The NSW Government has teamed with the CSIRO to launch a new $25 million program to attract, support and retain young people in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education and skilled careers.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said Generation STEM is a 10-year education program that will initially be rolled out in Western Sydney to create the next generation of STEM-skilled workers. “The Generation STEM program will help create a steady pipeline of STEM skilled students,” Mr Lee said.

“This investment by the NSW Government in a smart workforce of the future will benefit industries that can support continued growth of quality jobs for our economy.”

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Mr Lee said the first phase, the STEM Community Partnerships Program (STEM CPP), will see Year 9 and 10 students develop STEM projects focused on local industry challenges. The Western Sydney location was selected because it has major developments that will require large numbers of STEM-skilled staff, including the Western Sydney Airport, Aerotropolis and Sydney Science Park.

Upon completion, the projects will be showcased to industry, local councils and schools. Students will also attend web-based masterclasses, and visit workplaces to meet STEM professionals to learn about STEM career opportunities.

Generation STEM takes an industry-led and community driven approach, ensuring tailored programs address local employer requirements and equip young people with the relevant skills to secure local jobs.

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The investment will be held by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF), for which CSIRO’s Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall is the Trustee. Dr Marshall said the CSIRO solves Australia’s greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.

“Through this endowment to SIEF, the Generation STEM partnership will inspire tomorrow’s STEM leaders and grow Australia’s future success and prosperity,” Dr Marshall said. “Today’s students will use science to invent their own careers, creating a better future for all of us. Generation STEM will help to make this vision a reality”.