Hundreds less take Computing and ICT subjects

A-level results show UK failing to produce IT talent

British A-level results for 2010 show a continued fall in the number of students taking technology related subjects.

A small boost in the number of students taking ICT in 2010, 12,186 up from 11,948 in 2009, failed to offset the continued fall in the A-level technology subjects combined.

"This is a dreadful state of affairs, industry is crying out for experienced IT professionals, and A-level computing is one of the key stepping stones into our profession," BCS Academy of Computing director Bill Mitchell told Computer Weekly

4,065 took Computing, down from 4,710 in 2010 and now less than half the number of students opting for Computing in 2004. The fall in new IT talent is despite the IT sector growing historically at twice the UK average, according to an E-Skills report, and forecast to grow four times the UK average in the future.

E-Skills also said that almost one half of recruiting IT & Telecoms firms report difficulty finding suitable candidates for IT & Telecoms posts.

The skills shortage is such that firms have been forced to adopt measures to ensure an adequate flow of IT talent. In April Microsoft announced an apprenticeship scheme for young people in technical support roles with several hundred places initially with 3,000 planned.

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