Industry fears mount over ICT GCSE slump

Following last week's A-level results, this morning's GCSE results confirmed industry fears that the UK is not producing the new IT talent needed in the channel, writes Jenny Williams. Industry experts have warned that the 17% drop in the number of students taking GCSE ICT compared with 2009 showed

IT GCSE, Rex Features.JPGFollowing last week's A-level results, this morning's GCSE results confirmed industry fears that the UK is not producing the new IT talent needed in the channel, writes Jenny Williams.

Industry experts have warned that the 17% drop in the number of students taking GCSE ICT compared with 2009 showed a worryingly low number of new entrants needed to meet demand for IT staff in UK businesses.

A total of 61,022 students took GCSE ICT this year compared with 73,519 last year - a drop of 17%. This year's figure shows a 41% drop in the number of young people who took IT-related GCSEs compared with 2005, when 103,400 students gained GCSE ICT.

The GCSE ICT short course also showed the biggest decrease of all GCSE subjects, dropping 27% compared with last year.

Last week's A-level results sparked industry concern after numbers showed a 24% drop in the number of young people who took IT-related A-levels compared with 2005.

Following last week's A-level results, the IT industry warned of a "dreadful state of affairs", with the number of students opting for IT courses falling. The IT professional workforce is forecast to grow at four times the average for the UK and it will need 500,000 new entrants over the next five years. Industry experts are blaming dull IT courses for the low student uptake.

According to ComputerWeekly.com, the number of GCSE ICT candidates has dropped from 103,000 in 2005 to just 61,000 this year. The GCSE ICT course now accounts for just 1.1% of exams sat.

View this year's GCSE results here.

A version of this story originally appeared on ComputerWeekly.com

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