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.
1. We’re investing in STEM subjects in school.
We are providing £855,000 this year to provide STEM training programmes and classroom resources for teachers to help them develop their own skills. We are also providing a new three-year £1 million fund to boost primary science learning in schools.
We’ll ensure that by 2020 every Scottish school is working with a STEM partner from the private, public or third sectors.
2. 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; STEM places are being prioritised in Modern Apprenticeships. And we’re supporting colleges to develop STEM strategies too.
3. We’re working to get more STEM graduates into teaching.
We will build on our successful STEM recruitment campaign, and we’re providing new, quicker, routes into the teaching profession for individuals who have a STEM background. For example, £400,000 from the Transition Training Fund is being used to enable 20 oil and gas workers to bring their skills and expertise into STEM teaching in the Aberdeen area.
4. 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 26 per cent in first degree courses and 47 per cent in postgraduate courses. But there’s much more to do.
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.
5. We’re taking forward a STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland.
The Scottish Government has published a draft STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland, which aims to raise levels of enthusiasm for STEM in children, young people and adults in Scotland.