Skip to main content

TSB reveals that 61% of brits chose not to study stem subjects and many now regret it

13th March 2018


  • Majority of Brits believe we must do more to inspire younger generations to engage with STEM subjects.
  • TSB joins forces with children’s author Lucy Hawking to create ‘Let’s Build a Rocket’ workshop to get children excited about STEM subjects.
  • TSB’s CEO, Dr Paul Pester, and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock get set to build rockets and colonise Mars with school children in Liverpool during British Science Week.

New research from TSB has revealed that 61% of Brits chose not to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects beyond GCSE / O Level and almost a fifth of adults did not think they would be relevant to their future job or careers.

Over a quarter (27%) of Brits regret their decision and more than two fifths (41%) wish they had felt more inspired by STEM subjects during school and college.

Encouragingly, the majority of people don’t want future generations to have the same regret and over 80% think it’s important we inspire young people to think about studying STEM subjects.

We must inspire younger generations

TSB believes that banks should be there to serve the local communities they’re a part of.  That’s why TSB Partners work with local schools and community groups across Britain to help young people with financial education and employability skills.  

Earlier this year TSB joined forces with award-winning children’s author Lucy Hawking to create a new ‘Let’s Build a Rocket' workshop for school children aged seven to 11.  The workshop sees students become space explorers who design a rocket for their journey into space.  Incorporating maths, science and art as part of the workshop, the initiative has been designed to encourage more children to engage with STEM subjects and to demonstrate the value and impact that numeracy and technology skills can have.

During British Science Week, TSB CEO Dr Paul Pester and space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock will visit St Luke’s Church of England primary school in Liverpool to deliver the new workshop.

TSB’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Pester, says: “As every physicist knows, you can travel anywhere in space and time with just a pencil, a sheet of paper and your imagination. I want every child to have the same opportunity to explore the universe as I have had and, even more importantly, see how STEM subjects will give them the foundation to go anywhere and do anything they want to in later life.

“I know first-hand how STEM subjects are the backbone to how we live our lives. Physics gives you a broad understanding of the world you live in and helps you develop key skills, from problem-solving to being analytical.  I can’t wait to build a rocket with St Luke’s Church of England primary school and see the children’s futures lift-off!”

The research also found that the uptake of STEM subjects could have been much higher had women been give more encouragement into the subjects. Three in 10 Brits (27%) believe that male students are given the most encouragement to study the subjects.

For the two fifths (39%) of people who did pursue STEM subjects beyond GCSE and O Level, over a third (34%) said it was because they had a role model to inspire them. 

Lucy Hawking, Author, comments: “Engaging students with STEM subjects from an early age helps students to build their confidence and helps them develop fundamental skills for their future learning and careers. These are fascinating and exciting areas to explore and we hope that the TSB 'Let's Build a Rocket' workbook will encourage schools and students to use their imagination and their research skills to complete the challenges. Be adventurous! Who knows where your rockets will take you! 




Notes to editors


TSB’s research was conducted in February 2018 by One Poll surveying 2,000 UK adults.

TSB’s CEO Dr Paul Pester and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock will visit St Luke’s Church of England primary school in Liverpool to deliver the new workshop on 15 March 2018. 

British Science Week runs from 9 -18 March 2018.  Visit the website for more information.

About Let’s Build a Rocket

The ‘Let’s Build a Rocket’ workshop is part of TSB’s volunteering programme which encourages everyone working at the Bank to spend eight hours, when they would normally be working, supporting the local community.

TSB Partners across Britain are working with local schools and community groups to help young people, aged between five and 18 years old.  

About TSB

TSB launched back onto high streets on 9 September 2013. 

TSB was built to bring more competition to UK banking and ultimately make banking better for all UK consumers.  TSB only serves local customers and local businesses, to help fuel local economies, because communities thriving across Britain is a good thing for all of us.

We have a simple, straightforward and transparent banking model and make clear on our website how we operate and make money.  We offer the products and services people tell us they want, with none of the funny stuff people normally associate with traditional banks.

Our five million customers appear to notice: TSB is Britain’s most recommended high street bank and was identified as one of the top five big companies to work for in 2018.

For further information about TSB Bank plc, please visit our website