The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has become the first central government department to join the STEM Futures scheme. This initiative aims to bolster the science and tech expertise of civil servants by providing them with direct workplace experience in cutting-edge technology and science sectors.
STEM Futures, a cross-Whitehall effort, offers civil servants opportunities such as shadowing, placements, and mentoring both within and outside the government. The goal is to enhance their knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) by learning directly from experts in various fields. The scheme is run by the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) Profession and is a collaboration between industry, academia, and the public sector.
Michelle Donelan, the Science and Technology Secretary, commented, "Joining STEM Futures marks a significant step in DSIT's mission to establish the UK as a global leader in science and technology. Our universities are renowned worldwide, and we are one of the few countries with a tech sector valued at over a trillion dollars. STEM Futures, in conjunction with our Expert Exchange programme, will equip our civil servants with the necessary skills to formulate effective policies for the industry, academia, and the general public."
The Expert Exchange scheme, which DSIT is actively involved in, focuses on fostering knowledge exchange between the government, industry, and academia. This includes initiatives like secondments for experts, stakeholder visits, and fellowships.
Professor Dame Angela McLean, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, expressed her enthusiasm: "I'm thrilled that DSIT has joined STEM Futures. It's a fantastic opportunity to enhance our scientific capability through knowledge exchange, aiming for a more scientifically-informed civil service."
DSIT's involvement in STEM Futures aligns with its strategic vision to make the UK the world's most innovative economy by 2030. This includes building on the UK's talent and skills base and fostering a pro-innovation culture throughout the public sector.
Earlier this year, DSIT launched the Science and Technology Framework, supported by an investment of over £370 million. This framework aims to boost innovation, attract global talent to the UK, and harness the potential of emerging technologies like AI.
For those interested in more information about the STEM Futures scheme or the Expert Exchange Programme, further details are available on the government's official website.