A new plan to improve the learning and teaching of STEM subjects in Wales and drive up the number of learners studying them is being launched today by Deputy Minister for Skills, Julie James.
The skills gained through the study of STEM subjects are widely recognised as essential to the development of a prosperous and sustainable knowledge economy.
Ahead of British Science week the Welsh Government is launching its ‘STEM in Education and Training – a delivery plan’ to set out the actions it will take to support STEM related subjects for 3 to 19-year-olds in the years ahead.
Deputy Minister for Skills Julie James said:
“I would like to see a major shift in the perception of STEM subjects. Attitudes towards STEM are often based in deep-rooted societal stereotypes and this delivery plan is about breaking down those stereo types.
“This plan also sets out how we will continue our efforts to support and promote the wider study of STEM subjects, how we will encourage greater numbers of girls to study STEM subjects and how we will work with schools and colleges to drive up standards and increase attainment levels in STEM subjects across the board.”
The STEM plan builds on the Enterprise and Business Committee’s wide ranging inquiry into STEM skills that was conducted in 2014. It sets out six key priorities for the future. These are to:
- improve the analysis and reporting of progress on STEM subjects against key indicators
- ensure the learning and teaching of STEM subjects in schools, colleges and universities evolves and keeps pace with the best in the world
- develop STEM-related qualifications that are comparable with the rest of the UK and the best in the world.
- promote the long-term, self-sustaining and system wide development of an education workforce that delivers a new and challenging STEM curriculum
- increase interest and participation in STEM learning, particularly among girls
- equip young people with career management skills and knowledge of the options available to them within the STEM sector.
The Welsh Government’s progress against these six actions will be monitored by the Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, Professor Julie Williams. Speaking about the plan, she said:
“We know that STEM subjects are essential to the technological, social and economic future of Wales. On a more personal level it is really important that we get the message through to our young people that the study of STEM subjects can make a genuinely positive impact on their futures, and can help them build careers that are rewarding, fulfilling and well paid.”