VET & STEM – where does it need to go?

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As it stands, the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system in Australia has National Training Packages for most industries, however, the representation of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) fields is lacking.

STEM in VET, innovation and entrepreneurship needs a stronger focus, as more jobs are created with these capabilities.

With millions of dollars invested into building STEM in Australia’s school curriculum, VET could serve as a natural extension for students meeting future job roles in a sector that’s growing two times faster than non-stem occupations.

STEM learning for real world problems

Interestingly, STEM isn’t just using the left, logical side of the brain, as many may think and it is not just about technology and coding.

Professor and Chief Scientist Ian Chubb said: “STEM is everywhere. Our nourishment, our safety, our homes and neighbours, our relationships with family and friends, our health, our jobs and our leisure are all profoundly shaped by technological innovation and the discoveries of science.”

Entrepreneurial pathways

Future generations will need to know how to think critically, flexibly and emotionally, to stay ahead as the world rapidly changes. 21st Century STEM + Entrepreneurship is an extension from current to future jobs.

Take the $20 Boss program, developed by the Foundation for Young Australians in partnership with the National Australia Bank. Students from every state and territory in Australia can engage in this in-school challenge where contestants are provided with $20 of start-up money to plan, budget and market their own business idea over a month. Students develop a combination of skills relevant for the 21st century, including financial and digital literacy, enterprise skills, and key design principles.

Create your own job/s

VET and individual tailored programs can help develop an innovative approach that gives you career resilience. The new 21st Century Capability framework with nine capabilities evidenced by employer and industry demand. Designed to bridge the gap between skills to job roles, the framework covers:

  1. Adaptability and emotional management
  2. Communication and influence
  3. Digital and social
  4. Cultural and global
  5. Purpose and vision
  6. Learning and mastery
  7. Intelligence and imagination
  8. 21st Century STEM and Entrepreneurship
  9. Career and workforce

Immersive, real-world learning, like the Real Day Out, aims to empower young people and students (primary and high school, VET and Higher Education) to see into future careers, entrepreneurial, and educational pathways.

If you would like to more about STEM and VET, with a new approach to capabilities and where Training Packages need to move to meet future job requirements, please contact

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