Delivering STEM skills for the economy Contents


STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In education, it means the study of these subjects, either exclusively or in combination. In employment, it refers to work that involves the application of STEM knowledge and skills, an appropriate qualification in a STEM subject, or a particular industry or sector, such as pharmaceuticals, construction or aerospace. Since the early 2000s, there have been growing concerns about the supply of STEM skills in the workforce, focusing on achieving increased productivity and economic growth in an era of rapid technological change. Exit from the European Union could also affect the availability in the workforce of people with the requisite STEM skills. Responsibility in government is spread across a number of departments. The Department for Education (DfE) is responsible for the main learning routes—schools, colleges, apprenticeships and higher education institutions—and is also responsible for generating research on skills needs. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) develops insights into key business sectors, and leads a STEM inspiration programme, encouraging young people to consider STEM careers. Other departments also play an important role. Between them, government departments spent almost £1 billion between 2007 and 2017 on initiatives to encourage more take-up of STEM subjects.

Published: 22 June 2018