This is the report of a programme of analysis undertaken to develop a view on the UK’s future needs for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.
The “Innovation Nation” White Paper announced that DIUS would lead a programme of analysis on the demand for STEM skills working with DCSF, BERR and the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, drawing on expert input provided by the Research Councils and business.
Employers often report difficulties in recruiting STEM qualified staff and some perceive there to be a shortage in STEM skills. The programme of analysis aimed to examine the extent to which the perceived shortage relates to STEM skills generally or specific subjects within STEM, and whether employers’ needs are being met by STEM qualified staff. The focus was on qualifications at level 3 and above.
This report surveys existing publications from employers on their need for STEM skills, including the extensive material published by Sector Skills Councils. Findings from workshops held by DIUS with employers are included, as well as contributions submitted following a public call for evidence. The report provides an update of previous analysis on the supply of STEM graduates, and provides new analysis on the supply of young people with relevant A Level qualifications and the proportion that go on to study STEM in higher education. The labour market outcomes of STEM qualified people, including employment rates, earnings and occupations, are examined as they help indicate the extent to which the supply of STEM skills is meeting employer demand for these skills.