Vocational Guidance: STEM Subjects

Department for Education written question – answered on 5th April 2022.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help ensure that young people in every region of the UK have access to STEM-specific careers provision.

Photo of Alex Burghart Alex Burghart The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Supporting schools to deliver science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related careers education is important, so that young people are aware of the full range of careers associated with STEM subjects.

The department works with The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) to support schools and colleges in England to achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance, available here: https://www.gatsby.org.uk/education/focus-areas/good-career-guidance. Gatsby Benchmark 4, linking curriculum learning to careers, is particularly relevant. STEM subject teachers should highlight the relevance of STEM subjects for a wide range of career pathways.

Gatsby Benchmark 5, encounters with employers and employees, sets out that schools should give pupils access to meaningful encounters with a range of employers and workplaces. Secondary schools are expected to provide pupils with at least one meaningful interaction with employers per pupil per year, with a particular focus on STEM employers. These interactions open young people’s eyes to a range of different career possibilities, help prepare them for the workplace, and can challenge stereotypes.

The CEC provide resources to support schools and colleges. These include a series of STEM toolkits (with a guide for teachers on linking careers to the STEM curriculum), a relaunched STEM careers webpage with an increased focus on department funded resources, and innovative STEM focused careers projects run by several Careers Hubs.

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