March 18, 2013 Leave a comment
The government’s hope that it can drive an economic recovery by growing the UK’s manufacturing industry will be thwarted by a lack of science and technology graduates, a report suggests.
The report – which concludes that there is an annual shortfall of 40,000 science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) graduates – has been released amid calls for a national campaign to boost the number of women in science.
A spokesman for the Social Market Foundation (SMF) thinktank, said the number of home-grown graduates in STEM subjects needs to increase by half just to keep science-related industries at their current size.
If the government would like to grow these sectors to drive a recovery at the same time as reducing migration, the shortfall balloons even further.
Nida Broughton, a senior economist at the SMF, said: “The government has made clear its aim to rebalance the UK economy towards manufacturing and away from financial services. But it has also pledged to reduce immigration. Our analysis shows that the gulf between skills and jobs makes these aims incompatible in the short-term.”
The manufacturers’ association, the EEF, estimates that 90% of Britain’s engineers are male and 80% of workers in the manufacturing industry are male. That compares with other sectors, where men are an average of 51% of the workforce.