Tech startups and other 'digitally-savvy' firms have been called upon to work in close collaboration with school teachers in an effort to close the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills gap, reports the Independent.
A young people’s campaign called Your Life, which began three years ago, said that digital innovators should help educate young people who are still in school to close a widening gap in business-relevant technology and engineering skills. The campaign survey revealed that nearly half of all school-age people do not plan to study maths or science at GCSE or beyond because they regard the subjects as uninteresting.
However, around two-thirds of those surveyed by Your Life said that the subjects were not relevant to many careers, despite evidence pointing to the fact that the number of available jobs in the technology sector is rising. What’s more, a third of young people wanted to work in gaming, while a fifth opted for IT, both of which rely heavily on the study of STEM subjects.
Edwina Dunn, the chairperson for Your Life, said:
It is worrying that nearly a quarter are only taking single-science subjects at GCSE. This limits choices in both future study and careers. Our research shows young people have not had experience of new era employers to allow them to make informed decisions about their future. One fundamental way to change this is to invest teachers with a better understanding of the reality of working and jobs of the Future.
This is why we are calling on STEM employers to open their doors to teachers as part of their CPD (continuing professional development). Collaboration like this is the only way we can achieve lasting change for young people and ensure we close the persistent STEM skills gap that hampers business growth and our economy today.
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