Research has shown that the UK economy will create 1.2 million jobs in the engineering sector in the coming years, but the lack of qualified graduates will leave a shortfall of 59,000 candidates a year.
Now UK STEM – a specialist company which works with schools and industry to promote science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) – is launching a special awards system to help plug the gap.
Mike Cargill, Managing Director of UK STEM, believes that encouraging more young people into engineering and technology careers is critical to the success of many UK firms.
His company has joined forces with the University of Wolverhampton and technology firm, Mindsets Online, to develop the Global STEM Award system.
He said: “We are providing a framework to help both teachers and students understand the connection between STEM activities and the influence that they have in the real world.
“Our aim is to nurture interest in STEM from primary school onwards. Our system will motivate students to complete a range of exciting STEM projects and present them with awards that they can be proud of.”
“The projects will fire their imagination and show them how STEM-based skills can be used to make a real difference to people’s lives.”
“Students will gain bronze, silver and gold awards by completing a variety of projects,” he added. “This will take them on a journey across the seven continents of the world, as well as space and marine environments, to enrich their understanding of different cultures and eco-systems.
“The projects will fire their imagination and show them how STEM-based skills can be used to make a real difference to people’s lives. There is going to be a huge demand for graduates with STEM skills in the very near future, but forecasts predict a worrying shortfall which will have a detrimental impact on individual companies and the UK economy.
“We are looking forward to working with schools across the UK and with companies who may wish to sponsor these awards in their area. A cluster of schools have already registered their interest and the University of Wolverhampton plan to roll out the awards to 13 of their partner schools.”
More information on the Global STEM Awards can be found at www.ukstem.uk