There could be a significant increase in the number of jobs available in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) over the coming years, new research has suggested.
EDF Energy worked with the Social Market Foundation on the Pretty Curious report by analysing government data and examining trends in the jobs market.
It was found that the retirement of the post-war baby boomers born between 1946 and the early 1960s will create the highest number of STEM vacancies yet for 'Generation Z', born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, by 2023.
Indeed, it could be that up to half a million openings become available to new candidates in order to fill roles made vacant by retirement, some of which are likely to be in hospital settings such as pharmacies. Furthermore, another 142,000 opportunities are likely to be created by the development of new technology in these fields.
However, EDF warned that potentially suitable candidates could be missing out if they fail to recognise the opportunities available in the STEM fields and fail to pursue STEM subjects after school.
Head of diversity, inclusion and employer branding at EDF Energy Fiona Jackson said girls and women in particular need to be aware that there may be jobs for them in science that they hadn't previously considered.
"The UK needs to be ready for a wave of baby boomer retirees. Encouraging girls into science will be critical to filling the future skills gap. Currently women make up less than a quarter of the workforce in four of the five most in-demand industries for STEM jobs," she added.
It comes after the UK government recently expressed ambitions to establish Britain as a world leader in life sciences, with £146 million to be allocated to five new manufacturing centres to help discover new medicines.
Another £14 million will be shared between 11 medical research and development centres, health secretary Jeremy Hunt revealed.