Public Accounts Committee

Delivering STEM skills for the economy inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Report published 22 June 2018. Government response published 9 October 2018.

Report and response published

Scope of the inquiry

Over the past two decades, government has been concerned with improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills in the UK workforce to help improve productivity and economic growth. The current government’s 2017 Industrial Strategy policy paper recognised the importance of STEM skills for the future of UK industries.

According to a recent report by the National Audit Office, the government is currently unsure of the nature of any STEM skills shortage as estimates vary. The report also found evidence of a STEM skills ‘mismatch’ with some areas—for example technicians—experiencing higher demand than others.

Although some initiatives to address STEM skills shortages have been successful there remain problems. For example, women remain underrepresented in STEM courses and jobs, and in 2016 only 24% of those with STEM degrees were working in a STEM field six months after graduation.

The Committee will ask representatives from the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about their understanding of the current STEM skills shortage, whether current initiatives are performing adequately, and how to ensure past problems in developing STEM skills do not recur.


Read all transcripts, written evidence and other material related to the inquiry on delivering STEM skills for the economy.

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