NSW budget: $25m allocated for tech scholarships

Scholarships will encourage students to undertake qualifications in tech industries

A $25 million Jobs of Tomorrow scholarship fund will be established to provide 25,000 scholarships of $1000 for students taking qualifications in technology-based industries in NSW.

Announced as part of the NSW Budget 2015-16, the scholarships will be paid to students in two parts: $500 at the beginning of the course and $500 on completion.

“Three quarters of the fastest growing occupations in Australia require skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – collectively known as STEM skills,” said NSW premier Mike Baird in a statement.

“Employers are demanding workers with high level STEM skills and we will invest $25 million to encourage more vocational education and training students to enroll in, and complete, courses in these areas to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The STEM scholarships will be awarded to students enrolled in approved government- subsidised VET courses.

The announcement follows CEDA’s report <i>Australia’s future workforce</i> which suggests that five million jobs may be replaced by automation within the next 10 to 20 years.

“While we have seen automation replace some jobs in areas such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing, other areas where we are likely to see change are, for example, the health sector, which to date has remained largely untouched by technological change,” read the report.

“Creating a culture of innovation must be driven by the private sector, educational institutions and government. However, government must lead the way with clear and detailed education, innovation and technology policies that are funded adequately.”

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