In the foreword to the Engineering UK 2017 annual report, the authors are blunt in their assessment of the impact that current efforts to get more people to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) have had on the engineering sector: they have not been good enough.
“Efforts should be redoubled to improve Stem education, to attract young people into engineering, and to retain, motivate and improve the skills of those already in engineering,” write Ann Dowling, president of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and Malcolm Brinded, chairman of Engineering UK. They state that Stem graduates fall “well short of demand” and that efforts to get more women into the profession are also “falling short”.
Education is key
The statistics they provide tell two stories: one of a growing and highly diverse engineering sector, and one of a serious deficiency in the talent needed to fulfil the roles. Education, they are sure, is key.
So to begin this collection of Stem essays, articles and interviews, we have pulled out some of the key statistics of Engineering UK’s report (download it at engineeringuk.com/research), which provides a specific example from one sector of the problem we still have nationally when it comes to promoting Stem.