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Supporting sustainable STEM outreach in Somerset




The Somerset STEM skills challenge Somerset has high employment levels with an unemployment rate of just 2.9%1.

1 in 5 Somerset employers has at least one vacancy and 45% of vacancies prove hard to fill

There are more roles vacant than people seeking employment and often the skills of those available do not match the requirements of the role. 1 in 5 employers has at least one vacancy and 45% of vacancies prove hard to fill2. Within this overall picture, information and communication technology skills rate as the second hardest area to fill with construction and manufacturing ranked fourth and fifth. There is an annual shortfall of up to 59,000 engineering graduates3 and technicians to fill core engineering roles. These are all key STEM employment sectors. Somerset’s STEM businesses therefore need to develop a supply of local talent to meet their skills needs. To do this they will need to engage with young people, parents and teachers to: • change perceptions and attitudes about key professions • sustain young people’s interest in their sector



Benefits of STEM engagement in your community Increased engagement between STEM employers and education benefits communities by opening up STEM careers to people from diverse backgrounds increasing social mobility and local prosperity.

Employers Somerset is home to 24,240 businesses and 90% of these employ fewer than 10 people. Whilst we cannot expect young people to know about every local opportunity, businesses with skills needs can take some simple steps to build their profile with potential recruits. STEM engagement can help you to:

• Solve specific skills challenges • Build a talent pipeline for the future • Dispel myths about your industry • Influence young people about their future career choices

• Inspire young people to pursue careers in STEM related industries

Wider benefits include:

• Boosting staff confidence and skills • Increasing employee satisfaction by enabling team members to give back to the community and inspire young people

• Meeting corporate social responsibility and social value aims

Education Schools and colleges work hard to deliver high quality careers activities. However, some areas such as linking curriculum with careers and meeting the needs of all students remain challenging. Engaging with STEM businesses can help you to:

• Bring STEM subjects to life with real world context

• Show students how the subjects they study link to real, local career choices

• Build aspirations • Increase motivation and engagement • Deliver meaningful encounters with employers

• Inform student decisions about their future

• Highlight careers that they may not have known about



“Our analysis clearly shows that young people who know more about what engineers do are more likely to perceive the profession positively and to consider a career in the industry. There is also compelling evidence that STEM outreach can and does work: young people attending a STEM careers activity in the past 12 months were over 3 times as likely to consider a career in engineering than those who had not. Yet only just over a quarter of young people we surveyed reported having attended such an activity. These results underscore the vital role the engineering community has in informing, engaging, and inspiring young people and their key influencers.� Dr. Hilary Leevers, Chief Executive, EngineeringUK4

Engagement by numbers




businesses working of schools and colleges annual shortfall of with the Somerset EBP (including SEND) engineering since 2018 to facilitate are currently matched graduates and partnerships with with an technicians to fill core education providers Enterprise Adviser engineering roles

76% of young people surveyed rated their experience with STEM Ambassadors as good or very good



Sustainable STEM engagement Nationally, businesses recognise the importance of STEM engagement and we benefit from 34,684

STEM AMBASSADORS from 5,127 EMPLOYERS and 45,859 ACTIVITIES supported by STEM Learning with 527,189 HOURS OF VOLUNTEERING!5 However, we can still do more.

TIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE STEM ACTIVITIES Ensure that your board and leadership understand the skills challenge and how STEM engagement can address this Work with the STEM Partners to build sustainable links between schools and employers Develop resources to use in outreach – which showcase your business and sector Access the training available to deliver engagement

Whilst students who attended a STEM outreach event cited that they were three times more likely to consider an engineering career, only 25% have benefited from an activity.3

91% of schools, colleges and community groups report increased enjoyment, engagement and interest in STEM subjects as a result of STEM Ambassadors.5

90% of STEM Ambassadors say that volunteering as an Ambassador has increased their job satisfaction.5

Yet, in the Heart of the South West LEP area, which includes Somerset, only 36% of schools successfully link curriculum teaching to careers.6 Parents are the top source of careers advice for young people followed by careers advisors and teachers – but only 36% of parents and 58% of teachers feel confident giving careers advice about engineering.4 You can help to change this!








Case study Thales aims to inspire, inform and engage young people through a variety of initiatives, activities and opportunities. We hope to give young people the skills and knowledge needed to make an informed decision about their educational choices and future career options. Our STEM schools strategy has been created so that we can better support local schools within the communities where Thales offices are based. We believe that visiting a number of schools regularly has a more sustainable impact on the students, giving them the opportunity to gain a breadth of experiences in a variety of ways. Our STEM brochure contains details of our offer to schools.

We recognise the importance for employers to support schools to meet the Department of Education Careers Strategy and the Gatsby Benchmarks. With this in mind we ensure that all of our activities support schools to meet the stated benchmarks. Check out our video of a school visit to one of our sites on youtube.

Learn more about the Thales STEM Education and Outreach programme on our website. www.thalesgroup.com


Further support STEM Learning


Our vision is to achieve a world-leading STEM education and inspiration for all young people across the UK. We are dedicated to raising young people’s engagement and achievement in STEM subjects and career

EngineeringUK is a not-for-profit organisation, which works in partnership with the engineering community to inspire tomorrow’s engineers and increase the talent pipeline into engineering.

Contact: Will Rogers w.rogers@stem.org.uk 07772 167 113

Contact: Karen Woodward kwoodward@engineeringuk.com 07734 605 571

Heart of the South West Careers Hub

Somerset Education Business Partnership

The Heart of the South West Careers Hub works to transform careers education for young people around the country.

Somerset Education Business Partnership connects education providers and employers across Somerset.

Contact: Jo Skeel jo.skeel@devon.gov.uk 07790 809 780

Contact: Andrew Hanson andrew.hanson@somerset-ebp.co.uk 01823 785 440

The information within this report has been compiled using internal data from each partner and from the references detailed below: References: 1. Somerset Trends: Regional economic information site > VISIT 2. Heart of the South West Employer Skills Survey 2017 EngineeringUK 1. EngineeringUK State of Engineering Report 2018 > DOWNLOAD 2. EngineeringUK: Engineering Brand Monitor 2019 Report > DOWNLOAD STEM Learning 3. STEM Learning Impact Report 2019 > DOWNLOAD The Careers & Enterprise Company 4. CEC Careers Hubs: One Year On Report > DOWNLOAD Further Reading: Somerset Education Business Partnership: Guidance for employers > VISIT EngineeringUK: Top tips for delivering engineering activities > DOWNLOAD The Careers & Enterprise Company: CEC State of the Nation 2019 Report > DOWNLOAD The Careers & Enterprise Company: Research > VISIT The Careers & Enterprise Company: Preparing young people for the world of work > DOWLOAD

Profile for Somerset EBP

Supporting Sustainable STEM Outreach in Somerset  

Insight and advice for STEM employers on how increased engagement between STEM employers and education benefits communities by opening up ST...

Supporting Sustainable STEM Outreach in Somerset  

Insight and advice for STEM employers on how increased engagement between STEM employers and education benefits communities by opening up ST...