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A-levels: More high grades but overall pass rate falls

More A-levels pupils were handed the very highest grade this summer, but the overall pass rate fell for the first time in more than 30 years, official figures show.

In total, just over one in four of exams were awarded an A* or A grade, down 0.3 percentage points on last summer.

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Warning: Too many students 'pick meaningless degrees'

Too many students are still opting for "meaningless" degrees instead of vocational courses to help plug the country's skills gap, a leading industry qualifications body has said.

Too many students are still opting for Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Excellence, Achievement and Learning Limited, which oversees qualifications for the engineering, manufacturing and building services sectors, sounded the warning as thousands of young people were set to pick up their A-level results.

The body is proposing a Ucas-style clearing service for apprenticeships and work placements, cross-party talks at government level and an inquiry into the Careers Service.

"We need one million new skilled workers in the engineering sector alone in the next six years to cope with demand - and as it stands, that just won't happen," said Elizabeth Bonfield, EAL head of business innovation.

This is a grave situation which has been in the making for decades. The pursuance of low-value often meaningless university degrees is still being led by those that influence the decision making of our young people.

– Elizabeth Bonfield, EAL

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