Building civil servants’ tech skills as DSIT joins STEM Futures 

First central government department joins scheme to improve science, technology, engineering and maths competence over the long-term. 

The Department of Science, Innovation in Technology (DSIT) was established only earlier this year but has already made notable progress in improve the way government works with the science and tech sector. In April, we reported on the Expert Exchange programme in which tech experts from academia and industry work in DSIT for up to nine months to help share knowledge and ways of working in a way that benefits all parties. 

woman in black shirt holding green and blue plastic toy

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng

Now DSIT is the first central government department to join the STEM Futures scheme, which aims to build up civil servants’ STEM knowledge in specific areas, such as data science and systems thinking – the scientific approach to problem-solving and project management. 

It does so by providing those on the scheme with opportunities such as mentoring, work placements and shadowing inside and outside of government, with leading tech companies, research institutes and universities involved. This means they learn directly from the experts from various backgrounds. The STEM Futures scheme is run by the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) Profession, in partnership with organisations across academic, industry and the public sector. 

Michelle Donelan, Science and Technology Secretary, says: ‘Joining STEM Futures is another milestone in DSIT’s mission to build the world’s most innovative economy here in the UK, building on the UK’s unique leading role in science and technology. 

‘Our universities one of our biggest exports and their reputation is globally coveted, while we are just third country in the world to boast a tech sector valued at over one trillion dollars. 

‘STEM Futures, alongside our own Expert Exchange programme, will ensure central government has the direct experience and expertise from the front lines of science and technology it needs to truly understand the issues facing sci-tech leaders, and arm civil servants with the skills they need to shape practical policies that will work for industry, academia, and the wider public.’ 

In related news:

Telecoms apprenticeships in Cumbria begin government-funded training

Cyber skills training for more than 50,000 secondary-school students 

Tech skills from MakerLab for 40+ South Yorkshire businesses 



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