The tech industry is increasing its participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) engagement. Cisco, through its collaboration with CSIRO, will enable Australian children to get a firsthand look into the life of a technology expert.
Cisco, through its AUSTEM2020 initiative, has been committed to helping tackle the STEM skills shortage in Australia, and has reached the key milestone of having more than 10 per cent of its employees engaged in STEM mentoring.
Cisco A/NZ vice-president, Ken Boal, said since the company kicked off its participation in CSIRO’s SMiS program, it has seen an overwhelming interest from its employees stepping up to this opportunity to help boost Australia’s innovation capability.
“With participation and engagement of STEM subjects declining, SMiS is a great way of getting more kids inspired about science, technology, engineering and math.
“Cisco employees are already inspiring students to think about how they can be part of creating and using technology to solve real world solutions – like improving public transport, community safety or food security,” he said.
Boal also said he encourages other businesses and organisations who have expressed concern about Australia’s declining STEM talent to get on board with SMiS and reap the benefits of improved staff engagement and help build the next wave of innovation, jobs and economic growth.
“The SMiS program is Australia’s leading national STEM mentoring program and we are thrilled to be part of it. Cisco has set a target to have 20 per cent of our workforce by 2020, mentoring 20 hours each year. We are well on our way to meet that goal,” he added.
In addition, Deloitte recently partnered with LifeJourney – an organisation that enables students to test drive their future by living a day in the life of Australia’s STEM and cyber leaders.
Deloitte risk advisory partner, Matt Saines, said as Australia continues its transition to a services-based knowledge economy, technology has become the new influencer, and enabler, when it comes to the development of the country’s future workforce.
“STEM education is one of Australia’s most pressing workforce challenges. It touches every aspect of our economy, from telecommunications and mining technologies to cybersecurity.
“As a LifeJourney partner, Deloitte will provide its own mentors in cybersecurity and technology consulting to expose students to real-world careers and show them how the things they are already passionate about might align with the skills we will need in the future,” he said.
Saines added that every business has a responsibility to invest effort and resources into building Australia’s future workforce.