Engineering and Physics: Vocational Guidance:Written question - 177683

Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne Central)

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 October 2018
Department for Education
Engineering and Physics: Vocational Guidance
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make a comparative assessment of the effect on the take up of careers in (a) engineering and (b) physics by (i) women and (ii) men of the (A) Highers system in Scotland and (B) A-Levels in England and Wales.
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 15 October 2018

As education policy is devolved, issues relating to qualifications in Scotland and Wales are a matter for the Scottish Government and Welsh Assembly respectively.

The Government is committed to growing the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills needed for a dynamic and modern economy, including those needed for careers in engineering and physics.

Both mathematics and physics are important qualifications to have in order to pursue careers in engineering and physics. STEM A levels have been reformed to make them more rigorous and to better prepare students for further study at university. Published 2017 data shows that there has been an 18% increase in the number of entries to STEM A levels by girls, and an 17% increase in the number of entries by boys since 2010.

To ensure that more young people are developing the skills needed for careers in engineering and physics, the Department is investing in programmes to increase the take-up of maths, by incentivising schools using the recently launched advanced maths premium, and providing support to schools to improve progression to physics A level through the Stimulating Physics Network.

The Government’s careers strategy has committed to improving information and guidance for STEM careers. The Department is raising awareness of the range of careers that STEM qualifications offer, to inform young people and enable them to choose the career path that is right for them.

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