A new report published by NEF: The Innovation Institute shows that there is room for a “radical re-think” for vocational education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to meet the demands of 21st Century employment.
The report, "Open Innovation in STEM Learning", recognises the well documented “skills gap” that has emerged in the UK: students are not being trained enough in science, technology, engineering and maths to support our commercial and industrial ambitions. However, it also highlights that these skills are not always sufficient for innovation. Ideas only become worthwhile innovations if they can be put into practice. And to achieve real innovation and growth usually needs a much wider understanding – the aims and limitations of commerce, how to convince colleagues to try something new, and the value of learning from failures.
In his foreword to the NEF report, Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group said: “It would be wonderful if students emerged, especially from vocational training, with technical know-how but also a good appreciation of business skills and personal behaviours needed for success. Some colleges will need to fundamentally rethink their approach and curriculum but I hope this report gives a wider understanding towards making these changes.”
The Open Innovation in STEM Learning Report can be found here:
For further information on how to innovate your provision by creating a college-wide STEM Strategy, please contact Dr Fallyn Campbell at NEF.