What will this year’s GCSE results mean for manufacturing?

Posted on 24 Aug 2023 by The Manufacturer

As thousands of teenagers receive their GCSE and BTec Level 2 results, the manufacturing and engineering sector reflects on what these results could mean for the industry.

Beth Elgood, Director of Communications at EngineeringUK, commented: “Congratulations to everyone receiving their GCSE results today. At EngineeringUK we want to see more young people from all backgrounds progressing into engineering and technology and it’s encouraging to see some increases in those taking the GCSE subjects that offer pathways into those careers.  

The modest increase in the numbers taking design and technology means around 87,000 students studied D&T at this level, while computing has seen a 11.6% uplift in entries, representing around 9,500 more students year on year. Overall, the numbers taking sciences has increased roughly in line with the number of entries (up 3.4%). Entries for physics increased by 3.2%, chemistry by 3.5%, biology by 2.6% and double science by 3.5%. And we are pleased that, while overall numbers remain small, there’s been an 8.1% increase in the number of students taking GCSE Engineering and a 23% increase for construction and the built environment.

However, despite these increases, the gender split across some of these GCSE subjects is a concern. While the rise in design & technology entries is driven by girls (up 4.79%) the proportion of girls taking D&T remains less than a third (31%), while girls account for just 21% of entries for computing, 17% for engineering and 10% for construction.

If the UK is to have the engineering and tech workforce it needs to thrive, we’d like to see many of the young people getting their results today – particularly girls given female underrepresentation in engineering and technology careers – building on their learning with continued study or training in these subject areas.”  

Commenting on today’s release of Level 2 results, Baker Dearing Educational Trust director of education and innovation Kate Ambrosi said: “Congratulations to all the UTC students who are receiving results today.

“You pushed through the obstacles placed before you and will progress onto some fantastic destinations, whether that involves staying in education or progressing onto an apprenticeship.

“For those young people weighing up whether to choose a UTC for their next step, I would urge you to look at the excellent destinations our A Level, T Level, and technical and vocational course leavers have achieved this year. This includes Oxbridge, and degree apprenticeships at major employers such as Rolls-Royce, the Royal Navy and Global.

“UTCs are the foremost providers of technical education in the country, as can be seen by the breadth of our employer partners and the announcement this week that two more UTCs will be opening in Doncaster and Southampton.

“So if you are looking to receive a high-quality, industry relevant education, choose a UTC.”

For more stories on People & Skills click here.