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According to findings from STEM Learning, there is a significant shortage in skilled professionals in this particular sector. As a result, businesses are spending more than £1.5 billion each year in order to cover training costs, recruitment, temporary staffing and other associated costings in order to carry out the roles which remain somewhat unfulfilled. With the UK Commission for Employment and Skills suggesting that 43% of STEM role vacancies are becoming difficult to fulfil, HR professionals working in the STEM sector are having to increase their search for talent overseas and therefore creating relocation packages to overcome the ongoing skill shortages. Here at Santa Fe Relocation we’re taking a closer look at the current situation within the STEM sector.
The impact of STEM skills shortage on future projects
STEM encompasses a huge selection of subjects and courses, and existing students and future generations will need to be encouraged to study these. With the skill shortage being defined as a ‘national crisis’ by the director of the Leicester Institute of Space and Observation, Martin Barstrow, some businesses are concerned that various industries will be vastly impacted in the future. For example, the space industry is set to grow in the UK to £40 billion by 2030, but without proper recruitment in this area and lack of education to study STEM subjects, this target may not be possible to reach.
The benefits of apprenticeships
A key area of growth which the STEM sector could look to utilise is apprentices. There are a number of schemes already in place, such as The Tech Partnership, which are proving beneficial for the sector, helping to generate new skills and experience for young people in STEM-related roles. Alongside school-leaver apprenticeships, businesses can also invest in higher education and degree-level apprenticeships.
This offers a beneficial solution to the apprentice, the business and the sector as a whole. A study published in 2017 by The Tech Partnership also showcased that the UK cyber workforce grew by 160% in five years, and with the growth in demand for STEM-related employees, vocational training could be more beneficial than a traditional degree – of which numbers are soaring which is leading to some employers believing that university degrees are becoming irrelevant. Apprenticeships have the potential to be key to improving the STEM skills shortage crisis.
A significant contributor to the skills shortage in STEM related roles is due to funding, and with Brexit set to be legally implemented by 2019, the future of the British economy and where funding is set to be distributed is unclear. Nevertheless, a report released by the Government earlier this year suggested that an additional £2bn per year is set to be contributed to the sector in order to sustain the UK as a leader in science and innovation. The report also acknowledged the need to encourage students to have a stronger understanding of science and tech-related subjects in order to inspire younger generations to venture into this sector. This could result in a shift in school curriculum for even the youngest of years, to encompass subjects such as artificial intelligence and robotics, amongst others.
Migration of STEM to STEAM
A 360-degree approach could be what is required to encompass the skills shortage whilst ensuring personal requirements are met for each individual. STEM currently incorporates science, technology, engineering and manufacturing, but some individuals believe that including the arts in this could help to further improve creativityand decision making, whilst dealing with real-world problems.
The next generation could benefit from this dynamic approach, in order to truly equip themselves with the skills and knowledge required to succeed within a technological future. Incorporating elements of the arts could also encourage more creative individuals to take on some of the job roles which are struggling to be filled in modern times, whereas a structured STEM approach could deter individuals who could be highly suited to these vacancies.
If you are considering relocating a member of your team in order to fill the skills shortage across the globe, and you would like advice throughout the relocation process, get in touch with a member of our expert team.