Why are they in demand? Knowledge in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields is highly sought after, particularly in new and emerging industries, with technology involved in how we work more than at any previous time. The future of the Australian economy depends on a workforce that is skilled in using new applications and applying innovations. Young people with STEM skills are highly prized by employers and this trend is predicted to continue as there is a shortage of qualified recruits. What kinds of careers require STEM skills? STEM skills are required for a range of occupations and industries such as: Nursing and allied health, bioscience, aircraft engineering, digital technology, accountancy; for trades, such as electrical and plumbing and even for motor mechanics – the list is huge! How can I encourage my child to choose STEM subjects? Start some conversations: When opportunities arise, talk about how STEM skills are applied in real-life situations eg. When the computer crashes, the electricity connection is down, during a visit to the chemist, at the V8 supercar race. These conversations should highlight the value in having STEM abilities. Encourage your child to get a part-time job or volunteering position. Nothing beats real experience to prove which skills are needed in the workplace, and STEM skills will definitely come into the picture somehow. If your child is interested in a particular field, encourage them to apply for a school-based traineeship or apprenticeship where they will get the chance to apply their classroom STEM knowledge and gain an understanding of the direct relationships between the theory and the practice. There are some great industry videos on Skillsroad that showcase loads of jobs requiring STEM and other subjects as well. Encourage your child to check them out and get inspired!