The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency released on 19 July 2012 the discussion paper "Future focus: Australia’s skills and workforce development needs (PDF, 8.05MB)". STEM subjects are mentioned several times in the paper.
In particular, some key questions and statements that are part of this document include:
"Does more need to be done to foster STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects for Australia’s future competitiveness in the global marketplace?..."
"Will our capacity in the STEM subjects be sufficient for the science and technology needs of the future?..."
"Investment in education is critical as Australia tries to revive science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to aid the high‐tech sector..."
"The prominent role of science and technology means that Australia continues to require considerable numbers of highly‐qualified people, especially in STEM subjects..."
"There is evidence we are slipping in terms of STEM subjects compared to our international competitors. This is undermining the ability of students to succeed in disciplines such as engineering. Current government policies to support STEM subjects in schools will take a long time to work through to tertiary sector enrolments and job‐ready graduates. This will potentially affect the resources sector, manufacturing, the finance industry, education (including maths and science teachers) and computer applications including general ICT, electronic games and media. In particular, enrolments in the ‘enabling’ sciences (mathematics, physics and chemistry), along with agriculture, are diminishing to an extent, following on reduced enrolments in Year 12 science subjects".
Authorised by the Head of School, Engineering
24 July, 2012