Jobs vacancies in high level STEM occupations (those requiring science, technology, engineering and maths) are almost twice as likely to be left unfilled due to a lack of staff with the right skills, new research shows.

The findings, released today (10 Jul) by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), show that 43% of vacancies in STEM roles are hard to fill due to a shortage of applicants with the required skills – almost double the UK average of 24%.

Reviewing the Requirement for Higher Level STEM Skills takes an in depth look at skills challenges facing STEM occupations, and finds that these skills are of key importance to the performance of the UK economy in terms of jobs, productivity, innovation and competitiveness. Using the broadest definition, 5m people are employed in high level STEM roles.

Lesley Giles, deputy director at UKCES, said:

These findings highlight an alarming shortage of skills affecting key jobs in the UK economy, and point to a vital need to improve the level of training provision offered to those working within STEM industries.

STEM skills underpin many of the industries at the forefront of our economy, from world leading engineering to cutting edge information technology, yet our findings also show some evidence that those working in high level STEM roles are less likely than most to receive training.

There is a vital need for employers to act now to secure a steady flow of talent with the right skills in years to come: building more structured training and development schemes and developing clear career pathways are just two ways in which early action can avert future crises.

As part of the report, UKCES research has been used to map STEM occupations in according to anticipated need, creating a list of roles expected to be in highest demand up to 2022.

In terms of current shortages vacancies for engineering professionals are worst affected, with almost 60% of vacancies difficult to fill due to a lack of skills.

The research also brings to light the range of sectors dependent on STEM skills, with almost half (46%) of graduates working in innovative firms in manufacturing and knowledge-intensive business service industries having a degree in a STEM subject.

STEM skills also play a vital role in a range of other sectors, including specialised manufacturing, research and development and technical consultancy, as well as underpinning crucial technological areas including computer programming.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:

Electrical Installation Lecturer

Protocol are working with one of the largest colleges based in the North West of England and are looking to recruit an exceptional Electrica...

Salary : Up to £28000 per annum

Maths Lecturer

Permanent, Full Time, Maths Lecturer required to work within a fantastic FE College based in Cheshire!

Salary : Up to £25000 per annum

Built Environment/ Surveying Lecturer

Protocol are working with an FE College based in Shropshire and are looking to recruit a specialist Built Environment/Surveying Lecturer to ...

Salary : Up to £20 per hour + Plus Statutory Holiday Pay

Pastoral Support Tutor

We are working with a college of further education based in Stockport that offers qualifications up to degree level as well as bespoke vocat...

Salary : Up to £16 per hour + Plus Statutory Holiday Pay

A level Sociology Lecturer - Long Term, Top Sixth Form College

A fantastic opportunity is available at a top sixth form college based in Leicestershire.

Salary : Up to £20 per hour + Plus Statutory Holiday Pay



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

Providing trustworthy and positive news and views since 2003, we publish exclusive peer to peer articles from our feature writers, as well as publishing user content from our network of over 2000 contributors, offering multiple sources of news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also ‘shoot’ video interviews and news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page