Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: education and training strategy

A Strategy which offers a programme of actions for education, training and lifelong learning in Scotland to achieve our goals for STEM.

5 Vision, Aims and Outcomes

Our vision is of a Scotland where everyone is encouraged and supported to develop their STEM skills throughout their lives, enabling them to be inquiring, productive and innovative, in order to grow STEM literacy in society and drive inclusive economic growth.

To deliver this vision, everyone needs to have an opportunity to develop the STEM skills and the capabilities they need for life and across all jobs and careers. There is also a need for more people to develop the more specialist STEM skills required to gain employment in the growing STEM sectors of the economy. This strategy has four key aims:

  • to build the capacity of the education and training system to deliver excellent STEM learning so that employers have access to the workforce they need;
  • to close equity gaps in participation and attainment in STEM so that everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential and contribute to Scotland’s economic prosperity;
  • to inspire children, young people and adults to study STEM and to continue their studies to obtain more specialist skills; and
  • to connect the STEM education and training offer with labour market need – both now and in the future – to support improved productivity and inclusive economic growth.

The following chapters set out the actions that will be taken across the education, training and skills landscape to deliver Excellence, Equity, Inspiration and Connection in STEM education and training. The timeframe over which these actions will be taken forward is five years, during the period 2017-2022.

In taking the actions set out in this strategy under the themes of excellence, equity, inspiration and connection, we will work to the following long-term outcomes in pursuit of the vision of a country where everyone develops their STEM capability.

1. All learners experience relevant and engaging STEM learning, in both formal and informal learning settings, which equip them with skills and capability to be scientifically, technologically and mathematically literate citizens, fully involved in our society as it becomes increasingly reliant on science and technology, and informed and empowered to take decisions about their lives and society as a whole.

2. There is equality of access, opportunity and outcomes in STEM learning and STEM experiences for everyone, regardless of gender, background or circumstance or geography.

3. People are well equipped to undertake job roles which require STEM knowledge and skills, including the flexibility to move and diversify between roles, jobs and careers to keep pace with scientific and technological change. Employers are confident about the STEM skills, capability, and capacity of the current and future workforce.

4. Scotland has a STEM workforce, leadership and research base which supports economic growth, innovation, creativity and increased productivity and which continues to contribute to scientific and technological innovation.

As a result of the actions of this strategy, by 2022 we expect to see:

  • increases in the proportion of people undertaking STEM-related learning, engagement, study and training across all sectors including in school-level qualifications and awards, and participation in apprenticeship programmes (Excellence and Inspiration);
  • increased practitioner confidence in STEM learning in the early years, primary years and in CLD settings and increased practitioner engagement in STEM professional learning opportunities (Excellence);
  • significant reductions in the equity gaps in participation and achievement in STEM learning, engagement, study, courses and training across all sectors in relation to gender, deprivation, rurality, race, disability and for care leavers (Equity);
  • increased numbers of people who understand the benefits and value of STEM for themselves, their families and their communities (Inspiration);
  • increased collaboration between schools, colleges, universities and employers (Connection); and
  • increased employment in STEM-related occupations and employers are more satisfied with the STEM skills and capability of the people they employ from schools, colleges, universities and from apprenticeship programmes (Connection).


Email: Frank Creamer

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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