Advancing Prosperity 5-year Productivity Inquiry report

Boosting STEM careers essential to lifting Australian productivity

17 March 2023

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) welcomes recommendations from the Productivity Commission report released today regarding an education sector shift to improve lifelong learning. 

The Productivity Commission report recommendations regarding building a skilled and adaptable workforce strongly align with those made in ATSE’s major report: Our STEM skilled future — An education roadmap for an innovative workforce. 

ATSE Chief Executive Officer Kylie Walker said, “Within a little under two years, Australia needs to train and find 40,000 more engineers and 100,000 more digitally skilled workers. We encourage decisive action to attract and retain an Australian STEM-empowered workforce.” 

“We need a common language for our workers and organisations to communicate the skills they have, want or need. A common language also helps people to transition their careers across multiple sectors, providing greater workforce flexibility and mobility as the Australian economy changes. 

“We welcome an approach to lifelong learning as a driver of sustainability, wellbeing and growth in Australia. The shape of tech careers is rapidly transforming, just as technology and its applications in the workplace continue to evolve: a culture of lifelong STEM learning is essential to enable people to retrain and upskill, and pursue fulfilling careers across the breadth of their lives. 

“Essential investment in workplace learning incentives for businesses focused on STEM skills can motivate change and increase national productivity. The Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering encourages establishing a unified skills taxonomy to facilitate better and more flexible matching between students and work opportunities based.”