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SySTEMiC – a grass roots response to the UK skills crisis The STEM Subject Associations’ Working Group ASCL, ASE, CAS, DATA and the MA.

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Presentation on theme: "SySTEMiC – a grass roots response to the UK skills crisis The STEM Subject Associations’ Working Group ASCL, ASE, CAS, DATA and the MA."— Presentation transcript:

1 SySTEMiC – a grass roots response to the UK skills crisis The STEM Subject Associations’ Working Group ASCL, ASE, CAS, DATA and the MA

2 When push comes to shove! The few were kept airborne by very many.

3 What crisis? Globalisation and the future economic prosperity of UK plc.

4 Not a “clear and present danger”? Companies are looking overseas to meet their STEM needs Firms continue to look far and wide to recruit STEM talent with 38% recruiting from Europe. Larger firms (over 5000 employees) are much more likely to recruit from Europe (86%). Science, hi- tech and IT businesses are also looking outside the UK for STEM skilled staff: A quarter (24%) are recruiting from India (the average for all firms is 8%) A quarter (24%) are recruiting from North America (the average is 6%) 18% are recruiting from China ( the average is 6%). CBI 2009

5 Who says it’s a crisis? The CBI, most sector skills councils, political think tanks and the UK government, for starters.

6 It is STEM - but not only STEM So it is official – we do have a skills crisis - both in STEM and in IT.

7 And we’re not alone! US State Governors, President Obama, the EU and the European Round Table are there too!

8 Yes - we need more STEM graduates But we also need more skilled technicians – and, with increasing tuition fees and student debt, apprenticeships be an important route.

9 The young are hi-tech savvy! How much do they know about how stuff works? How hi-tech savvy are their schools & teachers?

10 So how can schools help? They can, and must, inspire young people to see the vital contribution of technology: to our past history; to our present society and to our future well-being. We need a SySTEMiC change in which Schools develop the Skills of students, teach them to use appropriate Tools, Engage them in authentic activities and Motivate them towards Careers in industries on which UK plc’s competitive future depends.

11 Reasons to be cheerful #1: Many schools already provide engaging STEM activities for some students. There is an extensive infrastructure to support them. Many employers support schools e.g. with ambassadors.

12 Reasons to be cheerful #2: There are many new exciting resources and opportunities.

13 Reasons to be cheerful #3: STEM A-level passes are rising. DfE is supporting STEM as a priority. DBIS is protecting the science budget.

14 Reasons to be cheerful #4: Secondary schools are already introducing a new, more joined-up and relevant curriculum based around a “big picture” and the development of PLTS: Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills.

15 Reasons to be cheerful #5 Schools are well-equipped with ICT for teaching – and low-cost portable hands-on IT for all is within reach.

16 So what’s missing? - STEM+ a.A sense of urgency and an understanding that all schools have a vital contribution to make. b.Better information for schools about the kinds of skills needed for employment in the 21 st Century – generic and process as well as subject specific: STEM+. c.A wider view of STEM+ including IT and with a greater emphasis on technological innovation and creativity. d.A mechanism both to engage more students with STEM+ and to enliven classroom subject teaching for all. e.A collaborative framework to support students, teachers, schools, employers and HE working to a common end. f.Encouragement and support from government and organisations to enable schools to make an effective contribution by updating resources and teachers’ skills.

17 Engineering a STEM+ strategy No need to reinvent the wheels – just design a chassis to make sure they are all going in the same direction. Give it a decent engine, and make sure the drivers know where it’s heading!

18 The SySTEMiC approach To engage more schools in making best use of existing resources, practice and structures. To update and supplement resources as needed - as economically and quickly as possible. To provide a range of authentic STEM+ activities for students and teachers to work on together. To enable teachers to up-date their skills and schools to update equipment and materials. To involve Subject Associations more centrally in supporting and managing a national initiative.

19 Authentic STEM+ activities Students and teachers working collaboratively on problems and projects which involve creative use of technology arising from: Students’ interests e.g. Sports Teachers’ interests e.g. Health Topical interests e.g. Bloodhound Local interests e.g. Space Future society e.g. Sustainability

20 What do you think?

21 Putting SySTEMiC into action. It could be ready to roll in September It could run a pilot in the school year. It has the engagement of schools through ASCL and STEM+ subjects through SAs (ASE, CAS, DATA and MA) as well as support and encouragement from employers. It just needs practical support to provide the logistics (materials, equipment, infrastructure) to mobilise a ready and willing national force.

22 How can you help? Keep in touch with us, share ideas and help secure the practical resources needed. The STEM Subject Associations’ Working Group: ASCL: John Morgan ASE: Richard Needham CAS: Simon Humphreys DATA: David Barlex MA: Adrian Oldknow Contact via:


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