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Tackling the shortage of STEM skills – is early intervention the solution?

Updated: 10 May 2016


According to Hays, advances in technology continue to evolve at a rate of knots, but businesses that need staff with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills are struggling to find the people they so desperately need. 

“Not only are we seeing demand for these professionals increase across the globe but a high number of STEM workers are reaching retirement age, adding further pressure to an already skill-short area,” says Christine Wright, Managing Director of Hays in Asia.  

“We must find a solution, one that involves businesses, governments, educational institutes and parents working together.” 

According to Christine, intervention at an earlier age could solve the issue. “If children were made aware of STEM careers and STEM related learning experiences were implemented earlier, it could inspire an interest in those subjects and ultimately, careers,” she said. “Engaging children at secondary school is too late. At this age children are already choosing elective subjects and their opinions have already begun to be formed.  

“But if STEM subjects could inspire children early on, they would learn that these subjects actually encompass a lot of modern and exciting technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and software engineering.  

“Not only do children need to be educated on what jobs can result from STEM subjects, parents do too. Engineering is such a broad term. Children, parents and teachers should be told about the various aspects and job types so that there’s a coordinated response to the STEM skill shortage.” 

This issue is explored further in the latest Hays Journal, the recruiter’s bi-annual magazine on the world of HR and recruitment.  To access the Hays Journal please visit 

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About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 31 December 2015 the Group employed 9,420 staff operating from 248 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2015: 

– the Group reported net fees of £764.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £164.1 million;

– the Group placed around 63,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 200,000 people into temporary assignments;

– 23% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 41% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 36% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;

– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;

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