Commonwealth reinforces support for STEM

The Turnbull government has reaffirmed its commitment to building local skills for science and technology, under reforms outlined by the minister for industry, innovation and science, Arthur Sinodinos.

Australian government minister for industry, innovation and science, Arthur Sinodinos, has reaffirmed a commitment to building the local science and technology sectors, against a backdrop of visa restrictions involving overseas workers.

Sinodinos noted that Australia continued to face a skills gap involving technical specialist roles. “Through the development of a strong STEM sector locally we can ensure our economy has the workers it needs for the future.”

He said it was important, where possible, that employers first looked locally and trained up local staff, before considering other options. “We recognise that we are making significant visa reforms and that we need to remain vigilant that there are not unintended consequences.” 

The Commonwealth would be engaging in an “open dialogue” with the innovation and technology sectors to ensure that the local industry and capability is fully supported. "For employers looking for skilled IT workers today, where a shortage does exist, they'll still be able to employ the best and brightest foreign workers,” added Sinodinos.

“There are a number of IT occupations on the new skills lists - this will ensure that our IT companies are not disadvantaged while we prepare more Australians for careers in technology and ICT through our investment in STEM."