Science and innovation are embedded in Scotland’s heritage and culture. They are playing an ever-increasing role in Scotland’s future within our increasingly globalised and complex world.
The current pace of technological change across the world is unprecedented - it is transforming the way we work, conduct business, buy goods and communicate with one another and live our lives. It is opening up new ways of manufacturing and creating new knowledge and innovations. This creates huge opportunities for economic growth and social benefit for the people of Scotland.
However, to achieve these benefits we need to develop and grow Scotland’s expertise in the inter-related fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – STEM.
We must develop people’s skills so that they can gain employment in the fast-growing and well-paid specialist STEM sectors. We must also ensure that everyone is able to develop the confidence and understanding of STEM required to fully engage with STEM as it impacts on all employment types and careers and affects our daily lives. At the same time, STEM learning helps us with the complex questions we face such as climate change, helps us make informed lifestyle choices and opens doors to understanding and enjoyment of the world around us.
Central to our ambition for STEM in Scotland is increasing diversity. We will achieve this by ensuring equality of access and opportunity to study STEM and attract people from under-represented groups, such as women and girls and those from deprived communities, into STEM-related careers.
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM): Education and Training Strategy for Scotland was published on 26 October 2017.
The Strategy has a five year lifetime, up to 2022, and sets out an ambitious and comprehensive plan to drive forward improvements in STEM education and training in Scotland, for all ages.
Much progress has been made in this first year to initiate actions and establish active partnerships between stakeholders. In the second year of the strategy, we expect to start to see the impact of this work being demonstrated through improvements in STEM learning in early learning settings, schools, colleges and universities, the science and engagement sector and in community learning and development (CLD) settings.
Email: Frank Creamer