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A recent report has said that the UK needs to increase the number of science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) graduates by 50%. The study, by the Royal Academy of Engineering, has said that 100,000 Stem graduates are needed a year just to maintain the status quo.
The report argues that the UK is already slipping down the international innovation league tables. This is worrying as it is predicted that by 2020 830,000 graduate-level Stem experts and 450,000 technicians will be needed in the UK.
Currently there around 23,000 engineers graduating every year in the UK, however India is producing eight times as many, and China 20 times as many. Therefore the current pool of science, technology and engineering experts are already “stretching thin” and ageing rapidly. The media age of chartered engineers rises by 10 years for every 14 that pass.
Prof Matthew Harrison, director of engineering and education at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said the shortage of Stem graduates was getting worse:
"In the last 10 years the general wage premium for graduates has been dropping, but over the same period the graduate premium for engineering has been going up. Engineering firms are crying out for engineers. They can't get the people they need. Although they have been very very vocal about the subject it has not translated into public policy yet.”
‘A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman said it was working closely with industry and continue to look at various ways to support engineering at all levels, including engagement in schools, apprenticeships and postgraduate training.’
Read the article here: Warning over shortage of engineering graduates
on 10 October 2012