Like Ireland, Britain will also face a shortage of STEM professionals in the next few years and therefore has begun a plan to encourage children to uptake the subjects at school.
Young people are dropping subjects such as maths and physics at A-Level because of outdated career advice and pressure to achieve high grades, which is driving students to choose subjects that are perceived as easy, according to a new report into the issue, which warns the UK is heading for a lost generation.
Edwina Dunn, creator of the Tesco Clubcard and business lobby group the CBI has led a study called ‘Tough Choices’, which has examined data on the falling popularity of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, collated by AT Kearney, the consultancy firm, Kings College London and University College London.
The study found that one of the main reasons was inadequate advice from career guidance counsillors, teachers and parents, who were unable to explainthe benefits of STEM subjects, when it comes to career options.
“The information that is being given to students is often historic,” Ms Dunn said. “People still think that taking maths and physics means you become a teacher, or work in a lab, rather than creating animations or building apps, or going into data science.”
“All these poor kids are going to come out of school thinking they’ve invested in their education but they’ll be without maths and science. They will be totally unprepared for the job market. It’s bad for students and terrible for business”
According to the Department for Education in Britain, only one in four secondary school students will take two STEM subjects or more at A-Level, and fewer than one in 10 takes maths and physics, the two subjects that will be in demand across British industry over the coming decade as a result of the fast-growing digital economy.
More than half of British businesses expect a shortfall in the number of STEM skilled staff in the next three years and, according to the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET), the country will need an extra 1.82m engineers to meet demand over the next seven years.
Via The Telegraph