More and more teenage girls might be waking up to the joys of A-levels in Stem subjects but today’s results expose a regional divide which must be addressed, says the bosses union, the CBI.
The organisation’s head of education and skills policy John Cope said UK businesses will welcome the fact that more girls are studying subjects including science, technology, engineering and maths, which are widely seen as areas which will tackle the digital and data skills shortage.
He said: “This must mark the beginning of the end for ridiculous gender stereotyping. Diverse companies perform better than their rivals, so tackling gender stereotypes is not just the right thing to do, it’s imperative for our country’s economy.”
However, Cope pointed out that the “familiar story of London and the South East powering ahead has continued, with the North and the Midlands lagging behind”.
“If we are truly going to deliver on the shared vision to close the learning gap, Government and business must work together to tackle regional variations head on. The first step from Government needs to be addressing well-known education cold spots by delivering on their ‘Opportunity Areas’ initiative. And more business must get into the classroom, offer more work experience and mentoring opportunities.”
The CBI man added: “There are many great routes to a successful career whether that’s at a university, college, or learning on the job. It’s important that those getting their A-Level results consider the whole range of options available.
“University absolutely offers students a great next step but is by no means the only route to a higher-level education. There are a range of different options – a Higher National Certificate or Diploma, a foundation degree, or a ‘degree apprenticeship’, with an apprenticeship offering the chance to gain both a qualification employers value and start earning a salary straight away.”
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