At the recent Improving STEM Education and Skills Conference event in Melbourne, Ai Group released our latest report surveying the difficulties faced by employers in recruiting employees with skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – or STEM.
As was the case when we last reported on this subject two years ago, almost 44% of employers continue to experience difficulties recruiting STEM qualified technicians and trade workers. The main barriers are a lack of qualifications relevant to the business (36%) and a lack of employability skills and workplace experience (34%).
The pipeline of STEM skills to the workforce remains perilous. In the school system, participation in science and advanced mathematics is in decline and our students underperform in all the major international studies. This is despite the fact that STEM skills are essential for the future economic and social well-being of the nation – employment in this area grew about 1.5 times the rate of other jobs in recent years.
The report reiterated our ongoing refrain that there is an urgent need to develop a national STEM skills strategy to lift the level of STEM-qualified employees in the workforce.
Has your workplace experienced a STEM skills shortage? Have you implemented any strategies to help in your recruitment of new skills in this area? And what do you think are the key considerations in the development of a national STEM skills strategy? Share your thoughts with us below.