Today the Minister of Education, Josep Bargalló, and the Minister for Digital Policy and Public Administration, Jordi Puigneró, presented the STEMcat Plan. Aimed at encouraging students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, STEMcat is a joint project of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry for Digital Policy and Public Administration, and the Ministry of Business and Knowledge.
The Catalan government hopes the initiative will boost interest in STEM subjects among children and encourage young people to pursue studies in these fields in order to meet the constantly growing need for graduates to fill specialised positions. Between 2017 and 2025, it is estimated that 7 million STEM vacancies will be generated, many of which it will be impossible to fill due to the shortage of qualified professionals. Though there are more total graduates now than 10 years ago, the shortage of specialists in these fields has not been overcome, and the STEM gender gap has not been closed.
During the presentation at Montseny School, Minister Bargalló said the Plan aims: “to improve training of teaching staff in these subjects, ensuring that they have more and better knowledge of science and technology. One aspect of this push to improve is the use of resources and methodologies to make their knowledge more skills-oriented and appealing. Another goal to improve educational guidance. The gender gap in STEM is often due to poor guidance, based on the notion that these are fields for boys, when in fact girls tend to get better marks.”
Minister Puigneró said the STEMcat Plan was crucial to the future of employment in Catalonia: “STEM is a sector with many opportunities, so we need to generate, retain and attract talent to engineering, science and mathematics.”