Royal Academy of Engineering wants more STEM graduates
A new report published by the Royal Academy of Engineering concludes that the UK does not produce enough engineers.
Around 1.25 million science, engineering and technology professionals and technicians are needed by 2020, including a high proportion of engineers, to support the UK’s economic recovery, concluded the report.
This follows a warning by the IET that the economy needs more science, maths and engineering graduates.
“Currently, the UK is only producing 25 to 50% of the engineering graduates that the economy needs,” said the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
This means that an extra 200,000 engineers will be needed in the industry by 2020.
The minimum number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates required just to maintain the status quo is 100,000 a year with a further 60,000 individuals with Level 3+ (broadly equivalent to A-Level) STEM qualifications for the period 2012-2020.
However, only 90,000 STEM students currently graduate annually and, as around a quarter of engineering students choose non-SET occupations, there is already a shortfall.
“We need an increase in the number of STEM graduates over the next 10 years in support of rebalancing the UK economy,” said Sir John Parker GBE FREng, president of the Academy.
“I am delighted to see that the government is taking on board the message that a proper industrial strategy is essential for effective and sustained economic recovery. Only with such a framework and vision in place can we create ‘the pull’ that defines our future educational and skills needs,” said Parker.
“We must encourage employers to work with universities with the aim of producing more engineers,” said Parker.
The report found that engineers are needed in vital industries and services such as energy, water, sanitation, communications and IT systems.
“We are at risk of stifling economic growth if we do not encourage more students to study STEM subjects which are crucial to increase the output of UK plc,” said Stephanie Fernandes, IET Principal Policy Advisor for Education and Skills.
The demand for engineers in industry is growing. According to the IET’s skills survey for 2012 shows that over the next year, 58% of companies are planning to recruit, compared to just 36% in 2011.