This report from the Social Market Foundation and EDF Energy explores the number of jobs that are expected to open between 2016 and 2023. It looks at where they are expected to be created and the contribution of science, research, engineering and technology to this number.
Science, technology, research and engineering jobs play a vital role in the UK economy. The UK’s comparative strengths lie in science and innovation-intensive sectors. One estimate has put the contribution of the engineering sectors alone to UK GDP at 27%. This is based on the direct value created by the engineering sectors, combined with the demand that the engineering sectors create across the rest of their supply chains in sectors such as wholesale, support services, transport and financial services.
Innovation drives economic prosperity. Studies examining the period 2000 to 2008, the period leading up to the last downturn when UK productivity growth outpaced that of the rest of the G7, show that innovation was responsible for half of UK productivity growth. Investment in the sciences is crucial to maintaining innovation in the UK. Firms with more science graduates in their workforces are more likely to undertake research and development, and bring new products to market. Thus, highly innovative firms are much more likely to employ graduates in the sciences, engineering, technology and maths.