Writing for the Huffington Post, Dr Gordon Mizner, Chief Executive of EDT, the largest provider of business/education links in the UK, has highlighted the need for companies to be prepared to invest in supporting links with schools.
Dr Mizner writes, “Having spent 30 years in industry I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised how difficult it is to get the costs for these activities recognised and embedded in the budgeting process. …… (but) it is only by embedding it in the organisation and strategy that the benefits will be seen both for the company and the young people.”
As industry acknowledges an acute present and future skills shortage, Mizner argues that a significant acceleration of the good work being undertaken by forward looking companies is needed. He notes that the UK’s demographics demand that an increasing proportion of students will need inspiring into science and engineering careers just to keep recruitment at current levels and that there is good evidence that the most effective way of achieving this is through employer engagement with students in education.
Mizner concludes, “Given the numbers we shall have to recruit into STEM industries in the next few years, we need many more employers to engage on a sustained basis to develop the necessary momentum and direction. Embedding the costs in to their budget and planning processes will enable their involvement to make a significant contribution to the solution of the STEM skills shortage.”