More Australian women will be encouraged to study science, technology, engineering and maths while they’re working, as part of an expansion of the Federal Government’s $24.8 million Women in STEM Cadetships and Advanced Apprenticeships Program – and Flinders University is named among providers, having secured 120 of the 600 spots made available nationally.
As the only SA university involved in the program, Flinders will receive funding to upskill 120 women as part of the Diploma of Digital Technologies over the next four years.
Professor Giselle Rampersad says the College of Science and Engineering welcomed the first cohort of 27 women into the Diploma this week, including teachers who range from schools from the North, South, East, West and regional SA (including Clare, Riverland and Mount Gambier).
“We are excited to upskill teachers and industry women in STEM at Flinders University as part of the Diploma of Digital Technologies in collaboration with BAE Systems Australia, the Australian Technology Partnership and the Federal and State Governments, to grow the pipeline of women in STEM and inspire the next generation,” says Professor Rampersad.
“This directly and tangibly increases the number of Women in STEM – and there is a multiplier effect, as radically engaging with teachers in this program will hopefully lead to them inspiring their students into engineering. This would grow the much-needed pipeline for mega projects for the State and nationally.
“Currently women are under-represented in both engineering and defence, so this a really significant boost to both areas. Statistics for women in engineering are at an unacceptable level of 16% at its peak. Professionals Australia highlighted the under-representation of women in Defence, a low 14% inclusion. These new placements are therefore important steps to ensure progress.”
“This is a fantastic outcome for Flinders,” says Professor Rampersad. “It is another wonderful year for the Diploma of Digital Technologies. Having SMEs and teachers involved makes for a really dynamic mix that would grow capability in industry and the pipeline, for both men and women in priority areas.”
Federal Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said the Federal Government’s Women in STEM Cadetships and Advanced Apprenticeships Program had proven so popular the number of places have been increased from 500 to 600.
“This is a great program that is upskilling Australian women by allowing them to combine work and study to get a qualification in STEM,” Minister Tudge said.
“We want and need more women in STEM, and increasing the number of places available in this program will help us move towards that goal. Getting qualifications in these critical areas will give participants important skills that can help them get ahead in their current role and put them ahead of the pack when looking for future jobs.”