Research Discovers Looming Lack of Graduates For Engineering Profession

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28th June 2013 15:36 - Engineering

A combination of recently published reports point to a looming lack of graduates for the engineering profession and other STEM industries. According to the Social Market Foundation, assuming that the number of STEM graduates entering other professions (i.e. non-STEM) stays the same, the economy will require a further 40,000 graduates a year in science, engineering, maths and technology based subjects in order to fill the number of roles required annually - an increase in annual STEM graduates of almost 50%.

In addition to this, as a large proportion of the STEM jobs of the future will be engineering based, almost 1 in 5 graduates will be required to enter the engineering sector each year if the UK is to meet demand. Causing additional concern is the fact that less than a tenth of professional engineers currently (2012 figures, Engineering UK) are female; a report by the Insitute of Physics recently suggested that in half of UK-state schools, A-level physics classes consist entirely of male pupils.

Yewande Akinola, winner of the Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award and an water engineer at Arup, feels the problem is one of perceptions:

"A lot of girls see it as a career for blokes. When you're at school, it's difficult to see that there's anything beyond hammers and metalwork and boilersuits – when in fact the job is all about design, creativity and innovation. We need to make it glamorous, let them go see JLS and think about how the stage, lighting and sound engineering works."

 

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