From education to employment

Funding pressures and inconsistencies threaten STEM provision

Funding pressures and inconsistencies are threatening FE colleges’ ability to equip learners with high quality STEM-related skills, according to a new report.

The 157 Group college association, which published the research, believes employers need to become more involved in curriculum design in order for STEM provision to be a success.

Lynne Sedgmore, executive director of the 157 Group, said the delivery of STEM subjects is a key priority for many FE colleges, driven by their focus on responding to local and national priorities, as well as employers’ demands for upskilling and reskilling their workforces.

“High?quality vocational provision is vital in ensuring that Stem-sector employers have access to the skilled individuals they need for business productivity and competitiveness,” said Sedgmore.

“For colleges there are, however, several challenges involved in delivering Stem programmes, which this project has sought to explore, focusing in particular on the financial challenges associated with the higher capital and revenue costs required for delivery.”

The report, which was supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the Association of Colleges (AoC), made a number of recommendations for how STEM provision could be improved and promoted.

Natalie Thornhill

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