Media release - 9/2/2009

Jobs of the Future will Rely on STEM

New research to be published on Monday by Warwick Institute for Employment Research, commissioned by the CIHE, the ETB and DIUS, predicts that projected demand for STEM graduates and postgraduates is likely to increase much faster than for other disciplines by 2017.

Amongst other figures, the report predicts the following increases in demand for STEM graduates in the next eight years:
• 122% increase in demand for biological science graduates
• 56% increase in demand for engineering graduates
• 95% increase in demand for mathematical science and computing graduates
• 38% increase in demand for medicine graduates
• 48% increase in demand for physical environmental science graduates
• 80% increase in demand for technology graduates

The report, entitled, ‘The Demand for STEM Graduates – some benchmark projections’, predicts similar increases in demand for STEM postgraduates.

Furthermore, it shows significant trends in demand across all sectors from low to higher level skills in the long term, predicting a structural shift towards knowledge intensive sectors, in order to maintain Britain’s competitiveness in global markets.

Keith Herrman, Deputy CEO at CIHE, said: ‘Demand for qualified STEM graduates and postgraduates is set to increase massively. In order to meet this demand employers, schools, colleges and universities must all work together to get the message to young people that this is where so many of the exciting jobs of the future will be. ‘

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive, The Engineering and Technology Board (ETB), said: ‘Engineers, Technologists and Scientists at all levels are increasingly vital to our long term economy. There are excellent opportunities for the UK to excel in high-value goods and services but we must ensure we have enough skilled graduates and postgraduates to make this happen; not to mention the thousands upon thousands of technicians required to support these high-level positions.’

Paul Milliken, HR Leader at Shell UK, said: 'We see a continuing and increasing international demand for graduates and postgraduates with STEM capabilities. The UK needs to increase both the number and quality of students studying core STEM subjects otherwise businesses will need to look elsewhere to meet the likely shortfall'

Notes to Editors
1) The Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE)
The Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) is a unique high-level partnership between leaders from businesses, universities and colleges. Our aim is to foster close working and understanding between business and higher education. We want world-class learning and research to improve the international competitiveness of both sectors and the capabilities of graduates and those already in the workforce. Hence we lead in developing an agreed agenda on the learning issues that affect all of us, commission research so that policy can be better based on evidence, debate our agenda with the Government and work with them and others to effect change.

Our website lists our current members and activities together with some of our recent submissions to the Government and publications:

 Membership is generally at Chairman/CEO or equivalent level and at Vice-Chancellor level. This means that members and Government Ministers, who often attend our discussions, know that there will be a high level stimulating debate. The Council meets twice a year in central London usually from 12.00 noon to 2.30 pm at the headquarters of one of our business members. There are more optional occasional discussions on issues that concern our members (such as the supply of STEM graduates or how universities can develop more enterprising graduates). We undertake research jointly with a range of partners including the Government and funding councils, publish reports, and influence policies through a regular dialogue with Government Ministers and officials. We hope these reports also help our members be more aware of good practice in such areas as graduate recruitment, diversity, workforce development and knowledge transfer.
The CIHE is well respected by Government and across Whitehall Departments and we have excellent and close relationships with a range of Ministers and officials. We have shown that the power of partnership between business leaders and Vice-Chancellors can reinforce and even achieve more than either could acting independently.

For further information please contact:
Laura Marsh, PR and Communications Manager EngineeringUK
Tel: 020 3206 0444 or (m) 07887 943 017