Peter Finegold, Head of Education and Skills at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said in response to:

Robert Halfon’s calls for changes to the exam system:

“One way of ensuring that more young people keep their options open for longer would be to introduce a broader baccalaureate – commonplace in most developed economies. The Institution has previously highlighted how the narrow ‘high stakes’ choice of three A-levels at aged 16 effectively means psychologically opting out of other subjects at 14 - often limiting future opportunity. Not only would Robert Halfon’s proposed changes benefit engineering, they would also ensure that young people made better choices leading to a fulfilling career in a whole range of sectors.”

The publication of new data by the Department of Education showing that school girls in England are substantially less likely than boys to consider taking STEM subjects at A Level than boys:

“Our ‘Never too Late’: Profiling Female Engineering Apprentices report shows women who choose engineering are more likely to be ‘accidental all-rounders’ who are more open to a range of career options and tend to make decisions later. This is an important consideration, for if we are to reach out to more young women to pursue a STEM career, we can’t only promote STEM to those who put the subjects at the absolute top of the list. We need to make it easier for girls who rank STEM as second or third favourite too.”

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