REPORTED in the press this month is the lack of schools offering computer science for pupils.

There is a big push towards STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects by the Government, designed to reclaim the UK’s ‘lost generation’ of technical workforce. Schools are a critical part of the supply chain.

Engineering and computing in particular went out of fashion for some time and there is a real shortage of younger highly skilled workers.

The nuclear industry in Warrington generates massive benefits to the region. Nuclear is high value work with a strong supply chain.

However, workforce demographics mean that if the industry is to have the expertise to move into new areas, then they will have to fill the sub-35-year-old shortage of technical staff, caused by a lack of STEM subject uptake previously.

Currently most of the nuclear industry around Warrington is linked to decommissioning, but opportunities such as developing SMR (small modular reactor) technology light the way for a bright industry future.

This can only happen with the right people and an ageing workforce will lead to fewer of them being available in the future. So how do you interest young people in engineering and essentially more girls?

  •  LAWRENCE Bellamy is deputy provost at the University of Chester's Padgate campus and writes a regular column for business