Commenting after the release of the GCSE grades for 2012, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“We congratulate GCSE students today who are reaping the rewards of their hard work. Young people have a lot to offer, and businesses are keen to employ them. Unfortunately, in recent years too many new employees have lacked basic skills and required remedial training for inadequate literacy and numeracy. Employers must be assured that qualifications reliably reflect a given level of skill, and will welcome an end to artificial grade inflation and planned changes to increase rigour.

“We know that teachers and pupils are working hard to raise genuine skill levels, particularly in English and Maths, and this must remain a top priority. Employers will reject any measure of success that focuses exclusively on the most capable half of students, without supporting other young people in reaching high levels of literacy and numeracy.

“The increase in entries to science exams this summer is good news for business. Young people with strong qualifications in the sciences remain sought-after by employers, and they can expect to succeed in exciting and rewarding careers.

“BCC research shows that a lack of language skills has been a real barrier for UK businesses looking to sell their products and services overseas. One swallow doesn’t make a summer, but we hope the slight rise in entries for modern languages this year is a signal that more students will study a language in future years.”


Notes to editors:

Provisional full course GCSE results (June 2012) can be found here.

  1. The number of Spanish results this summer increased by 10% to 72,606 from 66,021 in summer 2011. Total modern languages increased by 2% to 313,432 from 307,386 in summer 2011.
  2. Entries for separate sciences increased by 12.3% to 482,671 from 429,811. Combined science results increased in number by 36.1% from 405,977 to 552,504.
  3. The BCC’s 2012 Trade Survey found that 61% of non-exporters ‘likely to consider’ exporting in the future saw language as a barrier to doing so.  Read the full report here.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

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