McGowan Government gearing up Western Australians for the jobs of the future

by WA Government News | May 28, 2019
  • Election commitment delivered for WA's first-ever STEM skills strategy to drive WA's jobs of the future
  • Strategy to address the current lack of diversity in STEM related study and employment
  • Aims to have 85 per cent of Year 12 students completing two or more STEM courses

The McGowan Government has taken a critical step in preparing Western Australians for the jobs of the future with the launch of the State's first-ever science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills strategy.

'Future Jobs, Future Skills: Driving STEM skills in Western Australia' has been welcomed across a variety of education, industry and technology sectors as a way to enhance the skills of future employees and keep jobs in WA.

The strategy, which was an election commitment for the McGowan Government, was developed by a panel made up of industry experts, researchers and educators, and chaired by WA's Chief Scientist, Professor Peter Klinken.

A core objective of the strategy is addressing the current lack of diversity in STEM education and STEM related careers. Women represent just 16 per cent of STEM qualified people in Australia and Aboriginal people represent less than one per cent of higher education engineering and science students. 

The McGowan Government has already committed more than $3.3 million to kick-start the delivery of this strategy. This funding includes a four-year professional learning program for more than 1,000 teachers in lower socioeconomic public schools which is already underway.

Other projects to drive this strategy include mentoring programs, digital and technology programs and the development of a STEM communication campaign.

To continue to drive the implementation of this strategy, the McGowan Government will be working with industry to develop new programs that will not only see our young people trained, but our existing workers reskilled.

The strategy is available at

Comments attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly:

"One of the priorities for this Government is ensuring all Western Australians have the opportunity to develop STEM skills and participate in the jobs of the future that will drive our economy.

"Seventy-five per cent of the fastest growing jobs require STEM skills and STEM jobs are growing at one and a half times the rate of non-STEM jobs.

"By 2030, workers are expected to spend double the amount of time solving problems, 41 per cent more time on critical thinking and judgement and 77 per cent more time using science and mathematics skills.

"Technological change, automation and a diversifying economy mean that every Western Australian needs some level of STEM skills, not just workers in STEM related jobs.

"If we can get our education, training and policy ahead of the game during this time of rapid change, we can maximise the creation of WA jobs and create a bright future for all.

"I thank the STEM advisory panel members for their contribution and work to develop this strategy."

Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

"In our recently released 'Our Priorities' program we set a target to have 85 per cent of Year 12 students completing two or more STEM courses by 2024. 

"By training our educators and increasing opportunities for these students, all Western Australians can take part in a STEM future."

Science Minister's office - 6552 6100

Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700

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