A-level results: Businesses welcome students' high exam pass rates as grades in STEM-related subjects rise

Institute of Directors reassures students whose grades were not what they expected

Aftab Ali
Thursday 13 August 2015 13:56
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Business leaders are hopeful the number of young students seeking an entrepreneurial career will rise after a successful A-level results day – particularly in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) – an organisation which represents company directors, senior business leaders, and entrepreneurs – said businesses will be pleased to see a rise in the number of entries in these subjects, with maths being the most popular for a second year running.

With the number of STEM entries up almost one-fifth since 2010, the IoD said students are recognising the need to build skills to compete within a modern economy.

With computing coming-in as the fastest-growing subject, the IoD described how the slight fall in the number of chemistry and biology entries shows how important it is for employers to show students and schools how much they value these courses.

The IoD’s response comes after around 300,000 students across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland today received record A-level pass rates which rose to 98.1 per cent – up by 0.1 per cent on 2014.

Ucas also announced a record 409,000 students had already been placed onto university courses – up 3 per cent on the same day last year.

Head of employment and skills policy at the IoD, Seamus Nevin, congratulated students for their dedication and hard work, and added that university is a good way to learn important skills and gain valuable experience.

To those students who didn’t get the results they were hoping for, Mr Nevin said: “Those who did not achieve the grades they wanted should not panic. There are plenty of valuable alternatives to university study.

“Apprenticeships, traineeships, and technical courses can all be equally and, in some cases, be more beneficial to advance your career.”

Mr Nevin reassured students that one in four IoD members have no university degree – yet have all still been very successful in business.

He added: “While IoD businesses recruit graduates in large numbers, our employers place just as much emphasis on the importance of soft skills, like a positive attitude, good communication, and team-working as on a candidates grades or education.”

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