The Australian Labour Party has launched a science education package in the lead up to the Queensland election later this month.
The package includes a commitment to boost TAFE teacher numbers as well as a $43.5 million science spark program that is designed to reignite student interest in science at primary school level.
“Members of the Queensland Resources Council have been alarmed at the steady decline in the percentage of Year 11 and 12 students taking up courses in biology, chemistry, physics and advanced mathematics,” QRC chief executive Michael Roche said.
“Looking beyond the current economic conditions, the resources sector is planning for growth that will demand thousands of skilled employees in the trades and professions.
“Tertiary and vocational studies to prepare young people for resource sector careers will best suit students with a strong background and interest in science, technology and maths.
“The proposed Science Spark program will employ additional science teachers to work in primary schools and to support teacher professional development in the sciences.”
Roche also welcomed the Liberal Party’s plan to revitalise TAFE education in Queensland.
“A shortage of qualified TAFE teachers is one of the biggest impediments to fully realising the potential of the system to support the resources sector’s demand for skilled employees,” Roche said.