Assembly Committees Back Science and Technology

Session: 2008/2009

Date: 18 February 2009

Reference: E&L03/08/09

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Maths (STEM subjects) hold the key to the future success of the Northern Ireland economy. That’s why Members from three Assembly Statutory Committees hosted a panel discussion of STEM experts in Stormont’s Long Gallery today to identify the way forward.

The Members of the Employment & Learning, Education, and Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committees and STEM experts from industry, science, technology, schools, and further and higher education sectors all agreed that Northern Ireland’s success in an increasingly global economy will depend on significantly developing our STEM skills base. All emphasised that these skills are essential to delivering productivity, innovative products and services and offering customers value for money in a global market.

Committee Chairpersons Sue Ramsey, Mervyn Storey & Mark Durkan confirmed their commitment to driving forward the STEM agenda with a proposal to issue a joint letter reflecting the panel’s views to the Ministers of Education, Employment & Learning and Enterprise, Trade & Investment.

A representative of MATRIX (the Science and Industry Body) highlighted the need to radically build on the Executive’s targets for STEM in its Programme for Government, ‘The development of the science base is vital to delivering an innovative economy. This will create opportunities in Northern Ireland for essential higher value-added employment’.

Panel members and the invited audience of STEM stakeholders welcomed the opportunity to voice their concerns and to call for effective and immediate action following the imminent publication of the STEM Review Report; action urgently required for economic recovery in Northern Ireland.

ENDS

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