Community Engagement Through STEM Education

The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency identifies the high value of STEM skills in Defence and allied industries

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The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency released in September 2012 the report "Building Australia's Defence Supply Capabilities: Main Report for the Defence Industry Workforce Strategy". STEM skills and subjects are mentioned several times in the report. In particular, some key statements that are part of this document include:

"Across Defence industry, the greatest demand for skills relates to highly technical occupations in the engineering professions and trades. The supply of engineers, particularly engineering professionals, is dependent on students continuing with high-level science, technology, mathematics and science (STEM) subjects in upper secondary school.

Therefore, strategies are required to increase the numbers of young people engaged in the STEM subjects that lead to critical occupations for Defence industry."

Importantly, one of the recommendations in the report talks specifically about encouraging STEM study in schools:

"To avoid duplication of effort, Defence liaise with The Office of the Chief Scientist to assess the programs currently being offered to encourage STEM study in schools. This assessment needs to identify the region in which the programs are being run, the target population, the skills being targeted and developed, the industry/education partnership arrangements, and the evidence available to determine the impact of the program on students' choices for future study and careers.

If this data collection process identifies the need for new programs, communication and marketing campaigns should be developed between the DMO and industry associations to demonstrate the value of careers in Defence industry to schoolchildren and their parents, as well as the broader community."

Published on: 06 Oct 2012 10:18pm