CBI calls for automatic opt in

Published on Friday, 12 August 2011 09:21
Posted by Scott Buckler

As over a million young people await their A level and GCSE results, the CBI today (Friday 12th August) called for all young people who achieve good grades in science at age 14 to be automatically enrolled onto triple science GCSE


As the economy gears up for growth, businesses will require employees with science degrees. But over 40% of companies say they are having difficulty recruiting people with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills. There is a growing demand for these skills particularly in high-value sectors such as low-carbon, pharmaceuticals and digital media.

Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said:

“The UK’s economic recovery will rely on businesses being able to access the talent they need to deliver sustainable growth.

“As the economy rebalances, we will need more highly-skilled employees, particularly for young people with STEM degrees, but businesses are struggling to recruit good graduates from the UK.

“At the same time that the English Baccalaureate has effectively made GCSE history and geography compulsory, the Government has neglected the sciences. It must pay more attention to getting students to study physics, chemistry and biology as separate GCSEs.

“At the moment only 18% of young people study physics and chemistry as separate GCSEs compared with 26% who study religious studies and 19% who study physical education.”

A recent report by the Education Select Committee said that the E-Bac has not increased the take-up of triple science. The voluntary approach is not working. Despite the fact that 46% of young people achieved a high marks at age 14 in 2009 (reaching level six), only 20% of pupils actually took GCSEs in all three sciences in 2009-10.


Source: CBI

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