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Tackling the maths and science shortage.

Tackling the maths and science shortage.

If a teacher hadn’t encouraged her, Yvonne Baker might never have gone into engineering: “She inspired me at a time when it was unheard for girls to consider it.”

Baker’s glad she made that choice – as a chartered chemical engineer, she now leads efforts to persuade people to choose science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem).

“Teachers can be the ones who can change things – they’re a key part of solving the engineering skills shortage and encouraging more girls,” says Baker, who now heads Stem Learning, which provides education and careers support.

Worried about a lack of maths and physics teachers, the government is focusing on finding more and hanging on to them, with a new recruitment and retention strategy launched this year. This supports teachers and offers flexible working. With phased bonuses of up to £10,000, the government hopes to encourage maths teachers to stay on after training – in total, £406m is being invested specifically on maths, digital and technical education.

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