CENSUS figures have revealed wide margins among Wigan residents when it comes to the level of qualifications they have.
Following the 2011 national survey, figures have shown that some 70, 486 Wiganers do not have a single qualification to their name – 27.3 per cent of the borough’s population.
However, while this is one of the highest rates in the region, the borough does have the highest percentage of highly qualified people.
Some 39,403 people (15.3 per cent) are listed as having Level One qualifications, which includes high level degrees, NVQs and trade qualifications. The borough also has the highest number of apprentices in Greater Manchester with some 12,135 people on a scheme of some kind (4.7 per cent of the population.
This figure has been welcomed by Council chiefs who have been championing apprenticeship schemes for the past few years.
Councillor David Molyneux, cabinet member for economy at Wigan Council, said: “We’re extremely proud of our apprenticeship scheme and the latest census results confirm that we’re on the right track.
“When we first launched the scheme in October 2012, 14 young people secured apprenticeship positions within the council. Since then, the scheme has gone from strength to strength with a further £750,000 invested into the scheme and another 51 apprentices joining the ranks. So far, 19 apprentices have gone on to secure further permanent positions within the council.
“Over the last two years we’ve been working closely with local businesses to support and encourage them to invest in our young people and during that time they’ve provided 9,000 apprenticeships.
“Despite our challenging financial position, we recognise the importance of investing in our young people and providing employment and training opportunities. We will continue to work hard to make sure our residents have access to the advice and support they need to get into employment.”
Visit: www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Education/Adult-Learning-and-Skills.aspx or www.apprenticeships.org.uk