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More students must study STEM courses at A level

With around 335,000 students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receiving their A level results this week, the IET highlights that if we are to turn around the economy, we must ensure more students study STEM subjects.

The IET says that an extra 200,000 engineering professionals will be needed by 2020. Currently, the UK is only producing 25 to 50 per cent of the engineering graduates that the economy needs.

“While entries for STEM subjects have risen, it is important that young people continue their studies into higher education; the country needs more people studying science and engineering subjects at university and taking up jobs in this sector,” said Stephanie Fernandes, IET principal policy advisor for Education and Skills.

“We are at risk of stifling economic growth if we do not encourage more students to study STEM subjects, which are crucial to increase the output of UK plc.”

There is huge demand for engineers. The IET’s skills survey for 2012 shows that over the next year, 58 per cent of companies are planning to recruit, compared to just 36 per cent in 2011.

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