As the economy gears up for growth, businesses will require employees with science degrees, but more than 40 per cent of companies say they are having difficulty recruiting people with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills.
There is a growing demand for these skills, particularly in high-value sectors such as low-carbon, pharmaceuticals and digital media, says the lobbying group.
Increasing the number of young people studying triple science as separate GCSEs is important because it gives them the necessary preparation and confidence to go on to study science at A Level and subsequently at university, adds the CBI.
‘The government has neglected the sciences. It must pay more attention to getting students to study physics, chemistry and biology as separate GCSEs.’
Currently, only 18 per cent of young people study physics and chemistry as separate GCSEs compared with 26 per cent who study religious studies and 19 per cent who study physical education.
A recent report by the Education Select Committee says that the E-Bac has not increased the take-up of triple science. Despite the fact that 46 per cent of young people achieved high marks at age 14 in 2009 (reaching level six), only 20 per cent of pupils actually took GCSEs in all three sciences in 2009-10.