HC Deb 07 July 1986 vol 101 cc43-4W
Mr. Warren

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the total number of graduates in computer science and information technology in the last financial year and the anticipated number in the current financial year compared with the estimated demand for such graduates by commerce and industry in both these financial years.

Mr. Walden

In 1985 there were some 9,900 graduates from disciplines relevant to information technology from all university courses in the United Kingdom and 2,400 from full-time and sandwich courses in polytechnics and institutes of higher education in England and Wales. A decrease of perhaps 500 is expected in 1986, but increases are expected for each of the three years following.

While it is impossible to forecast future manpower demand on an annual basis with any precision, a recent report by the Institute of Manpower Studies indicated that, of employers surveyed in 1985, most were able to recruit sufficient first degree graduates. It is, however, generally accepted that in future years the employment market will be able to absorb increased numbers of graduates from disciplines related to IT. The Government have initiated a range of measures designed to stimulate relevant graduate output. In particular, the engineering and technology programme, launched in 1985 will eventually produce 5,000 extra places in first degree and masters' courses—mainly from disciplines related to IT.

IT related disciplines refer to electrical and electronic engineering, mathematics, computer science and physics.