To STEM or not to STEM
As discussed in an article by Sky News, research shows there is a risk across Britain that will see companies struggle to fill the jobs of the future.
This is especially true if these topics are not made part of the school curriculum.
With 65 percent of secondary school teachers agreeing that AI should be included, it is clear the support is there, but resources are limited.
With STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – being a focus point for many campaigns, especially ‘women in STEM’, it is interesting to see the school curriculum struggling to implement these subjects early on.
This, of course, could be down to several factors, although the budget cuts impacting the education sector is the most likely issue.
As mentioned in our previous blog, STEM occupations are projected to become the fastest-growing area of demand for businesses.
It is expected, through recent research, that in the next five years the demands for computer science, AI or machine learning in the UK could increase by 40 percent.
What’s slowing us down?
There is a misconception that AI would replace people, which could be why these subjects aren’t being implemented into the curriculum.
However, this is not necessarily the case – the use of AI and other developing technologies would be the creation of the jobs of the future.
As listed here, possible jobs could include:
- Paramedic drone programmer
- Smart-assisted sports coach
- AI speech coach
- Zero carbon transport planner
In a YouGov poll of Brits back in 2018, six in ten people thought robots were either already more intelligent than people or will become more intelligent.
Fast forward to 2022, and that seems to still be the case for AI and machines.
How Higher Education is moving forward
Implementing STEM-based subjects into the curriculum could ensure that knowledge and drive is there to continue studying at a higher level, helping to avoid the UK falling behind.
With universities moving forward with innovation, most notably BCU’s brand-new state-of-the-art STEAMhouse building, the risk to a slow intake of these subjects could result in cuts to these courses.
It is important to highlight that there are also programmes aimed at young people and adults to upskill in these areas, meaning you can also benefit from the ‘jobs of the future’ at any stage in your life.
The STEM-Up project – part-funded by the European Social Fund – provides individuals with free* upskilling workshops in STEM and STEAM, as well as soft skills.
Courses, workshops, and webinars available include:
- Steam Thinking
- Interpersonal Specialisms.
You will be matched with a dedicated Skills Advisor, who will support you to identify key skills to strengthen and then meet those needs with our bespoke training opportunities.
Once you’ve completed your skills training, your Skills Advisor will help you to assess your professional development in line with your goals and ambitions, and then advise you on what your next steps might be.
*Eligibility: You must be aged 18 and over, have Right to Work in the UK and live in the GBSLEP More Developed Area (Birmingham, Solihull, Bromsgrove, Redditch or Wyre Forest).