AHEAD of the forthcoming Senedd election, the Institute of Physics in Wales (IOP) is calling on all parties to commit to a six-point pledge, to help put Wales in the strongest position to boost economic growth, create skilled jobs and improve the quality of life across the nation.
The Institute believes that the decisions taken by the Senedd over the next five years will shape Welsh society for decades.
In brief, the IOP wants the new Welsh Parliament to:
Ensure that every secondary school pupil has access to a specialist physics teacher and that incentives to train as a physics teacher in Wales are competitive;
Support teachers to deliver science and technology in the new curriculum with confidence, based on the fundamental building blocks of each science;
Create an inclusive learning environment today to build a representative STEM workforce for tomorrow;
Work with the UK government and other bodies to increase R&D funding and locate science, technology, and innovation jobs in Wales;
Campaign to ensure that funding bodies for science and technology are more representative of the communities they serve, and
Drive economic ambition in Wales by developing a comprehensive science and innovation strategy.
The Head of the IOP in Wales is Eluned Parrott who was the first Welsh Liberal Democrat to be elected to the South Wales Central Assembly region in 2011 and served until 2016.
Now, Eluned is keen to support policymakers in unlocking the potential of physics to create tomorrow’s problem solvers and innovators and help prepare Wales for a new industrial era of science, technology, and engineering.
“As we look to rebuild our economy and society after the pandemic, it is critical that Wales takes advantage of the potential that science and technology can offer.
“Physics-led industries such as green energy, compound semiconductors, and aerospace are already recognised as critical sectors for Wales’s economy. If we want to nurture and expand the opportunities that these businesses and others like them can bring, we will need to invest in the whole scientific ecosystem.
“In practice, that means supporting inspirational teaching in our schools, investing in research and development that embeds high-value jobs in Wales, and creating an inclusive learning and work environment that opens the opportunity to all.”