One in 10 Wigan workers and jobseekers has no qualifications

One in 10 workers and jobseekers in Wigan have no qualifications whatsoever, new figures show.

The Resolution Foundation think-tank said good qualifications were "an important driver of employability and pay growth" and called on policy-makers to boost and broaden people's skill-sets.

The latest census figures from the Office for National Statistics show 162,900 people were eligible to work in Wigan in 2021.

Read More
More fires in Greater Manchester during last year's record heatwave
The data showed 9.4 per cent of people in Wigan had no qualificationsThe data showed 9.4 per cent of people in Wigan had no qualifications
The data showed 9.4 per cent of people in Wigan had no qualifications
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Of them, 15,335 (9.4 per cent) had no qualifications whatsoever.

Meanwhile, 10.3 per cent had at least one GCSE or equivalent qualification, 17.4 per cent had five or more GCSEs at A* to C or levels nine to four, 22.7 per cent had two A-levels or equivalent and 32.5 per cent had a degree or higher education qualification.

Combining all these figures into a composite score means the Wigan workforce ranks 27th in the North West and 253rd across England and Wales.

The figures show regional disparity, with some local areas lagging well behind others.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Boston has the worst qualified workforce in England and Wales, where 19 per cent of workers and jobseekers have no qualifications.

In contrast, just 3.7 per cent of City of London work-eligible people have no qualifications, the lowest in the country.

Meanwhile, St Albans and Cambridge were the only places outside of London in the top 10, and the Barking and Dagenham workforce – which is the lowest-ranked in the capital – has higher qualifications than 97 other areas across England and Wales.

Hannah Slaughter, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: "Qualifications and training are an important driver of employability and pay growth. The stark qualifications divide uncovered by the census will have worsened already damaging pay and income gaps between places across Britain.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Policy-makers and firms need to do far more both boost and broaden people’s skills and qualifications. This investment will raise incomes, boost growth and help to 'level up' the country."

The types of jobs people worked also tracked closely with qualification differences.

Further census figures show 25,062 (16.2 per cent) of 154,614 workers in Wigan were in professional occupations.

Across England and Wales, 5.6 million people (22.2 per cent) worked in a professional occupation.