Lack of females studying maths and physics at A-level a worry, say engineers

grads300In the wake of this week’s A-level results, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is warning that economic prosperity could be at risk if more students, particularly females, do not study and successfully complete maths and physics as enabling subjects.

The publication of the latest exam results in the UK reveals a marked difference between the number of male and female students taking maths and physics at A-level.

IET Policy Advisor Jayne Hall said: “Maths and physics are crucial gateway subjects and vital to the industry and economy as a whole. With recent results from the IET’s Skills & Demand survey showing that only 7 per cent of the engineering and technology workforce are women, action needs to be taken at an early stage by encouraging females into these subjects.

“Students are aware of the importance of A-level maths to starting a career in engineering, but the perceived importance of physics is much lower.

“It is vital that we encourage more students, particularly females, to study these key enabling subjects. Currently, female students effectively rule themselves out of an engineering career at age 14 by not studying maths and physics.  We must change this so that students can make informed subject choices.”

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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