28 August 2008

Drastic drop in number of IT students brings fears of massive UK skills shortage

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The number of students studying information technology at A-levels is falling, reports Computer Weekly, which could lead to a serious skills shortage in the workplace.

E-skills, the IT industry’s council body, has called for a radical review of the IT curriculum at schools, in response to a massive drop in the number of school students studying the subject.  Over the past five years, the number of students taking the subject at A-levels fell by 50 per cent, while since 2007 the number has dropped by 10 per cent.  Universities are also suffering from a shortage in IT students; 50 per cent less people are taking the course in the UK now than in 2003. 

The council claims the boring curriculum is at fault, and needs some uplifting to attract more students to the industry.

"In order to compete in the technology intensive globalised economy, we need an inspiring curriculum in schools that attracts increasing numbers of talented students into technology-related degrees and careers," Margaret Sambell of e-kills told the magazine.

According to ATL, the Education Union, the shortfall in students studying the subject will lead to a serious shortage in IT skilled workers.  Unless the government works at the roots level to encourage more young people to take up IT careers, it will have to work hard to attract overseas IT skilled workers to move to the UK.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.

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