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Manufacturing Industries

Question for Department for Education

UIN 28192, tabled on 24 February 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies on encouraging school leavers to consider careers in science and mathematics of the conclusion of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in its report, Engineered in Britain, published in December 2015, on the rate of change in the numbers of school leavers considering such careers.

Answered on

7 March 2016

The Government is determined to increase the number of young people studying science and mathematics This includes an ambition that by 2020 we want to see a 20% increase in A level entries by girls to these subjects. Since 2010, there have been 28,000 more science and mathematics A level entries.

In order to attract the best and brightest into the teaching profession, we are offering bursaries and scholarships of up to £30,000 to attract top science and mathematics graduates into teaching. We are also investing up to £67 million to recruit 2,500 additional maths and physics teachers and upskill 15,000 existing non-specialist teachers over the lifetime of this parliament. We welcome the contribution that the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is making through its programme of two-week industrial placements which will give teachers a better understanding of the application of science and engineering in the real world.

The Government is also taking action to ensure that young people are making well-informed choices about their future which include a good understanding of the value of science and mathematics subjects. Programmes such as STEM ambassadors and the Big Bang Fair are aimed at raising awareness of the range of careers that science and technical qualifications offer. The Government also supports the industry-led Your Life campaign which aims to transform perceptions of science and maths.

We want to transform careers education and guidance so that all young people can access high quality support when they need it. The Government plans to publish a comprehensive careers strategy later this year to outline this government’s plans for improving careers provision by 2020. Over this parliament we are committing a total of £70 million to our strategy. As part of this, we will provide further funding for The Careers & Enterprise Company to embed and further extend its projects already underway, including the Enterprise Adviser Network, its Careers and Enterprise Fund, its research and wider activity to bring schools, colleges, business and careers and enterprise organisations closer together.