Poll reveals extent of STEM skills gap

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Over 60% of business leaders and nearly 70% of academics surveyed for a recent poll believe it could take more than ten years to close the STEM skills gap facing industry.

Academics from 24 leading universities and 300 employers were surveyed by UK based software specialist MathWorks. The majority were united in a belief that the skills gap can be mitigated with greater collaboration between industry and academia. More than half of both groups (51% of industry and 53% of academics) believe investment in the teaching of STEM in Further Education and Higher Education is not as high as in other countries. While 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, universities are less enthusiastic, with just 46% welcoming this extent of industry involvement Dr Coorous Mohtadi, MathWorks, said: "This report tells us two important things. First, that more needs to be done to encourage students to study STEM subjects in tertiary education. Second, that STEM curricula need to better reflect the requirements of industry. "The different approaches to addressing the STEM skills gap are interesting and highlight the need for greater collaboration between industry and academia; understanding what is required of graduates in the workplace, and how teaching approaches can better meet the needs of industry."