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A-level results confirm IT industry's fears

This morning's A-level results confirm fears that the UK is not producing the new IT talent so desperately needed by the industry.

A 2.4% drop in the number of students taking IT-related A-levels compared with 2009 does little to bolster the numbers of new entrants needed to meet the demand for IT staff in UK businesses.

This year's figures show a 24% drop in the number of young people who took IT-related A-levels compared to 2005, with 16,251 gaining computing and ICT A-levels, compared with 21,450 students five years ago.

Some 4,065 students received computing A-level, compared to 4,710 this time last year - a drop of 13.7%. Computing A-level explores hardware, software and programming techniques.

ICT A-level saw a slight increase, with 12,186 students taking the course, compared with 11,948 last year - a rise of 2%. The syllabus covers the processing and communication of information using computer systems as well as understanding the use of ICT within a business context.

Experts have warned of a "dreadful state of affairs", with the number of people opting for IT courses falling as the industry's demand for staff rises. The IT professional workforce is forecast to grow at four times the average for the UK and it will need 500,00 new entrants over the next five years.

Computer Weekly says:

"A-level results have been announced and it's the usual disappointment for the IT sector.

Only 16,251 young people gained a Computing or ICT A-level this year. This is a drop of 2.4% compared to 16,658 last year - and a drop of 24% compared to 21,450 students taking IT-related A-levels five years ago in 2005."

>> Read and vote: Poll: A-level results - Annual disappointment for the IT sector

View this year's A-level results here >>

Year Subject Number of candidates % of total A-levels sat
2004 ICT 16,106 2.1
2004 Computing 8,488 1.1
2005 ICT 14,883 1.9
2005 Computing 7,242 0.9
2006 ICT 14,208 1.8
2006 Computing 6,233 0.8
2007 ICT 13,360 1.7
2007 Computing 5,610 0.7
2008 ICT 12,277 1.5
2008 Computing 5,068 0.6
2009 ICT 11,948 1.4
2009 Computing 4,710 0.6
2010 ICT 12,1868 1.4
2010 Computing 4,065 0.5

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