Congratulation to Norfolk GCSE students

Caroline Williams, Chief Executive, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce

We congratulate all Norfolk GCSE students today who are reaping the rewards of their hard work . Nationally, the number of pupils achieving top grades has fallen for the first time since the exam was introduced in 1988 although many schools in Norfolk are bucking that trend. For example Cromer Academy, North Walsham High, Sheringham High and Stalham High,revealed Hewett School, Hellesdon High and Sewell Park College have all posted their best-ever results.

Young people have a lot to offer, and businesses are keen to employ them. Unfortunately, in recent years too many young people applying for work 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.

Norfolk Chamber and its members are passionate about helping our schools and their young people to better understand what is needed from the world of work. The Schools which are members of the Chamber, including many of the new academies, will enable us to work even closer with them to assist them develop our employees of the future.

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. Chamber research shows that a lack of language skills has been a barrier for Norfolk 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.

If you are passionate about helping Norfolk's young people understand the world of work, please do let us know.

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