Our action on STEM education and training

Research suggests that 65 per cent of children in preschool today will work in jobs or careers that don’t yet exist.

There is already huge demand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills, knowledge and capability in Scotland’s economy today, with occupations relying on STEM ranging from engineering and medicine to design and tourism.

That’s why the SNP are committed to delivering high quality STEM education and training across the education system. Here’s just some of what we’re doing.

We have published a STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland.

Following a public consultation, the Scottish Government has published a STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland, which aims to raise levels of enthusiasm for STEM in children, young people and adults in Scotland. You can read more about this strategy here.

‍ We’re investing in STEM subjects in school.

We will continue to support the Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC) to provide STEM training programmes and classroom resources for teachers to help them develop their own skills.

We are also providing a three-year £1 million fund to boost primary science learning in schools.

By 2020, we will ensure that every Scottish school is working with a STEM partner from the private, public or third sectors.

‍ We’re making sure young people gain the STEM skills and knowledge they need in the workplace.

Scotland’s colleges and universities are increasing the number of STEM-related courses and places they are providing, and we are supporting colleges to develop STEM strategies too.

This year, and over the course of the five year STEM strategy, we will prioritise STEM in the expansion of Modern Apprenticeships and the development of Graduate Level Apprenticeships and Foundation Apprenticeships.

We will also establish a new Young STEM Leaders programme to promote and strengthen the development of peer mentoring and inspiration in STEM for children and young people. The programme will start this year and be fully operational by 2020.

‍ We’re working to get more STEM teachers into the profession.

We will build on our successful STEM recruitment campaign, and we are providing new, quicker, routes into the teaching profession for individuals interested in teaching STEM subjects.

Bursaries of £20,000 will be available for those wishing to change career and become a teacher in priority STEM subjects.

Additionally, the Scottish Government are providing a further 20 places on the University of Aberdeen’s PGDE Internship programme for individuals who have lost, or are at risk of losing their jobs in the oil and gas sector to transition into STEM related teaching.

‍ Under the SNP the number of female entrants into STEM subjects at Scottish universities is up, and we’re taking further action to tackle under-representation.

Between 2007 and 2016 the number of female entrants in STEM subjects at Scottish universities had increased by 20 per cent in first degree courses and 36 per cent in postgraduate courses. But there’s much more to do.

Our STEM Strategy includes expansion of the successful Improving Gender Balance Scotland project in schools, and aims to raise awareness of gender bias with parents, families and teachers to encourage more girls to aspire to STEM studies and career.

We’ve also provided funding of almost £50,000 to Equate Scotland for their Women Returners Project, which supports women with STEM qualifications back into the STEM sector after periods of absence from paid employment.