Sector News

STEAM: Why STEM can only take us so far

A new briefing published jointly today by the Cultural Learning Alliance and Nesta sets out the need to shift the policy focus on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by adding the A of arts – turning STEM into STEAM.

Posted: 10/03/2022

With the number of people working in the creative industries growing at four times the rate of the UK workforce as a whole, there is a clear demand in the job market and an obvious economic imperative. 

Students studying a broad range of subjects, including science, technology, engineering arts and mathematics, are better prepared for the job market, with the skills valued by employers. They are also better prepared for jobs which will be resistant to automation: research by Nesta, the innovation foundation, has shown that 87% of jobs in creative occupations – which value a mix of STEAM skills – are at low or no risk of automation compared to 40% of jobs as a whole.

STEAM skills add value for businesses. Firms that make use of both arts and science skills show higher levels of growth and innovation than companies that don’t. The UK’s persisting productivity gap was identified as a major issue in the government’s Industrial Strategy earlier this year – making the need for STEAM ever more urgent.

STEAM is essential for creating a workforce that solves the problems of the future – which means that students need to study a broad range of subjects that includes the arts.

Find out more on the Cultural Learning Alliance website:

Download the full briefing:

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