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Could toys be used to create aspirational role models that match a skills gap?

After a successful online campaign, of over 10,000 votes, Lego will release a 'Research Institute' Lego set that features 3 female scientist figures in a lab. The new Lego set – notably devoid of pink – includes an astronomer with a telescope, a paleontologist with a dinosaur skeleton and a chemist in a lab. Could more toys be used to create positive, aspirational role models that match the skills gap reported by the CBI (Confederation of British Industry)

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A survey published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) in January found that 146,200 job vacancies were unfilled due to a lack of skills and warned that a sharp rise in skills shortages could put a brake on the UK’s economic recovery. In fact, skills shortage vacancies accounted for more than one in five of all vacancies (22%) - up from one in six (16%) in 2009.

Its warnings echoed fears expressed by the Confederation for British Industry last summer that skills shortages in some sectors were now becoming “acute”, particularly manufacturing, construction and engineering. The CBI’s poll discovered that 39% of employers were struggling to recruit workers with the advancedscience, technology, engineering and maths skills they needed, with 41% fearing such shortages will persist for the next three years.


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