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Vocational Guidance: STEM Subjects

Question for Department for Education

UIN 133262, tabled on 2 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that young people in every region of the UK have access to STEM specific careers provision.

Answered on

7 March 2022

We know that supporting schools to deliver science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related careers education is important so that young people are aware of the full range of careers associated with STEM subjects.

We work with The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) to support schools and colleges in England to achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance, the government’s careers framework. Gatsby Benchmark 4, linking curriculum learning to careers, is particularly relevant. STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of career pathways.

Gatsby Benchmark 5, encounters with employers and employees, sets out that schools should give pupils access to meaningful encounters with a range of employers and workplaces. Secondary schools are expected to provide pupils with at least one meaningful interaction with employers per pupil per year, with a particular focus on STEM employers. These interactions open young people’s eyes to a range of different career possibilities and can challenge stereotypes as well as helping to prepare them for the workplace.

The CEC provide resources to support schools and colleges including a series of STEM toolkits, a relaunched STEM careers webpage with an increased focus on department funded resources, and several Careers Hubs are currently running innovative STEM focussed careers projects.

Education is a devolved matter, and approaches to careers education may differ in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

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