UK faces shortage of scientists and engineers

Government
research suggests that science and engineering employers will face a future
skills shortage unless more young Britons can be persuaded to join the
profession.

The
Roberts Report, commissioned by the Treasury, Department for Education and
Skills and the DTI, found that the number of students studying the relevant
numerical degrees had fallen by 16 per cent.

Although
the overall number of people on scientific and technical courses has risen, the
increase was mainly due to IT and at the expense of those studying mathematics,
engineering and the physical sciences.

Sir
Gareth Roberts, president of the Science Council, said industry must start
improving the image of these subjects in schools and colleges:

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

The
study also found a shortage of women choosing to study these subjects as well
as a general negative image of careers in engineering and science.

www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/mediastore/otherfiles/ACF599.pdf

By Ross Wigham

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