Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said promoting skills for STEM is vital for economic growth.
Speaking at this year’s Science and Stormont event the East Derry MLA said:
“It is vital for local economic growth that we continue to strive towards developing a pipeline of talent. This starts with awareness of STEM targeted towards young people from early school years but also offers re-training and upskilling opportunities for those in later career stages.
“The most recent update on skills highlighted the largest growth sectors as scientific and technical and information and communication.
“It pointed out that we need more people qualified and skilled in computer sciences, engineering and hard sciences like physics and chemistry.
“There is also a need to promote STEM to women and girls to address the continued under-representation of women in these careers, particularly engineering.
“There have been a number of good initiatives and programmes aimed at addressing this in recent times but we still need to do more to ensure we highlight opportunities and showcase role models.
“As well as correcting the under-representation of women in STEM, this is also a very effective way of addressing the skills gap in terms of numbers.
“The half of the population previously inclined to opt-out must be able to see opportunities for themselves and instead opt-in.”