Closing the STEM skills gap

15 March 2017

The Science and Technology Committee holds a public hearing at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair at the Birmingham NEC as part of its inquiry into Closing the STEM skills gap.


Thursday 16 March 2017, Concourse Suites 19 and 20, Birmingham NEC

At 11.30am

  • Yvonne Baker, CEO, STEM Learning UK
  • Paul Jackson, CEO, EngineeringUK
  • Phillip Pratley, Director, Trade and External Relations, Leonardo

At 12.30pm

  • Dr Kirsty Clode, Chair, Women into Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Blossom Hill, BAE Systems' UK Apprentice of the Year 2016
  • Mark Page, Your Life Advisory Board Member and Managing Partner, A.T. Kearney

Purpose of the session

The Science and Technology Committee has repeatedly received evidence that the UK is facing STEM skill shortages, often in key growth sectors, like big data. This oral evidence session will examine what measures organisations, businesses, schools and universities as well as individuals have taken to close the STEM skills gap, evaluating its effectiveness.

Chair's comments

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, said:

"We are delighted to be the first select committee to hold an evidence session at the Big Bang Fair, which is now in its ninth year.

As the Committee starts to look at what efforts are being made by schools, colleges, universities and industry to close the STEM skills gaps, it seems fitting that we should be taking evidence at the Fair, with its commitment to showing young people the rewarding opportunities available in STEM careers.

We are looking forward to hearing from a diverse range of voices, including an apprentice who has participated in a skills scheme run by industry. We also hope that some of the young people at the Fair will be interested in seeing a select committee in action"

Attending the session

The evidence session starts at 11.30am, on Thursday 16 March 2017. It will be held in Concourse Suites 19 & 20, accessed via the Atrium, Birmingham NEC. There will be seating for the public, however seats cannot be reserved and are available on a first come, first served basis. Entrance to the evidence session will not give access to The Big Bang Fair. To attend The Fair, please contact

An audio recording of the meeting will be made available on the Committee website shortly after the session concludes.

Please note that the evidence session is subject to business taking place in the House of Commons and may need to be cancelled at short notice. If this is the case, an announcement will be posted to the Science and Technology Committee website.

Further information

Image: iStockPhoto

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