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Mon, 21 September 2020

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There has never been a better time to get involved in STEM - the IET comments on today’s A-level results

Institution of Engineering and Technology

3 min read Partner content

The IET champions the need for employers and the education sector to collaborate to offer a diverse range of quality work experience to engineering students.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) comments on today’s A Level results.

IET Head of Education, David Lakin, said: “Despite the very different and difficult circumstances for students this year, the uptake in those studying the crucial engineering gateway subjects of Maths and Physics, and potentially opening the door to an exciting and creative career as engineers, is a step in the right direction.

“It’s positive to see that mathematics remains the most popular subject at A Level, but there is however a gender divide between boys and girls, with nearly double the amount of boys studying maths over girls (16.4% male vs 8.6% female), so work needs to be done to reduce this gap.

“The UK is currently experiencing a shortage of engineers, so we need more young people considering Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers and gaining the right balance of education, work experience and relevant careers guidance to pursue careers in the industry. Without this, they might not be aware of the exciting range of engineering roles available to them, which in turn could be compounding the industry’s skills problem and limit their work-readiness.

“There has never been a better time to get involved in STEM. A career in engineering and technology provides an exciting opportunity to make a difference by improving our world and shaping our future, touching every part of our lives. Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen engineers, technologists and scientists working hard to find solutions – it’s put them front and centre during the crisis and raised awareness of how important STEM is to our daily lives and when faced with life changing challenges.

“We know from recent IET research that 52% of young people (aged 10 -18) are now considering a career in science and technology after witnessing engineers build ventilators and convert buildings into hospitals, which is really positive and we hope this will be reflected in future exam results.”  

Figures released today by the Joint Council for Qualifications for A-Level results UK wide show a slight increase in entries to Mathematics (12.1% of total number sat this year compared to 11.5% in 2019), with uptake in Physics remaining the same (4.9% of total number sat this year and last year). Numbers in studying Design and Technology have also remained the same (1.4% of total number sat this year and last year) with an increase in those sitting Computing (1.6% of total number sat this year compared to 1.4% in 2019).

The IET champions the need for employers and the education sector to collaborate to offer a diverse range of quality work experience to engineering students. For more information about the range of support and options available to students through the IET, please visit the Student Hub of the IET website.

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