Media Release: Australia’s Stem Skills Shortage Needs Attention

22 March 2013

Australia’s Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb says a reported national shortage of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills requires attention.

The Australian Industry Group report – Lifting our Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills – surveyed more than 500 businesses from across the economy.

“I welcome this report. The findings indicate some issues that require urgent attention. Employers from across the economy believe STEM skill shortages are limiting their business and ability to innovate. This must change,’’ Professor Chubb said.

AIG reported that a quarter of employers in its survey said the biggest barrier to recruitment was a lack of applicants with STEM skills.

“We have to find a way to put the right people in the right places at the right time. This is a challenge of national proportions and it will require the focus and effort of every sector to meet it,’’ Professor Chubb said.

“ If we are to address this STEM skills shortage, we need to fix the science and maths supply line and build better bridges between our educators and employers,’’ he said.

“It is for this reason that Dr Roslyn Prinsley recently commenced work in my office as the National Adviser, Maths & Science Education & Industry.’’

Media enquiries: Mick Bunworth  02 6102 8179 or 0410 029 407 or Mick.Bunworth@chiefscientist.gov.au