The world of work

The Vision: Students understand the significance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through better careers awareness and guidance.

"A third of the UK science workforce is non-graduate, and by 2020 the UK will need approximately 450,000 new STEM technicians. In order to meet this demand careers advice should raise awareness of the range of vocational options in STEM. It is essential that school leaders make careers guidance a priority, and sufficient funding be provided to enable this."

Young people need the best possible education if they are to thrive in a rapidly changing world and if the UK is to have a flourishing economy.

Helping students develop clear career goals and giving them the skills needed to explore possible future jobs helps them achieve their potential at school or college or employment after the age of 16.

All young people are entitled to receive work experience and good guidance on careers from an early age. Relevant and high-quality work experience in STEM sectors should be accessible to every young person.

STEM careers awareness should begin at primary school and teachers should make sure there is no bias with respect to gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic background.


  • Build careers awareness from primary school onwards by giving children exposure to role models, such as professional scientists, engineers and technologists
  • Make careers information, advice and guidance from early secondary onwards an essential part of the school/college week
  • Increase parents’ understanding of how STEM offers many and varied employment opportunities for all children, regardless of their social or economic status

Key developments since 2014

  • The Wellcome Trust’s 2016 Science Education Tracker found 43% of young people are interested in a science-related career
  • The Government published statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and school staff in 2017 to assist schools and colleges in meeting the Gatsby Benchmarks on career guidance and provision
  • A new Careers and Enterprise Company was set up in 2014 to support collaboration between schools, colleges and employers on careers guidance