A-Level STEM results show promising signs for the future of UK manufacturing

Students across the UK have received their A-Level exams results today, and despite a 2% drop in overall exam entries, 2018 was a successful year for STEM, with 36.2% of all A-Level entries being in STEM subjects.

With the UK manufacturing industry facing skills and productivity challenges, this is welcomed news, and comes a week after the UK Government promised £780m of extra funding for projects such as the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, where in the last year, 900 apprentices have gained invaluable practical experience with cutting-edge technologies used in modern manufacturing.

Digital manufacturer Protolabs has reacted to today’s news, saying that it believes UK manufacturing will go from strength to strength.

“As young men and women receive their A-Level results, it is particularly interesting to see the success in STEM subjects. This is a positive for the future of the UK manufacturing industry at a time when there is a lot of potential,” said Ray Faulkner, design manager at Protolabs.

“The demand for STEM and digital skills are still at an all-time high. Our research shows over one-third (35%) of manufacturing leaders believe STEM skills are critical to the success of their businesses. We predict the demand for STEM skills in manufacturing is going to be even higher this year.

“From our experience as one of the world’s largest digital manufacturers, developing young talent in STEM should be a priority and start as early as primary and secondary education. There is still room for improvement but these exam results show UK could become the “workshop of the world” again, but this time for high value and innovative processes.”

Read more about what’s being done to get more students into STEM and the UK manufacturing industry in our “Building a talent pipeline in the tech industry” feature from PCR’s July issue.

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