More practical and applied skills needed

Commenting on the Science Technicians Workforce report by the Royal Society Te Apārangi, BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope said the problem of undersupply of technical science skills was similar to shortages in other areas such as engineering.

The Royal Society report showed that science technicians are increasingly needed in fields such as high-tech manufacturing, food processing, high tech, biotech and research & development, but that there is a shortage of practical and applied skills in these areas.

“While many science technicians hold degree-level qualifications, those qualifications often do not cover the practical skills needed, such as laboratory practice or operating sophisticated science equipment,” Kirk Hope said.

“BusinessNZ would like to see the more practical science technician qualifications at polytechnics and technical institutes better recognised by careers advice at secondary level and by employers, to ensure a better flow of well-prepared science technicians into the workforce.”

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