320,000 have no qualification, with rate as high as one in five

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THERE are more than 320,000 adults of working age in Yorkshire with no qualifications of any kind, according to a new report which highlights huge differences in the level of education among residents in different parts of the country.

A study by the University and College Union (UCU) shows that there are areas of the region where fewer than one-in-five people has passed any formal exam.

The report shows the number of 16- to 64-year-olds in each parliamentary constituency in the country who have no qualifications.

Bradford East has the highest level in the region at 23 per cent – almost one-in-four residents.

Huddersfield also has more than one-in-five people with no qualifications. The figures are taken from an annual population survey from last year.

Other constituencies in the region with high numbers include Rotherham, Bradford West, Batley & Spen, Doncaster North, Hemsworth, Bradford South and Dewsbury. The figures show that Leeds North West has the lowest number of residents with no qualifications in the region. Just 4.3 per cent of this constituency has not passed any exam.

Other constituency areas with lowest figures include Pudsey, Morley & Outwood, Sheffield Hallam, Skipton & Ripon, York Central, York Outer and Harrogate & Knaresborough.

The UCU says their research shows a “tale of two Britains”. Research in the 632 parliamentary constituencies in Wales, England and Scotland showed that Glasgow, Birmingham and Wolverhampton are among the areas with the highest number of residents with no qualifications.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “This research shows that access to the benefits that education brings is heavily rationed in Britain today with some constituencies having almost 13 times more people without qualifications than others.

“It is unacceptable that there is such widespread under-achievement in Britain today.

“We live in a fast-changing knowledge economy where education is key to employment and getting on.

“It is this knowledge economy that will drive economic growth, enhance social mobility and enable our country to compete globally.

“Yet politicians all too often seem to see cutting off access to educational opportunities as an easy target. Given the opportunity, everyone can benefit from education.”