The purpose of this project was to develop the structure and content for a free-standing learning module focused around science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers awareness and labour market information (LMI).
The development arose from a commitment by the Centre for Science Education at Sheffield Hallam University and their partners Babcock Careers Management following a three years’ work on the STEM Subject Choice and Careers project funded by DfE. The first phase online module is to be hosted initially by Warwick IER and will be linked to a Labour Information (LMI) module also being created by Warwick IER. The STEM Careers module will move to the National STEM Centre in the next phase of its development for 2011/12 as part of recommendations (Recommendation 4) laid down within the STEM Careers Report to the Gatsby Charitable Foundation (2010), but the link to the LMI module at Warwick will be retained. The module has been designed to complement and extend the STEM Choices resource produced by the project and link this creatively with learning from the existing LMI online learning module (sited on the NGRF website), by interlinking closely, but retaining a clear STEM identity. It was thought this would harness the interest of careers advisers and respond to commitments in the Career professions Task Force report to support the CPD of advisers in STEM, LMI and ICT.
The LMI STEM module starts with an LMI Self Assessment Tool; the results of which will direct you to one of three self directed learning modules:
- LMI 'Basics' – aimed at teachers, tutors, trainee careers advisers
- LMI 'Moving on' – aimed at new careers advisers, careers leaders, careers advisers
- LMI 'Digging Deeper' – aimed at experienced careers advisers, those with LMI specialisms, trainers
At the end of each module there is a short self assessment tool to help learners consolidate and plan any future LMI learning.
A further element of the project was an analysis of the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE). Factors associated with young people’s STEM subject choices for higher education were investigated, together with subject choices at school and career decision-making for higher education. From these data, individual preferences and attitudes emerge as important, alongside structural factors.
In 2012 and 2013, the STEM career learning module was enhanced through improvements to navigation and the updating of the LMI contained within the module.