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GCSE ICT results provide excuse to offshore, says FSB

The Federation of Small Business is concerned dwindling numbers of students doing GCSE and A-level IT courses will give large enterprises an excuse to offshore...

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The Federation of Small Business is concerned dwindling numbers of students doing GCSE and A-level IT courses will give large enterprises an excuse to offshore IT processes to India and China.

The GCSE results announced today revealed a drop by 17% in the number of young people passing GCSE ICT courses compared with last year.

"The numbers of students doing GCSE IT is something that should be addressed urgently," said Stephen Alambritis, chief spokesman for the Federation of Small Business. "Students will all need IT skills as prerequisite for all jobs," he said.

Alambritis believes large organisations such as banks and call centres claim offshoring IT processes is cheaper. "We are worried that a number of large companies are off-shoring IT processes to India and China. This trend will gather pace if our output of IT-literate students doesn't increase," said Alambritis.

"There's a social duty about employing locally. It's good to keep jobs in the UK. But if the skills aren't here, it's a good excuse for large companies to offshore," he added.

A-level results announced last week raised similar concern, with the IT industry warning that the UK may be forced to buy in IT expertise from offshore service providers unless the situation is addressed.

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