Prince Charles has called for young people entering the workforce to consider a role in sectors that are currently suffering from skills shortages.
In his introduction for a booklet to promote Scarborough Engineering Week, an event which promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers to local youngsters, he writes that he is “keen to encourage young people to take up careers in areas where the United Kingdom has skill shortages.”
He also goes on to cite figures which show the gulf between the demand and supply of skilled engineering professionals.
While there are expected to be 87,000 vacancies in the engineering profession in 2014, there are just 51,000 qualified engineers available to fill the roles.
“This gap shows the scale of the challenge facing business, Government, education and voluntary organisations as they try to meet this growing demand,” the Prince adds.
The recent Manpower Group Annual Talent Shortage Survey revealed that employers across the globe are facing the worst skills shortages seen since the start of the financial crisis.
Misconceptions about STEM careers acting as barrier to recruitment
A recent survey conducted by Mondelēz International found that misconceptions about STEM are preventing some students from considering a career in the STEM sectors.
Revealing some of the reasons they avoid STEM subjects more than half (53%) of young people surveyed argued that they felt STEM was “harder” than humanities, while more than two-thirds felt that only those with a high IQs could succeed in STEM careers.
Echoing the idea that mistaken beliefs about STEM could be preventing young people from pursuing careers in these sectors, Prince Charles continued:
“Young people are missing out on rewarding careers due to misconceptions about engineering being an out-moded and declining profession, rather than the fast-growing hi-tech and hugely diverse sector that it is.
“It is of vital importance to this nation that we inspire our young people to become the engineers of tomorrow.”
Are you a current undergraduate or graduate? What would it take to make you consider a career in STEM?