A high demand for people with skills in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) has prompted the NSW Government to offer scholarships to people looking to train in those fields.
The government is offering 25,000 scholarships of up to $1000 to students commencing selected qualifications under Smart and Skilled.
Selected qualifications include Certificate IV up to Advanced Diploma level in areas such as nursing and healthcare, engineering and information and communications technology.
Maitland Business Chamber vice-president and CEO of tech start-up business Smart Sports Solutions Pierre Malou said the scholarships were an excellent initiative.
Mr Malou said he would even support the idea of larger grants for those succeeding or reaching milestones.
“Any program aiming to raise students’ interest for further studies is valuable to both the individuals of course but also our community,” he said.
“Businesses will especially benefit from better trained and up-skilled young workforce when they enter the job market.”
Mr Malou said society had shifted towards technology in the past 20 years, which became more visible with the advent of mobile technology.
He said Maitland offered an array of services that required new skills to meet customer expectations, such as such as banking, health and retail.
“New apps, new online services to name a few,” he said.
“Jobs requiring knowledge in programming and coding are certainly hard to fill at the moment.”
“We would welcome young software engineers and developers with open arms.”
Mr Malou said even mining is being affected by STEM.
“More technologies are required to extract minerals without damaging the environment,” he said. “Upgrades in transport, extraction, and use will be driven by STEM jobs.”
Mr Malou said STEM offered a very interesting career with lots of innovations.
For scholarship information, visit www.smartandskilled.nsw.gov.au .