UK skills gap in STEM subjects

October 11, 2013, 8:20 AM GMT+0

New YouGov research among businesses and academics shows the majority think there is a skills gap among science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) graduates in Britain.

After the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned of a shrinking pool of skilled workers in the UK, new YouGov research among businesses and academics shows that nearly six in ten employers of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates think there is a skills gap in Britain.

The survey for MathWorks found that 59% of businesses and 79% of universities surveyed believe there aren’t enough skilled candidates leaving education to meet industry’s employment requirements. Furthermore, among those who believe a skills gap exists, over than six in ten (61%) business leaders and 68% of academics believe it will take over ten years to close.

YouGov’s research backs up the OECD’s warning about the economic implications of not having enough skilled workers. More than eight in ten (83%) businesses and almost nine in ten (89%) academics think the skills gap needs to be bridged in order for the UK to be competitive in the world economy.

The universities and businesses polled were united in believing that the skills gap can be mitigated with greater collaboration between academia and industry. Over half (52%) of employers and almost two-thirds (64%) of academics included in the survey thought that industry does not currently work closely enough with universities.

Additionally, more than six in ten (63%) businesses think industry should have a greater say and make a greater investment in the STEM curriculum in the UK. However, universities are less sure, with less than half (46%) welcoming this extent of industry involvement.

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Image: Getty