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DateTuesday, April 30, 2013

‘Smart Futures' start here!

Students Making Right Course Choices BUT Demand for Grads with Key Skills Continues to Outstrip Supply say Government




More students than ever before are applying for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) courses reflecting the growing demand for qualified graduates by companies throughout Ireland. This was the message yesterday from government and industry at the start of the national Smart Futures STEM Careers Week, taking place online this week.



Smart Futures STEM Careers Week, which is part of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs, highlights the opportunities available in these sectors and gives students access to industry representatives in an online forum. The initiative is designed to promote the uptake of STEM subjects and highlight the variety of career opportunities to second level students, and provides students, teachers, careers guidance counsellors and parents with a range of free resources on its website.



The initiative's STEM Careers Week will focus on introducing students making CAO decisions to careers in science, technology and engineering, allowing them to submit career questions to three video panel sessions going live on the website, during the week. The panel sessions will feature people from SAP, Mainstream Renewable Power, HP, Microsoft and CPL. The campaign is specifically timed to target students who may be considering new course options with the CAO Change of Mind applications open from May 5th.



Coordinated by Discover Science & Engineering (DSE), the educational outreach programme managed by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Commenting on the launch of the Smart Futures STEM Careers Week, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General, SFI said: "The opportunities available to students in STEM Careers are second-to-none. In the last month alone we have seen medical devices company Nypro Healthcare announce 200 new jobs for Waterford. Indeed, Ireland is the largest MedTech employer in the EU, with almost 25,000 employed in the sector. Other major employers of STEM graduates include ICT, software, pharma, social media and gaming companies - for example four technology companies announced up to 100 new jobs last week. STEM careers are thriving in Ireland and it is vital that our young students are in a position to avail of these exciting opportunities."



Seán Sherlock, T.D. Minister for Research and Innovation, added: "New technologies and innovation will be central to Ireland's economic recovery and will shape the future for the next generation of our students. It is critical that students embrace all of the necessary skills that will be needed for them to avail of the wide range of exciting job opportunities that are available in sectors such as ICT, medical devices and energy.

The Smart Futures STEM Careers Week does just that; using new media technologies that are second nature to teenagers. By getting involved in ‘Smart Futures' the students will have the opportunity to get expert advice from people who work in some of the most exciting jobs in Ireland," Minister Sherlock added.


The Smart Futures STEM Careers Week will run online until 3rd May 2013.








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