The latest GCSE results show continued apathy among schools and students for IT-related subjects and do little to encourage the industry that last week’s poor showing in technical A-Levels wasn’t a blip, with fears growing about a skills gap and companies looking overseas for new talent.

The number of students taking A-Level computing has actually fallen year-on-year, with just 1.1 per cent of students taking the qualification this year compared to a little-better 1.4 per cent in 2003. In real terms that equates to almost 1,400 fewer students.

And the pattern doesn’t look set to improve much with the publication today of GCSE figures which show interest in IT is still low in schools at the under-16 level. The qualification offered in information and communication technology (ICT) was taken by 1.7 per cent of GCSE students, marginally up on last year (1.6 per cent).

Despite the opportunities for well-paid employment and the availability of jobs for the right people with the right qualifications, this message still isn’t getting through.

The number of students who took A-Level computing (8,488) this year is still overshadowed by subjects such as music (9,280), expressive arts/drama (17,831) and general studies (58,316) to name but three of arguably less-vocational relevance.

More here.