Highlighting the link between promoting STEM subjects and growing the economy, Ms Lo added there was a need to continue challenging the idea that STEM is a ‘man’s trade’, as currently on 30% of females graduate in STEM subjects.
Minister Farry has led the way on highlighting the importance of STEM subjects, establishing priority sector working groups, funding an additional 700 full-time undergraduate places, specifically in STEM areas, with his department remaining focussed on its goal of having at least 22% of all qualifiers for higher education institutions in narrow STEM subjects by 2020.
Anna Lo MLA said: “An increase in STEM skills will aid economic prosperity and attract more inward investment into Northern Ireland, therefore it is vitally important that more young people are encouraged to take up study in these areas.
“And it is vital we tackle the challenges stopping more women taking up courses in these areas – something my Party colleague Minister Farry recognises. The under-representation of women in STEM jobs is not just a gender equality issue, but affects our wider economy and international competitiveness.
“We must challenge the myths around STEM subjects and actively encourage more people to become experts in these vital fields, using their knowledge and skills to benefit Northern Ireland in the future.”