Commenting after the release of A-level grades for 2012, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“We offer our congratulations to students up and down the country who have achieved their goals at A-level.
“Business will welcome the fact that the constant grade inflation seen in previous years has finally been constrained. Companies tell us that they have had a hard time assessing the skills and abilities of job candidates with A-level passes, to the point that only 29% of businesses surveyed in 2011 felt very or fairly confident in hiring a school-leaver with A-level qualifications. An end to grade inflation will improve business confidence in the qualifications achieved by young people.
“Yet it’s not all about A-levels and university. With university tuition fees rising and many young people looking for alternatives to higher education, business wants to see more media attention and investment in further education and vocational training. Students must feel confident that a high-level apprenticeship is held in the same esteem as a degree, and that the vocational qualifications they achieve are recognised and valued.

“From September, schools will have a new duty to secure independent careers advice for students. Business will be watching closely to ensure that vocational options, including apprenticeships, are given as much attention as the option of going to university.”