Naomi Long MLA said: “Early intervention is the key to encouraging more people to study STEM subjects. The real work needs to be done at an early stage in primary and secondary education to inform students more effectively about the potential these courses hold.
“Sinn Fein proposed this motion but they need to realise that this is not just a challenge for the Minister of Employment, but also one for their Education Minister. A more joined-up approach must be taken on promoting science, technology, engineering and maths between these two government departments.
“There also needs to be more robust careers support available to students in schools in relation to courses in these subjects.
“Our economy is crying out for more people with research and development skills, and to deliver this workforce we need to encourage more people to study these subjects.
“We need to challenge the perceptions around STEM subjects. As well as the excellent vocational skills they deliver, they also provide many important transferrable skills that can be used in a wide range of sectors and this message needs to be articulated more effectively.”