The role and importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills - a BusinessEurope position paper
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Key messages

  • STEM skills are increasingly required by employers across a broad range of sectors. These skills help to foster systemic and critical thinking in a number of areas and are not confined to four subjects alone. Due to the increasing digitisation of society and the world of work the demand for STEM skills will only intensify.
  • There is a need to increase the number of STEM-qualified people in Europe with employers highlighting a specific shortage of people with these skills. This is particularly apparent as concerns engineers, computer scientists and data analysts. To achieve this is it necessary to raise awareness of the STEM-related careers that are available and to promote participation in STEM courses and studies, notably among women.
  • Employers and education and training providers, both through their individual and joint actions, have a key role to play in fostering STEM skills acquisition.

What does BusinessEurope aim for?

  • More STEM-qualified people in Europe to underpin Europe’s future industrial development.
  • Mutual learning and the exchange of practices at EU level on initiatives that aim to promote STEM skills. This includes learning how to change occupations, qualifications and education and training curricula in an effective manner in response to labour market needs.
  • STEM skills and digital skills are closely associated and STEM skills should be embedded in European and national initiatives that seek to develop digital skills.

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