Many countries including the UK and USA have adopted the Science Engineering Technology and Maths (STEM) theme for their national curriculum. In this rapidly changing world the needs of employers is is being reflected in the learning content included in our educational programmes in secondary schools. But this is not just planning for the future; there are critical shortfalls now as employers fail consistently to attract the skilled workers they need.
There is a general shortfall in workers required by U.S. manufactures especially in computer, maths and science. Siemens has revealed it is currently struggling to recruit more than 3,000 workers with the requisite skills in STEM subjects. Chillingly the study sees the shortfall increasing with a general shortage of more than 1.2 million recruits by 2020. Hard to believe with the current level of unemployment especially in young people that employers are crying out for recruits. Harder to believe the pundits looking at the demands of the future employment market failed to spot the trend and adjust the curriculum earlier. A survey by ManpowerGroup in the U.S. found that a record 52 percent of U.S. employers have difficulty filling critical positions within their organizations — up from 14 percent in 2010.
Many manufacturing bases may suffer geographical changes but the support in design and service are still developing and will more than likely stay in the home countries. The UK has seen more that its fair share of manufacturing changes but is it hugely disappointing to see the numbers of children an young adults mismatched to the current and future needs of manufacturing. In the UK these children and young adults not in education employment or training (NEET) is a testament to an educational programme that is far from fit for purpose.