A basis for expanding STEM skills

That Australia needs  STEM skills and lots more of them is universally agreed. Problem is while there are aspirational objectives there’s not enough intellectual infrastructure to underpin programmes – which is where the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering comes in.

This morning ATSE announces its “roadmap for an innovative workforce,” including two foundation proposals, without which all the STEM promotion in the world will not amount to a hill of cyber beans.

one is a national skills taxonomy: common terms for people to state the skills they have and organisations to specify those they want. This is needed for “upskilling, re-skilling or transferring skills” across sectors.

There is a bunch of work already done, including by the about to exit National Skills Commission, but it needs to reach a way bigger audience, notably to help people who want to learn and grow, in life and work.

another is evidence-based STEM programme development: “there is a proliferation of STEM resources and training programmes, especially on-line, but little curation and evaluation of quality and effectiveness, “ ATSE argues. To address this it proposed Fed-propelled resources, including

*  a self-assessment framework for “skills imparted and competency level”

* a directory of “quality-assessed STEM training programmes”

* a home for quality – assessed, “self-serve STEM resources, for business, workers and teachers who need knowledge outside their field.

Good-o, but who is to do it: ATSE looks to “the federal government.” But as the fate of the Noonan Review of the Australian Qualifications Framework demonstrates, policy coherence and practical need do not create action without a champion.

More work for Jobs and Skills Australia?