Policy Priority

STEM Education

Exciting and educating young people in STEM

Demand for STEM skills in Australia is clear, presenting an opportunity to grow high-skilled Australian jobs; 75 per cent of the fastest-growing occupations require significant STEM skills and knowledge. STEM-based employment is projected to grow at almost twice the pace of other occupations. Yet recent ABS statistics show employers are still having difficulty recruiting STEM-skilled professionals, particularly in mining, manufacturing and electricity, gas water and waste services.

Increasing the use of inquiry-based and problem-based pedagogies within STEM and other subjects, taking advantage of industry partnerships where appropriate, and exploring the use of new educational technologies will significantly improve the quality of education in Australia. It is also critical that teachers are trained to be skilled and confident in STEM subject matter.

ATSE partnered with the Australian Academy of Science to develop the Women in STEM Decadal Plan, and we have developed a number of programs that aim to improve quality, participation and gender equity in STEM sectors and STEM education, which include:

  • STELR (Science and Technology Education Leveraging Relevance), a program that has supported science in secondary schools since 2007 with authentic, inquiry-based and problem-based pedagogies
  • Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), which aims to improve gender equity and diversity in STEMM in Australia’s higher education and research sector
  • Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS), which provides STEM PhD students the opportunity to engage with industry, extend their professional network, and obtain advice from influential industry mentors. Ninety per cent of IMNIS alumni are considering or actively pursuing careers in industry – compared to only about 30 per cent of PhD graduates not participating in the program.