Not for Profits Pocket $1 Million Google Grants
31 July 2015 at 4:01 pm
Technology giant Google has warned that Australia is falling behind other countries in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer science as it awarded $1 million in grants to Australian Not for Profits to try to counter the problem.
The company announced today that three Australian Not for Profits will share in $1 million in grants to deliver training and career programs to 10,000 disadvantaged students.
The grants will be used to increase the number of under-represented people working in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and computer science.
The recipients of the grants are the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), FIRST Robotics Australia, and Engineers Without Borders Australia, who will use the funding to support Indigenous students, students from low socio-economic backgrounds, regional students, and women to improve their digital skillset.
Maile Carnegie, Managing Director, and Alan Noble, Engineering Director of Google Australia said that Australia could not afford to leave the possibility of developing future leaders in STEM to chance.
“Australia is not keeping up with demand when it comes to graduates in fields like computer science, and when we look at girls, Indigenous Australians, and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, that picture is even worse,” Carnegie and Noble said.
“That’s why we will work with three Australian Not for Profits to introduce and inspire 10,000 underrepresented students to careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
“These landmark partnerships will put to use $1 million in cash grants from Google.org to deliver hands-on training and career programs that will reach these underrepresented groups.
“Australia’s jobs of the future will require new skills, and it’s critical that students from all walks of life are introduced to this field and have the opportunity to shape it and benefit from it. We hope that these three organisations will create more moments that will inspire our kids.”
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who recently promised to increase Australia’s investment in research and development to three per cent by 2030 if Labor is elected, welcomed the news of the grants.
“Labor commends Google for supporting these important initiatives that will help around 10,000 young people to broaden their STEM knowledge, which is vital to prepare young people for the digital economy,” Shorten said.
“Private sector support for building Australia’s STEM capability such as Google’s generous grants program is vital to ensure Australia is equipped to deliver a highly trained workforce to meet industry needs and grow our economy.
“We know that employment in STEM occupations is projected to grow at almost twice the pace of other occupations.
“A recent study found that almost five million Australian jobs – around 40 per cent of the workforce – face the high probability of being replaced by computers in the next 10 to 15 years.”