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Engineering in higher education: how Morson are closing the STEM skills gap

  • Publish Date: Posted 15 days ago
  • Author: Rebekah Valero-lee
EngineeringUK recently released the highly anticipated 'Engineering in Higher Education' report, which showcases the promising employment prospects and remarkable versatility of engineering and technology degrees.

EngineeringUK research shows engineering is: 

  • The 4th most popular subject for first-year undergraduates

  • The most popular subject for postgraduate research students 

  • The fifth most popular subject, when considering all levels of degree programs

Additionally, 71.8% of students of engineering and technology who graduated successfully obtained paid employment 15 months after graduating, with 60% of them working in engineering companies. These statistics affirm our market experience which indicates a substantial demand for engineering and tech skills in the UK job market.

Despite the opportunities in the field, many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are not fully aware of, or able to access, the potential career pathways that exist in STEM fields. 

In recent years Morson Group has established several initiatives under the umbrella of the Morson STEM Foundation to increase the visibility, and viability, of STEM career pathways and encourage participation from underrepresented communities. From creating the innovative Morson Maker Space that teaches students real-world technical skills, to individual scholarships, Morson Group is committed to being a driving force in life-changing projects that make a difference.

The Morson STEM Foundation

The Morson STEM Foundation, which launched in October 2022, is committed to creating sustainable talent pools for businesses and long-term careers for candidates through funding, engagement, and training. By collaborating with businesses to understand their skills needs and aligning them with a strategy for creating career opportunities - the STEM Foundation aims to develop skills, deliver social value, and create a brighter future for all.

The Morson Maker Space

A cornerstone of the Morson STEM Foundation is the new state-of-the-art Morson Maker Space facility which forms part of the University of Salford's new £65 million Science, Engineering & Environment Building. The facilities have been designed to provide students with opportunities to explore new ideas and innovate, gaining hands-on experience with the types of equipment they can expect to use when they move from education into the workplace.

The Morson Maker Space includes a wide range of industrial machines and equipment for use by students from across the University of Salford, which will enable businesses to engage with the university and students in new ways, thereby creating opportunities for employment, training and exciting new projects.

Maria Stukoff, Director of the Morson Maker, emphasises the importance of partnerships between universities and businesses in developing the skills employers are looking for.

“Morson has provided the core funding for the University of Salford’s state-of-the-art maker space, with a STEM programme that provides students with opportunities to acquire future-fit skills with equipment they will use in the workplace once they graduate.

The maker space supports everything from additive manufacturing, metal printing and CNC machining, through to delicate microscopic instrumentation and electronics, folding or laser cutting paper and farm robotics.”

Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholarships and the Morson Group Scholarship

Morson Group established the Gerry Mason Engineering Excellence Scholarship in 2015, in memory of Morson founder Gerry Mason, a design engineer himself. The scholarship aims to continue his legacy by enabling budding engineers to study degree-level courses rooted in STEM.

These scholarships focus on nurturing future skills for various sectors, including aerospace, automotive, infrastructure, nuclear, engineering, IT & digital, and more. From the outset, the goal of the scholarship was to help young people from across the country reach their full potential, by removing financial and social barriers to attending university. 

In 2022 we were delighted to see our 50th local scholar enrol at the University of Salford. Thanks to funding and an active partnership with the University of Salford, 37 out of 53 scholars have now graduated. 


Most recently, Morson Group celebrated another milestone in delivering the vision for developing future generations of STEM talent with the official opening of a new IntoUniversity Salford learning centre. The facility, located in the Beacon Centre, is a collaboration between the University of Salford, the University of Manchester, and the national education charity IntoUniversity.

Working closely with local schools, businesses and universities, IntoUniversity Salford will offer long-term support to young people aged 7-18, helping them to discover their focus, build their capabilities and ultimately have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Support offered at the centre includes after-school academic support, mentoring with local university students and professionals, in-school aspiration-raising workshops and enrichment and work experience opportunities.

It aims to provide long-term educational support to young people facing disadvantages, who are typically underrepresented in higher education. Morson's sponsorship of the new learning centre further builds on our commitment to STEM skills and social mobility.

CEO of Morson Group, Ged Mason OBE explained:

“Our involvement with the new learning centre, through IntoUniversity and the University of Salford, closes the loop when it comes to inspiring and supporting future talent in STEM.

As a global talent business working with some of the world’s most progressive companies, we know that the workplace of the future will rely on the next generation of STEM talent. All too often, the potential is lost early in the education journey, perhaps because children weren’t switched on to the excitement and variety of STEM subjects, or due to socio-economic factors.

The new learning centre aims to ensure the potential of Salford’s children is nurtured and prioritised, inspiring them to learn, engage, aspire and achieve. Those principles lie at the heart of both levelling up and addressing the need for a talent pipeline for some of the UK’s most innovative sectors.

We hope to see the children who access support from the learning centre move through school and on to university. Who knows, the young people that are supported through the learning centre today may be using the Morson Maker Space and receiving a Gerry Mason or Morson Group Scholarship in the future.”

Collectively the aim of Morson STEM initiatives is to help young people from all backgrounds explore and help pursue, pathways into engineering-related careers. 

With the immense demand for STEM skills in the UK, we must provide young people with the resources and support they need to pursue a career. The Morson Group is proud to be investing in young people's education and aspirations and will continue to work diligently to change lives and ensure a sustainable future for the industry and the wider economy.