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The UK STEM Skills Gap: Report and Analysis

MathWorks latest research has found that both academia and industry believe there are not enough skilled candidates leaving education to fill the UK’s employment requirements.

In collaboration with YouGov, MathWorks surveyed more than 300 employers and 24 of the country’s leading Russell Group academics. This report highlights the results of the survey, expands on it through primary interviews with academics and some of the UK’s largest graduate employers, and discusses possible approaches to closing the STEM skills gap.

Key findings

  • 59% of businesses and 79% of universities surveyed believe there are not enough skilled candidates leaving education to meet industry’s employment requirements.
  • More than eight in ten (83%) businesses and almost nine in ten (89%) academics think the skills gap needs to be bridged in order for the UK to be competitive in the world economy.
  • Universities and businesses polled are united in a belief that the skills gap can be mitigated with greater collaboration between academia and industry. Over half (52%) of employers and almost two-thirds (64%) of academics included in our survey think that industry does not currently work closely enough with universities
  • While more than six in ten (63%) businesses think industry should have a greater say and make a greater investment in the STEM curriculum in the UK, universities are less enthusiastic, with just 46% welcoming this extent of industry involvement

“This report tells us two important things: first, that more needs to be done to encourage students to study STEM subjects beyond compulsory education. Second, that STEM curricula need to better prepare students for their future careers in industry in terms of employability skills, such as critical thinking and teamwork, and technical knowledge of their discipline.”

–Dr. Coorous Mohtadi, MathWorks