Closing the STEM Skills Gap Inquiry

Chris Smillie

Research output: Book/Report/Policy Brief/Technical BriefCommissioned report


 Surveys by CIEEM and The Wakeman Review show there is a gap in skills between what is taught in environmental STEM HE and what the environmental profession requires  There is a lack of knowledge surrounding the range of environmental careers and their characteristics/requirements. This has been cited due to a separation of ecology and industry in schools.  The lack of members of staff within education with environmental practioner experience is an issue. The focus on REF and research in HE promulgates this  Higher education generally does not prepare graduates well enough for industry demands.  Skills lacking include converting theory into practice and ‘soft skills’, such as communication, amount and type of practical and field experience.  CIEEM has an accreditation scheme designed to guide students towards skills that meet industry demands and has already accredited 18 programmes  HEIs and employers should integrate more. This would include influencing syllabuses, practioner input to taught modules, as well as providing placement, internship and work experience opportunities.  Guidelines for apprenticeships are currently being explored by CIEEM. The added financial burden would be compensated by a more reliable, better trained workforce.  Identification and survey skills were especially valued at the entrant level, with management and communication also required.  Managerial and communication skills were the most important competences to be developed in experienced professionals.  CIEEM has implemented a competency framework for the profession and has mapped the required competencies for graduate entries and providing a trainee-funded programme for skills gaps.  Training at the advanced level is under-resourced
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationParliamentary Science & Technology Committee
Publication statusPrint publication - 2017


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