EngineeringUK Advocates Urgent Action on Workforce Planning and STEM Education

by Anna

EngineeringUK has unveiled its policy agenda for the incoming government, emphasizing two critical areas: workforce planning and STEM education and skills development.

With projections indicating that engineering positions will outpace other occupations in the UK by 2030, and with infrastructure advancements, decarbonization efforts, and economic growth requiring skilled personnel, there’s an urgent need for the government to address skills shortages and adapt to evolving labor market demands.


EngineeringUK is urging the next government to adopt a more strategic approach to tackling skills shortages, with leadership from the Cabinet Office. The organization proposes consolidating existing skills taskforces under a new cross-departmental committee to foster collaboration, break down silos, and support economic growth objectives.


Additionally, EngineeringUK calls for the formulation of a comprehensive STEM education and skills plan to meet the pressing demand for engineering and technology professionals. This plan aims to address issues within the education sector and ensure a pipeline of skilled workers for the future.


Outlined within EngineeringUK’s policy priorities for the next government are:


Strategic Workforce Planning:

Establishment of a national engineering and technology workforce strategy.

Adoption of a strategic approach to workforce planning based on industry needs.

Promotion of diversity within the STEM workforce.

Support for international talent through appropriate immigration and visa systems.

Integration of STEM education and skills planning with the strategic workforce plan.

STEM Education and Skills Plan:

Implementation of comprehensive careers provision.

Expansion and sustainability of engineering apprenticeships for youth.

Continued commitment to T Levels.

Enhancement of STEM teacher recruitment, training, and retention.

Beatrice Barleon, Head of Public Affairs and Policy, emphasizes the urgency of addressing workforce planning challenges and STEM skills shortages in schools and Further Education (FE) providers. Barleon urges the new government to commit to a national workforce strategy within its first 100 days in office.

Regarding apprenticeships and T Levels, EngineeringUK stresses the need for improved access for young individuals and a steadfast commitment to the continuation of T Levels in England. Additionally, a long-term careers strategy is deemed essential to equip schools and colleges with adequate funding and updated knowledge of 21st-century engineering careers to inspire and support young learners.

EngineeringUK also advocates for direct action to combat STEM teacher shortages and calls for increased investment in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training for STEM educators, citing evidence of its positive impact on teacher retention.

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