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We face a challenge to motivate Australia’s young people to choose science and mathematics subjects at school, then to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career pathways. The broader social disengagement with science and mathematics is a significant factor for young people in Australia avoiding STEM subjects in their secondary education.

A 2009 report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research on STEM pathways publishes key findings from a longitudinal study of youth in Australia, indicating that access to good mathematics and science teachers in high school is an important motivator in pursuing post-school STEM education and career opportunities.

In 2013 the Chief Scientist of Australia, Professor Ian Chubb, set up an advisory group on STEM education and skills, and in the 2014 report STEM: Australia’s Future, stressed the importance of "strong STEM teaching at all levels, supported by high quality and relevant teacher training and subject-specific professional development".