Huge gap in workers with adequate skills required for job

A NATIONAL shortage of skills in maths, science and technology revealed in a massive industry report last week requires urgent attention, Australia's Chief Scientist said on Monday.

Professor Ian Chubb was responding to the Australian Industry Group report on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Skills.

The report found a huge gap in the number of trade and professional workers with adequate maths, science and technology skills required for their job.

It also found many businesses across most industries were struggling to find new recruits with the adequate level of STEM skills for the job.

Professor Chubb said the report found employers across the economy believed STEM skills shortages were limiting their business and ability to innovate.

"We have to find a way to put the right people in the right places at the right time," he said.

"This is a challenge of national proportions and it will require the focus and effort of every sector to meet it."

He said if the nation was to address the shortage, the country needed to build better bridges between educators and employers to "fix the science and maths supply line".

Professor Chubb said the Office of the Chief Scientist had recently appointed Dr Roslyn Prinsley as a national adviser on maths and science education and industry in an effort to help address the problem.