The world is constantly evolving and in order to stay ahead of the game, we need to keep up with modern advancements and innovations. With job opportunities predicting to rise by up to 20% in the next five years in the scientific and technical services, it’s clear an aging workforce such as engineering means that thousands of job roles will need to be replaced over the next 10 years.
The question is: where and how do we find the right people with the right skillsets?
The growing development of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) has played a huge factor in students’ desires to learn in this field and many organisations have been working to improve the quality of teaching and learning in STEM subjects. Some have even gone as far as to influence government policy in order to raise awareness for how these subjects can be beneficial for a wide variety of future careers.
There has been a national drive in recent years to give students the chance to understand the key attributes of STEM and provide them with the knowledge they need to fulfil these demands in the future. Encouraging students to engage with STEM subjects not only gives them a deeper understanding of the skills needed for the economy in the future, it also incorporates techniques that will enable students to become leaders. Things like problem solving, critical thinking and creativity are key in this instance, and this encourages students to explore a range of career paths in a large number of industries.
We raised the question of whether STEM studies are supporting the future of engineering on Twitter.
— Subcon Laser Cutting (@SubconLaser) February 7, 2018
The Gatsby Charitable Foundation published a careers strategy in December 2017 explaining what schools will need to do in order to ensure that all young people receive guidance that is stable and delivered by individuals who have the correct experience. This is known as the Gatsby Benchmarks and this is set to take place between now and 2020. The Benchmarks are not statutory but by adopting them, schools are developing on their careers provision and offering students the right guidance to fulfil their career ambitions. The Benchmarks state that all STEM teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a variety of future career paths but also that they should tackle gender stereotypes during this process such as arranging for pupils to talk to men and women who work in non-stereotypical job roles.
MNA, Publishers of the Express & Star and Shropshire Star launched a STEM Challenge last year to encourage students to further explore key topics in STEM and how their classroom learning can contribute to the role they will play in their future careers. The challenge is a competition and will see schools working alongside businesses to design and manufacture a product which will then be demonstrated at a presentation event on July 5th. Mentors will formal STEM training will visit the schools to observe their development and provide support when needed.
Shaun Hunt, assistant principal at Dudley College of Technology, had this to say:
‘What we hope to do is to inspire them by showing them what different careers there are and how they could be an engineer in a well-paid job in a laboratory environment. It’s not the world it used to be. We want to show them how important these STEM subjects are and what opportunities they can open up for them in the future.’
Here are some of the responses we received on Twitter. Join in the conversation and tweet us at @SubconLaser and give us your opinion.