Science industry could soon face skills shortage

Employers specialising in engineering and science will face a future skills
shortage unless more young people can be encouraged to study the disciplines at
school and university, research finds.

The Roberts Report, commissioned by the Treasury, Department for Education
and Skills and the DTI, reveals the number of students studying relevant
degrees in science and engineering has fallen by 16 per cent. Although the
overall number of people on scientific and technical courses has risen, the
increase is accounted for by IT and is at the expense of maths, engineering and
the physical sciences.

Sir Gareth Roberts, president of the Science Council, said industry had to
help improve the image of these subjects.

"The report constitutes a serious challenge to all with an interest in
science and innovation, especially the Government, employers and those in
education," he said.

The study also reveals a shortage of women choosing to study these subjects.

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