In higher education, there are currently double the proportion of men enrolled in STEM related courses compared to women (42% vs 19%), a gap that has slightly widened year-on-year (35% vs 18% in the 2018/19 survey). When asked about careers 24% of girls are considering STEM-related roles in the future, compared to boys (41%)(Youth Insight, 2020).
People in regional areas are around 40% less likely to gain a higher-level tertiary education qualification and less than half as likely to receive a Bachelor and above qualification by the time they are are 35 years old, compared to people from metropolitan areas (Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training, 2020). People living in regional areas have limited choice in where and how they source education and limited access to extracurricular service, especially for low-income families. Peel Bright Minds services the whole Peel region including the areas surrounding Boddington, Mandurah, Murray, Serpentine-Jarrahdale and Waroona.
STEM skills will be essential in the future of work and are already in high demand from employers. Currently, 75% of jobs in the fastest growing industries require workers with STEM skills (DESE, 2021). However, as technology and IT disrupts more and more industries, there’s a real concern that there won’t be enough STEM-qualified people to work in the jobs of the future. Plus, the gap between knowledge generated in the education system and the skills demanded by employers and individuals is widening (DESE,2021).
Many people do not have positive perceptions or engagement in STEM. Nationally, less than 10% of year 11 and 12 students are studying a STEM subject and students’ science and maths results are declining or stagnating (DESE, 2021).