There is a clear current and future need for STEM-skilled talent. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills are already in high demand and growing at 1.5 times faster than other jobs. To address this growing need for a STEM skilled workforce in 2017 the NSW Government, through the Department of Industry, entered into a Deed of GIFT with the Trustee of SIEF to establish Generation STEM, a ten year initiative to attract, support, retain and train NSW students in STEM at school, into further education and into employment. The NSW Government recognises that in an era of fast-paced technological disruption, a STEM skilled, innovation-capable workforce will be integral to enabling the state’s, and in turn, the nation’s growth and economic prosperity.
Due to its experience in delivering STEM education of the highest quality to Australians, the Trustee has enlisted the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to deliver the Generation STEM Program. CSIRO is working closely with industry and the education sector to develop and deliver programs that have proven impact, with a clear focus on achieving measurable results.
Generation STEM takes a community driven approach, ensuring tailored programs address local employer requirements and equip young people with the relevant skills to secure local jobs. It will deliver programs that attract more diverse, high‐potential high school students into NSW‐based STEM educational pathways (higher education and vocational education and training) and retain top performers in NSW‐based STEM employment and/or further education.
Western Sydney has been identified as the first location priority for Generation STEM, in response to a growing need for a STEM-skilled workforce due to the anticipated arrival of Western Sydney Airport and major surrounding developments.
The first program to launch is the STEM Community Partnerships Program. It connects schools with local STEM employers, helping to increase understanding of local STEM pathways and career opportunities. The program also provides an opportunity to showcase the relevance of STEM in everyday life with a range of activities from inquiry-based projects to local industry engagement, helping to increase student participation in STEM subjects.
Generation STEM aims to inspire the next generation and create a highly-skilled STEM workforce to meet the demand of current and future jobs in NSW. For more information on the Generation STEM Program please visit the CSIRO Education and Outreach webpage.
Generation STEM was officially launched on 24 June 2019 by Dr Geoff Lee NSW Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education. Also in attendance was Dr Larry Marshall Trustee of SIEF. The launch was held at Yennora at Varley Group, an Australian company that has expanded and diversified their business to include sites around Australia and overseas. Varley has worked successfully as a community partner to schools and has signed up as an industry partner in Generation STEM.