In case you haven’t noticed, there is a worldwide *STEM workforce shortage. This is costing Australia and other countries around the world billions of dollars each year in opportunity costs because we don’t have the workforce we need.
Let’s take a step back. What is STEM? Our colleague Meredith  describes it well,
“STEM is a pedagogy not a subject area. STEM is learning how to teach with a focus on these four areas and this can be done in a low cost way. The best way to spend scarce money is on teacher training and upskilling teachers to improve their pedagogy, rather than expensive rooms staffed by a specialist. If your specialist moves on all the knowledge and skills are lost”.
So while the future of the economy and work is digital, Australia is 44th for employee training in STEM and 53rd in graduating scientists. What is concerning about this is that in 2015 Australia was ninth. When the report compares countries with a similar population, Australia fell from 3rd to 5th, and for those in the Asia-Pacific region from 2nd to 5th. Australia has spent the past few years sliding down the ladder .
In our everyday conversations with industry, organisations say they need more qualified staff than are currently available. They want to hire 4th year university graduates in engineering, tech and science but students, in particular women, are not studying STEM at university, or if they choose a STEM discipline area, often they are not making it past the first year of their studies.
There are economic projections that there is a need for approximately 1 million more STEM professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate over the next decade if the country is to retain its historical pre-eminence in science and technology. The UK reports a current shortfall of 173,000 skilled workers as 89% of STEM businesses struggle to recruit, with the shortage costing businesses £1.5 billion a year in recruitment, temporary staffing, inflated salaries and additional training costs .
In Australia, the demand for technology workers is predicted to grow by 100,000 between 2018 and 2024 in trend terms, with the technology workforce increasing to 792,000 workers  .
Help us to create that pipeline of new workers through our signature 12 week STEM Entrepreneurship Program in 2020.
1 Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – explained here: http://observelearndo.blogspot.com/2019/10/how-do-i-teach-steam-5-ideas.html?m=1
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