A new report by the Learning and Work Institute (LWI), an independent think-tank, shows a drastic fall in young people’s interest in taking ICT subjects in schools. In 2014, the UK became the first country in the world to include computer programming in the compulsory school curriculum. The curriculum is focussed strongly on coding rather than general digital literacy.
However, the LWI report shows that in the last 5 years there has been a 40% decrease in the number of students who continue taking an IT subject once it stops being mandatory, at the age of 14. This comes at a time where demand for digital skills, especially advanced skills such as robotics, cybersecurity and AI, is skyrocketing.
Additionally, 70% of young people expect future employers to provide ICT skills training, while only 50% of companies are able to provide this. Furthermore, only 60% of employers believe that young people leave school with sufficient digital skills.
Finally, the report also confirmed the stark gender inequality in the tech sector, both in education and employment.