Special report: IT education at GCSE and A-level

Today's GCSE results confirmed the education system is failing to train young people for a future career in IT.

Today's GCSE results confirmed the education system is failing to train young people for a future career in IT.

"In order to compete in this technology-intensive global economy, we need an inspiring curriculum in schools that attracts increasing numbers of talented students into technology-related degrees and careers. The current IT curriculum is focused mainly on skills in the everyday use of IT and many young people believe a degree or career in IT will simply offer more of the same," said Karen Price, chief executive of e-skills UK.

Price warned, "With more than half a million new IT and telecoms professionals needed in the next five years, this mismatch between supply and demand threatens to undermine the future productivity and prosperity of the UK."

The IT industry has been vocal on the poor state of IT education in schools. Carrie Hartnell, associate director of industry strategy at Intellect, said, "The decline in students taking GCSE ICT is concerning and we must work with students to understand why and how this can be reversed. It is clear that, as an industry and education system, we are not exciting students enough to take the topic."

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) 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. "We are worried that a number of large companies are offshoring IT processes to India and China. This trend will gather pace if our output of IT-literate students doesn't increase," said Stephen Alambritis, chief spokesman for the FSB.

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Read more about A-level results:

This was last published in August 2010

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