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  • Australia’s STEM workforce: a survey of employers Office of the Chief Scientist

    23 June 2014

  • Australia’s STEM workforce: a survey of employers

    Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/au/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms. © 2014 Deloitte Access Economics Pty Ltd

    Contents Glossary ..................................................................................................................................... i

    Acknowledgements................................................................................................................... 1

    Executive summary ................................................................................................................... 2

    1 Introduction .................................................................................................................... 7

    1.1 Objectives of this report .................................................................................................... 7

    1.2 STEM in Australia .............................................................................................................. 8

    1.3 Research methodology...................................................................................................... 9

    2 STEM skills .................................................................................................................... 15

    2.1 Labour market skills ........................................................................................................ 15

    2.2 Importance of STEM skills in the workplace ..................................................................... 16

    2.3 Other skills important for STEM....................................................................................... 20

    2.4 Average skill level............................................................................................................ 21

    2.5 STEM versus non-STEM ................................................................................................... 23

    2.6 Interpersonal skills .......................................................................................................... 26

    3 Recruitment experiences .............................................................................................. 28

    3.1 Candidate attributes ....................................................................................................... 28

    3.2 Recruitment of recently qualified employees .................................................................. 29

    3.3 Recruitment of experienced employees .......................................................................... 32

    3.4 Recruitment difficulties ................................................................................................... 35

    3.5 Issues encountered ......................................................................................................... 37

    3.6 Diversity ......................................................................................................................... 41

    3.7 Image, career paths and attitude to STEM ....................................................................... 42

    4 Future STEM requirements ........................................................................................... 43

    4.1 Future workplace requirements ...................................................................................... 43

    4.2 Future skills requirements ............................................................................................... 45

    4.3 Future recruitment outlook ............................................................................................. 47

    5 Industry relationships with post-secondary educational institutions .............................. 49

    5.1 Type of relationship ........................................................................................................ 50

    5.2 Length of relationship ..................................................................................................... 54

    5.3 Satisfaction with relationship .......................................................................................... 55

    5.4 Reasons for no relationship ............................................................................................. 56

    6 Work placements .......................................................................................................... 59

    6.1 Offering of work placements ........................................................................................... 59

    6.2 Impact of grants on work placements .............................................................................. 61

    7 STEM Postgraduates in the workplace ........................................................................... 63

  • Australia’s STEM workforce: a survey of employers

    Deloitte Access Economics ii

    7.1 Hiring of STEM PhD/Doctorate and Research Masters ..................................................... 63

    7.2 Roles in the workplace .................................................................................................... 64

    7.3 Reasons for not hiring ..................................................................................................... 65

    8 STEM education ............................................................................................................ 67

    8.1 STEM in school ................................................................................................................ 67

    8.2 Post-school STEM education – niche specialisations ........................................................ 68

    8.3 Teaching methods ........................................................................................................... 68

    9 International comparison .............................................................................................. 70

    9.1 Background ..................................................................................................................... 70

    9.2 United Kingdom .............................................................................................................. 71

    9.3 Switzerland country comparison ..................................................................................... 78

    10 Case Study: Regulatory Scientists .................................................................................. 84

    10.1 Current workforce........................................................................................................... 84

    10.2 Future workforce ............................................................................................................ 87

    10.3 Where to from here? ...................................................................................................... 88

    References .............................................................................................................................. 91

    Appendix A : Consultation list ................................................................................................. 93

    Appendix B : Statistical testing ................................................................................................ 95

    Appendix C : Terms of reference ............................................................................................. 99

    Appendix D : Survey instrument ............................................................................................ 100

  • Australia’s STEM workforce: a survey of employers

    Deloitte Access Economics iii

    Charts Chart 1.1 : Responses by industry............................................................................................ 11

    Chart 1.2 : Responses by business size and industry ................................................................ 12

    Chart 1.3 : Responses by sector ............................................................................................... 13

    Chart 1.4 : Employment of STEM qualified staff (%)................................................................. 14

    Chart 2.1 : Importance of skills and attributes in the workplace (avg rating) ............................ 17

    Chart 2.2 : Skill level in the workplace, STEM employees ......................................................... 21

    Chart 2.3 : Skill level in the workplace, non-STEM employees .................................................. 24

    Chart 2.4 : Skill level (average rating) STEM and non-STEM ..................................................... 25

    Chart 2.5 : Response to statement ‘STEM qualified people do not have good interpersonal skills’, by business size (%) ...................................................................................................... 27

    Chart 3.1 : Im

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