Why we do it

Our young people need to be equipped with the technical knowledge, skills, and know-how to survive and thrive in a world which is evolving through automation, digitalisation, and technological advancement - at an unprecedented pace.


The UK is facing a well documented STEM skills crisis – and we’re falling behind the rest of the world. The UK ranks 16th out of 20 OECD countries for the proportion of people with technical qualifications.

In order to thrive in the global economy the UK will need to be smarter. Quality technical education, alongside traditional academic routes, is essential to ensure that people have the skills required for high-wage jobs and employers can get the highly skilled staff they need.

Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, President, The Royal Society

Demand for a pipeline of dynamic, STEM-literate talent is only going to increase with an ageing workforce and the rise of new technologies, digitisation, and automation. Engineering UK estimates in addition to a natural replacement demand each year of 1.3 million engineers, with a further 300,000 needed by 2022 just to meet expansion demand.

Our impact

We exist to serve young people aged 12 to 18 years from all backgrounds – to inspire and engage them in STEM learning through robotics. Our programmes are specifically designed to support and develop them into the next generation of science and technology leaders – and we’re already making significant progress.

Statistics about FIRST
Data source: Brandeis University, 2005 Evaluation of FIRST® Robotics Competition Alumni; Brandeis University, 2011 FIRST® Tech Challenge Competition Evaluation and 2013 FIRST® Lego League Competition; FIRST®, 2015 FIRST® Alumni Survey