Universities are not producing enough science graduates with the skills needed by UK industry, a report says.
The Lords Science and Technology Committee calls for immediate action to boost student numbers in science, technology, engineering and maths at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Too many students start science courses with weak maths skills, it says.
Report chairman Lord Willis said he was "gobsmacked" by figures which showed few who had studied maths beyond GCSE.
The report notes that the government's Plan for Growth attached great importance to education and the hi-tech industry to create jobs and prosperity.
But it highlights a lack of key skills which extends from too few young people studying maths beyond GCSE to too few students taking postgraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) subjects.
The sub-committee that produced the report said they were shocked that so many Stem undergraduates did not have A-level mathematics.
The figures showed that around 70% of biology undergraduates, 38% of chemistry and economics undergraduates and 10% of engineering students did not have A-level maths.
The report team even found evidence that even an A* in A-level mathematics was no guarantee that students would be able to cope with a university science course.
Lord Willis said: "When you have a university like Cambridge saying that even with an A* in mathematics we are having to give remedial maths in order to study engineering there is something not quite right if we are going to produce the very best to compete with the world.
"In reality the quality of the Stem graduates coming out of universities does not meet the requirements of industry and in fact is ultimately not even likely to meet the requirements of academia."