Retiring workers to create UK STEM labour shortage by 2023

Research carried out by EDF Energy reveals that retiring workers will create over half a million job vacancies in science, research, engineering and technology, over the next 6 years.

Those vacancies represent 78% of all job openings in STEM and are in addition to the 142,000 STEM-related jobs predicted to be created, leading to concerns that there will not be enough candidates to fill the shortfall.

The news highlights that students and candidates could be missing out on many opportunities by not furthering their study in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM).

A key element of the issue is that women continue to be vastly underrepresented across STEM roles and more girls must be encouraged to continue studying computing and STEM subjects post-GCSE, where boys still dominate. 

Currently, women make up less than a quarter of the workforce in four of the five most in-demand STEM industries – despite the fact that girls consistently outperform their male counterparts in A-Level STEM subjects.

Commissioned for EDF Energy’s Pretty Curious campaign, the Jobs of the Future research was conducted by the Social Market Foundation.

In analysing government data and examining trends in science, research, engineering and technology jobs, the report found that those baby boomers born between 1946 and the sixties, will create the highest number of vacancies for Generation Z when they retire by 2023.

The greatest number of vacancies is anticipated in computing, with 66,000 vacancies created by those set to retire. This is followed by 35,000 vacancies in head office positions, 30,000 jobs in architecture and 27,000 jobs in education.

EDF Energy’s Pretty Curious programme is a long term investment by the company to address the critical under-representation of women in STEM roles. Its aim is to demonstrate the breadth of opportunities offered by studying science-based subjects and provides girls with hands on STEM experiences through workshops and events.  

Fiona Jackson, Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Employer Branding at EDF Energy said: “The UK needs to be ready for a wave of baby boomer retirees. An example for EDF Energy is the ageing demographic of our existing nuclear workforce, many of which joined during its last major growth period in the 1980s. To recruit the numbers needed  we have invested heavily in initiatives to encourage gender diversity.

“As an organisation, we have already increased our intake of female STEM apprentices to over 30%, and our Pretty Curious campaign is designed to address the issue by inspiring girls to get involved in STEM careers.”


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Share this article

Any questions? Any comments?

Your instant reactions to this article can be posted here. Use your own name or a nom de plume.

Be the first to make a comment...

Please log in to make a comment

Not registered? Click here.

Retiring workers to create UK STEM labour shortage by 2023
  • Latest jobs
  • Brand & Attraction Manager – Student Recruitment Client Job Location: London (would consider Birmingham, Glasgow or Manchester for the right candidate) Read more >> KPMG
  • Employer Brand and Attraction Manager Client Job Salary: Competitive Package & Range of Benefits Read more >> Screwfix
  • Account Director Agency Job Read more >> Bernard Hodes - jobboard
  • Client Partner Agency Job Location: London Read more >> tmp Worldwide