Australia losing STEM talent – report

by Brett Henebery03 Aug 2017
A new report by LinkedIn shows that nearly a third (33%) of students who graduated in the last three years from Australian educational institutions studied a STEM degree,

However the job market is struggling as it is losing nearly a fifth of this talent (16%) to overseas opportunities

The study found that almost half (46%) of these highly skilled STEM graduates have pursued careers outside of engineering (17%), science (15%) and tech (22%).

According to Australia’s Chief Scientist, 75% of Australia’s fast-growing occupations already require STEM skills and at this current rate of technological innovation 44% of all jobs in Australia are likely to be automated.

However, LinkedIn’s data shows that there is a growing gap from education to workforce.

News of the Federal Government’s 457 Visa ban and cuts to university funding have fueled discussions around Australia’s growing skills gap in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

To offset this, the Federal Government announced a new foreign worker levy of $1800 a worker a year which will go towards the new Skilling Australians Fund (SAF), supporting 300,000 high-demand traineeships and apprenticeships.

The LinkedIn study follows recent report by the Foundation of Young Australians (FYA) which said that the automation of dozens of industries will require a greater focus on delivering and enhancing STEM skills.

The New Work Smarts report analysed over 20 billion hours of work completed by 12 million Australian workers across 400 occupations each year to predict the skills and capabilities that will matter most in 2030.

The report shows that automation is going to change what we do in every job, in every occupation.

By 2030 The New Work Smarts report forecasts that young people, on average will spend 30% more time per week learning skills on the job, but 100% more time at work solving problems.

The report also says young people will spend 40% more time on critical thinking and judgement and over 77% more time using STEM skills, due to the increasing role that technology and automation is playing across the fastest growing industries.

Independent education policy think tank, Mitchell Institute at Victoria University, said the latest report by Foundation for Young Australians strengthens calls to transform education in Australia.

“It is becoming more and more difficult for young Australians to find meaningful jobs and today’s findings show that without bold education changes, this will only worsen in the future,” Mitchell Institute Director, Megan O’Connell, said.

“Traditional knowledge and job-specific skills alone are not enough to thrive in a global workforce that experiences constant change”.

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