The scrapping of ICT courses at GCSE Level is set to exacerbate the skills shortage in IT departments and tech companies across the UK.
The UK government’s decision was made back in November 2015 but only introduced in this current academic year.
The decision was taken to get schools and colleges to concentrate on teaching the harder Computer Science GCSE which was introduced in 2013.
This decision has created a problem. Recent figures from The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulations show that there’s only a small annual rise in the number of students taking the Computer Science GCSE. When the two courses ran concurrently, many more students opted for the ICT qualification.
Now a Computing Education Report from Roehampton University reveals that: “the removal of GCSE ICT and failure to approve equivalent qualifications looks likely to result in a significant fall in the number of students taking any computing-related qualification beyond 2018.”
Fewer skilled workers
A recent report by Tech Nation already shows that attracting skilled workers for UK tech firms was a problem for more than 50 per cent of those surveyed. A further decrease in the number of young people with qualifications can only worsen the existing skills shortage in the IT sector.
Gary Jowett from Computer & Network Consultants in Brighton, says: “Companies across the South East need to be prepared for the worsening skills shortage in the years ahead as it could have a big impact on the management and maintenance of their core infrastructure.
“Most businesses increasingly rely upon IT to sell services and manage their back-office operations. So, it’s worthwhile considering a range of options, including IT apprenticeships and graduate sponsorships to help maintain the right number of tech savvy people you need in your business. You could also consider outsourcing some or all of your IT services to an external provider who may be able to offer a more cost-effective solution to suit your needs.”