Industry given the chance to STEM skills shortage

Posted on 9 Apr 2015 by Jonny Williamson

British industry is being given the chance to stand up and be counted in a bid to pass on vital knowledge and experience in the fight against a STEM skills shortfall.

The STEM Exchange, pioneered by The Stem Alliance, is a new initiative commissioned and funded by the Education and Training Foundation designed to bring further education (FE) and industry together.

There are a number of reasons for firms to sign up to The STEM Exchange, including:

  • Ensure STEM skills teaching keeps pace with advances in industry
  • Increase the supply of well-qualified, talented individuals with the right skills to meet business needs
  • Demonstrate credentials as an industry leader
  • Increase competitiveness
  • Influence policy decision making that impact on business

Industry is opening its doors to post-16 educators to offer any number of development opportunities which will enable them understand the current and future needs of the sector.

Al Parkes, chief operating officer of Semta – the charity which runs The STEM Alliance – commented: “We are giving industry the chance to open their doors and throw light on what skills the nation really needs to go about its business.

“The exchange of knowledge could be anything from a walk on the shop floor or introduction to your business, to bite-sized work shadowing, advice over the phone or the opportunity to attend an internal training session.

“This is about helping teaching practitioners understand business needs, the technologies in use and the challenges so they can shape their teaching to align with industry requirements.”

More than 200 businesses have already registered to participate in a myriad of ways – with many more expected to sign up in the next few weeks.

The STEM Exchange connects forward-thinking employers and further education (FE) practitioners to drive excellence in STEM teaching. Through the programme, industry can engage with teachers and tutors to ensure STEM training for Apprenticeships, Higher Apprenticeships and FE is closely aligned to business needs.

Employers can communicate the skills and qualities they require and influence STEM teaching by:

  • Providing teaching practitioners with access to work-related experience – anything from bite-sized work-shadowing to attending a company induction
  • Supporting Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and interactions
  • Providing Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)