STEM Futures


There is a sector-wide shortage of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) skills and it is getting increasingly difficult to retain key S&T capabilities or to build new ones.  The pace and scope of future skills development needs to be increased to match the speed of development of research and technology applicable to the Defence and Security Sector.  Leveraging expertise embedded in Government, Industry and Academia will be increasingly needed to attract and develop staff with the skills we will require into the future.  The Government’s Apprenticeship policy (and financial levy) is acting as a catalyst for cross-sector partnering to develop new higher level apprentice schemes.


What is STEM Futures? 

STEM Futures is a targeted talent & development pipeline (for skills gaps & future proofing) – which includes Suitably Qualified and Experienced Person (SQEP).  It is:

  • A framework for Partners to offer vocational training to each other’s staff (making use of niche skills and facilities) – via a single contract;
  • A driver for networking, sharing good practice and collaborative working;
  • Beneficial for whole career, recruitment, re-skilling, re-shaping.  Emphasis on Inclusion and return-ships.

Benefits for participating organisations

  • Improved resilience:
    • In scarce skills disciplines
    • A way of developing and applying STEM skills of the future
  • A scheme underwritten by the whole Sector:
    • Building a common understanding of Sector–wide issues (inc. skills shortages, knowledge transfer, stakeholder priorities & exploitation)
    • Adaptable to changing circumstances
  • A collective vision for how this will effect positive change:
    • Individuals will move up the “learning curve” more quickly, applying academic knowledge to real problems
    • Recruiting non-STEM or mid-career will increase diversity
    • Increased awareness, broader networking and knowledge transfer leads to more effective working

Benefits for a participant on the scheme:

As a STEM Futures Mentee you will have:

  • The opportunity to develop skills which employers have identified as needed in the future.
  • Your fees paid for by your employer and a salary while you learn.
  • Access to state of the art facilities and knowledge on research Placements.
  • A way of returning to the workplace after a career break or of changing direction mid-career.
  • bespoke learning plan and a dedicated mentor for each of your Placements.
  • The opportunity to work across several organisations, on real defence and security problems.
  • The STEM Futures Model involves a series of Placements of various lengths:
  • 1 Placement (induction) in your own organisation.
  • 2 Placements in Partner organisations and;
  • 1 educational Placement (which is optional)

All STEM Futures Partner Representatives, Mentors and Mentees will be given access to Mentor and Mentee community or the Steering Group/Partners collaboration tool as appropriate.

If you would like access to a STEM Futures community or collaboration areas

  • If you are a Partner contact your Partner Representative who will inform the STEM Futures office; you will then be emailed joining instructions.
  • If you are not within a STEM Futures Partner, email and a member of the STEM Futures team will contact you.