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Recent reports have shown that 43% of STEM vacancies are hard to fill which, in turn, makes a shortfall of around 40,000 jobs each year. For those that are unsure of what STEM vacancies are, it is the skilled roles filled by the students of STEM subjects taught in Schools & Universities (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). Within the ever changing landscape of Manufacturing & Engineering, and with all the technological advances due over the next few years, it is becoming more important than ever to start promoting these skills at the earliest opportunity in the development of a child’s education.
Graduates with STEM qualifications can go on to help solve a whole host of worldly problems from sustainability and renewable energy to big data and space travel. The opportunities are endless and yet not enough people are attempting to grasp them.
The current image of STEM subjects is one of an exclusive club for the ‘extremely bright & gifted’ sections of the class or that they are ‘subjects for the boys’. As a result of this, engagement with Maths and Science reduces by about 74% for girls and 56% percent amongst boys during their secondary school education. At A-level, just 1 in 11 young people take Maths & Physics as subjects because their previous educational establishments have failed to emphasise the importance of these in relation to their career opportunities, many see these subjects as mostly theoretical and not relevant to everyday working life.
Education aside, the advantage of students acquiring these skills will be their ability to be in control of their future and their careers because they will be the ones in demand (74% of all UK businesses rely on people with STEM skills). With 58% of all new jobs expected to require STEM skills now is the perfect time for anyone to start thinking of gaining STEM qualifications (or utilising the ones they have). STEM graduates tend to earn nearly £250,000 more in their lifetime than normal graduates (£160,000) and non-graduates so there is definitely a financial incentive to take these subjects up. Companies that employ STEM graduates are generally thinking long term when hiring too and so most STEM careers offer good prospects for the long term. It’s not only the UK that is shouting out for STEM graduates either, there is a demand for people with STEM skills globally and careers can often include the opportunity for international travel.
So what’s being done about the lack of students taking up STEM subjects? Efforts are being made to help dispel the myths surrounding STEM subjects as well as a conscious effort to help students understand the importance of STEM subjects and the opportunities they create. Primary school initiatives include Code Club, a network of after school clubs designed to help children to learn coding and the fundamental principles that power all of their ‘tech’ they take for granted every day.
Apprenticeships schemes are also helping to nurture STEM talent, a level 2 or 3 apprentice can deliver £27 return on every £1 invested. The advantage, as always, with an apprenticeship is that the student gets workplace training and experience and the company gets access to the right skills for their business.
The UK Government is also taking steps to ensure that all adults also have the basic digital skills training needed to survive in the modern world. We also need adults to embrace the benefits of STEM subjects and promote them to their children, encouraging them to learn these subjects from an early age.
Further developments, initiatives & strategies will see businesses, government, schools and universities working together to ensure that we can provide as much information and opportunities as possible to encourage more people into the STEM subjects. After all, it will be their work that helps guide this country forward over the next few decades so it is in the national interest to ensure these people are provided with all the support they need.
I'd also like to take the chance to thank you for all your help during my time with Ambitek. I have always been paid on time and any worries I had were sorted out incredibly quickly either by yourself or your colleagues. Thank you for making my time as a contractor as painless as possible. I would certainly have no qualms about being employed by your agency again sometime in the future. Although obviously not any time soon!!!!
I contacted Ambitek last year about employment. They quickly responded and helped me get a job! I now have a full time job thanks to Ambitek and their staff. They have always paid me on time and have always been there to help me if I needed any advice! Now me and my family are doing great all thanks to Ambitek.
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Hi, don't know if they informed you but I got a full time contract this week, thanks to you and your team for everything mate I'd be nowhere without Ambitek.
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