final slide)

Let’s Grow STEM!

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