Increasing take up of science and technology subjects is vital for economic growth, according to a South West business leader.
Phil Brownsord, region director at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, was responding to the scrapping of Education Secretary Michael Gove's plans to replace GCSEs with an English Baccalaureate Certificate.
"The Government must move on quickly from today's decision and refocus on injecting greater rigour into GCSEs," said Mr Brownsord.
"This must include raising attainment in key subjects including English and maths, with more specialist teachers and industry experts teaching these subjects in schools. They should also commit to a benchmark we have set for 65 per cent of school leavers to achieve five good GCSE passes by 2015.
"We also need to make an increase in the take up of STEM (science, technology, engineering & maths) subjects a national priority for the education system. This is not only vital for future economic growth but because these subjects bring with them economically valuable skills for both individual learners and businesses."