STEM, four little letters that stand for big subjects: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Careers within STEM account for 20% of the UK’s total workforce, employing close to 5.8 million people. Clearly - STEM matters.

Nevertheless, many wonder ‘What has STEM ever done for me?’ Besides the huge economic contribution that STEM makes annually, it also affects lives on a daily basis by improving healthcare, infrastructure, and so much more. Without STEM-based discoveries, the world as we know it today would be a very different place.

Results from a poll conducted by Randstad show that not many people know what STEM stands for (1109 votes in total):

  • No (688 votes, 62%)
  • Yes (421 votes, 38%)

Whilst it may be easy to picture a life without phones or cars, it’s much more difficult to think of it without core discoveries that changed the course of so much: vaccines, internet, concrete, mass production, even the humble number zero. In 2016, the largest known prime number was discovered with a whopping 22,338,618 digits thanks to specialist computer software (CPUs, central processing units) running across a global network of processors, reaching 450 million calculations per second.

None of this would be possible without dedicated individuals working in STEM fields – researching and pushing the boundaries of human innovation.

If you’re interested in the countless and diverse discoveries of STEM and the influence it has on today’s world and your career, then be sure to explore STEMisphere. Created with the assistance of machine learning and artificial intelligence, after combing through 94,440 pages of content, the STEMisphere selected a range of weird and wonderful STEM connections.  It’s a fascinating collection of information, bringing together past and present discoveries to highlight how sometimes an unlikely connection is the key to a breakthrough.

Experts now acknowledge that the UK is facing a skills shortage and the same goes for STEM. The UK Commission for Employment & Skills has found that up to 43% of STEM vacancies are hard to fill due to the scarcity of applicants with the relevant skills and experience and this isn’t likely to resolve itself in the near future.

Addressing this issue before it’s too late is at the forefront for many. Owen Goodhead, Randstad’s MD of Construction says: “We're already experiencing a skills chasm, with employers increasingly leaning on the expertise of recruiters to secure scarce and highly-skilled talent. It's crucial that we further raise the profile of STEM at a grassroots level as we need our future generations to bridge the skills gap. As part of this, we must inspire fresh ways of looking at how STEM impacts our working world and how previous STEM discoveries have influenced our lives and careers in order to promote future findings and nurture diversity."

But something positive can come of this too; students can be encouraged to pursue STEM-based fields of study with the promise of employment at the end, something that not many other paths can guarantee in an unstable economy.

For Ruth Jacobs, MD of Randstad’s Business Solutions, this rings particularly true. She says: “A savvy STEM student has a bright future ahead of them as the skills shortage show no signs of ending anytime soon. GDPR had a significant impact on the demand for cybersecurity experts, data protection officers and data analysts in 2018, who as a result are now able to demand a higher salary due to many organisations fearing to be non-compliant.”

According to Victoria Short, MD of Randstad Public Services, we could all do with a refresher on why STEM matters and how it helped to shape our world. She believes that “as adults, it's important to revisit some of the discoveries and role models that shaped today's world of work to help inspire the next generation of much needed nurses, care workers and teachers, who have the potential to make a real change to the way we live and work while helping to fight the battle against the UK skills shortage in these areas."

To learn and be inspired by STEM today be sure to explore the STEMisphere and its rich world of discoveries.

About RandstadThe Randstad Group is a global leader in the HR services industry and specialises in solutions in the field of flexible work and human resources services. We support people and organisations in realising their true potential. Our services range from regular temporary Staffing and permanent placements to In-house Services, Professionals, and HR Solutions (including Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Managed Services Programs, and outplacement). 

 

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

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Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

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We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

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Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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