STEM A-level results welcome, but gender gap remains a concern

Published:  26 August, 2014

The recent A-level results show a welcome increase in the take-up of STEM subjects, although the gender gap still remains a concern, says EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.

Verity O’Keefe, education policy adviser at EEF, says: “With more and more vacancies to fill, manufacturers will be breathing a sigh of relief that the take up of STEM subjects at A-level has increased for the 5th year in a row. Without a doubt, students who have achieved top grades in these subjects have significantly boosted their employability and their chances of enjoying a successful and sustainable career.

“However, the overall increase in the take-up of STEM subjects disguises a mixed bag. While we welcome the fact that the number of girls studying physics has increased by 4.7% year-on-year there is still a significant gap between the number of boys taking this subject compared to girls. We’re heading in the right direction, but we need a concerted effort between government, industry and the education sector to continue driving students into STEM, but to also close this yawning gender gap.

“The major focus must be on radically overhauling careers provision so that every student – male or female - understands the impact A-level subject choices can have on their future career and is fully aware of the opportunities for those who choose wisely.”

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