MEDIA RELEASE: Labor's Plan for STEM in South Australia, Tuesday 9 June 2015

 

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR SYDNEY 

THE HON AMANDA RISHWORTH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR KINGSTON

 

LABOR’S PLAN FOR STEM IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Tanya Plibersek, will today join Shadow Assistant Minister for Higher Education, Amanda Rishworth, at the Flinders University Tonsley Campus to discuss Labor's commitment to improving the future job prospects of young South Australians by investing in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM).

Ms Plibersek and Ms Rishworth will meet with Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Stirling, to discuss the recently opened state-of-the-art Tonsley Campus, and how the facility is helping build on Flinders University’s strong commitment to STEM in South Australia and across the world.

Ms Plibersek and Ms Rishworth will also meet with students and staff to discuss the importance of STEM in preparing Australians for the jobs of the changing economy. They will tour Flinders University’s newest facilities including the Digital Fabrication and Rehabilitation and Motion Analysis Laboratories.

Labor understands that for South Australia to prosper in the future, it must have a highly engaged, high skill workforce.

STEM disciplines will be central to the jobs of the changing economy and South Australians with these skills will be well positioned to succeed in the future.

A Shorten Labor Government will do more to support our great teachers to ensure that they can deliver STEM to students in a way that will engage and inspire.

Labor will support 25,000 primary and secondary teachers over five years to undertake professional development in STEM disciplines, including coding.

Labor will also provide 25,000 teaching scholarships over five years to new and recent STEM graduates to encourage them to continue their study and become STEM teachers.

Teach STEM will provide an incentive payment to attract more STEM graduates to become teachers. Students that have just completed a STEM degree, or are within five years of graduation, will be able to apply for a $15,000 incentive payment. $5,000 will be paid upon commencement of the course of study, with the rest paid after their first year in the classroom.

A Shorten Labor Government will also commit to giving the next generation of young South Australians an incentive to study science and a head start in their working life, debt free.

To recognise the significant public benefit of growing South Australia’s capacity in STEM, Labor will offer 100,000 STEM Award Degrees over five years, nationwide, which upon graduation will see the student’s entire HECS-HELP debt forgiven by the Commonwealth. These students will graduate job ready and debt free.

This policy also reflects Labor’s focus on higher education and equity objectives.  The assistance will be structured to encourage university completions with a focus on underrepresented groups including women.

Ms Plibersek and Ms Rishworth will use today’s visit at Flinders University to highlight Labor’s strong plan for STEM in South Australia.