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Assembly Member calls for action on adult qualifications scandal

July 23, 2011 9:59 AM
Originally published by Peter Black and South Wales West Liberal Democrats

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has called for action after a survey carried out by the University and College Union showed that than one in every seven adults of working age in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend do not have a qualification.

The analysis, from UCU, reveals 'two Britains' divided between the educational haves and have nots. It ranks the 632 parliamentary constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales according to the percentage of working age people (16-64) who have no qualifications.

A total of 252,200 or 13.3% of adults in Wales do not hold any qualification, more than the 11.3% which is the UK average. Only Northern Ireland (20.4%) has a worse record than Wales. However, when the results are analysed by Welsh region, the South Wales West Assembly seat has 48,300 or 14.63% unqualified adults, above the Welsh average. The three poorest performing constituencies are Aberavon on 17.9%, Ogmore on 16.8% and Swansea East on 20.6%. Neath is also worse than the Welsh average with 13.8%.

Mr. Black said: "The only way that our region is going to grow economically is if we have a skilled and enthusiastic workforce that is attractive to investors from elsewhere and to local entrepreneurs alike. This survey carried out by lecturers' trade union UCU shows how far we have to travel.

"The situation that this piece of research highlights is not one that has come about in the last year, but highlights the way in which Labour have been content to let education standards slip behind the rest of Britain over their years in charge. What is needed now is action to put the situation right in our region and across Wales as a matter of urgency."

ENDS

Note for editors: details of the survey and a breakdown by constituency can be found here: http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5676