August 25, 2012 10 Comments
Analysis by e-skillsUK of GCSE results this year shows that the number of students taking all ICT courses has fallen for the seventh consecutive year to just 70,418. And this figure is a decrease of 12.5% on last year alone.
The number of students studying ICT at GCSE has been declining dramatically year-on-year from a high of 261,970 in 2005.
This continuing decline should be of great concern to universities and employers – and to everyone interested in the future competitiveness and success of the UK.
We know that demand for skilled IT professionals continues to increase, yet we are as a society failing to inspire a generation of young people to study technology or to take up technology careers.
Something must be done!
It is for this reason that e-skills UK announced a few weeks ago that our Behind the Screen programme will be available to all schools from September 2012.
Behind the Screen offers GCSE students IT projects to tackle with interactive online materials supported by full teachers’ notes. The projects have been developed in close consultation with a number of employers, including John Lewis, and are based on a variety of real-life business issues.
Our aim is that students learn computational thinking, develop technical skills, and gain creative, team working and entrepreneurial skills – all in a fun, interesting and interactive way. After all, students these days are the most connected and IT-enabled generation ever.
Young people who play computer games can learn to create games.
Young people who use apps every day can design apps.
Young people who use social media to connect with their friends can use social media to connect with customers.
I am very excited by the potential of Behind the Screen - but with the rapid decline of students even considering studying IT at GCSE, we have no time to lose.