WALES

Not in education, employment or training

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • Around one in ten 16- to 18-year-olds are not in education, employment or training (although, because of small sample sizes, the precise proportion jumps around from year to year).
  • The proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training in Wales is similar to the average of the United Kingdom as a whole.
  • In half of the most deprived 20% of wards in Wales, fewer than one in six 18-year-olds go on to higher education.  In a further third of these wards, between one in four and one in six go on to higher education.
  • By contrast, almost no wards in the least deprived 20% of wards in Wales sees fewer than one in six of 18 year-olds going on to higher education while just one in thirty see fewer than one in four going on.
  • Three-quarters of the wards where fewer than one in six go on to higher education are in the most deprived 20% of wards.  Nine-tenths are in the most deprived 40% of wards.
  • More than half of the least deprived 20% of wards in Wales see a minimum of four in ten 18 year-olds go on to higher education.  By contrast, almost no wards in the most deprived 20% of wards in Wales see four in ten going on to higher education.
  • There is a geographical pattern to the spread of wards across Wales where the proportion of 18 year-olds going on to higher education is markedly different from what would be expected on the basis of the ward’s level of deprivation alone.  In particular, local authorities in the West – Ceredigion, Gwynedd, Anglesey and Carmarthenshire – have a high proportion of wards doing markedly better than expected while parts of the east – chiefly Flintshire and Monmouthshire but also to a lesser extent Torfaen and Newport – have a high proportion doing markedly worse than expected.
  • Some elements of the pattern are a result of the way in which over- and under-performance have been defined.  For example, wards with higher than average levels of deprivation (i.e. in the most deprived 40% of wards) simply cannot produce results that are markedly worse than expected.  Likewise, wards with below average levels of deprivation cannot produce results that are markedly better than expected.  No significance should therefore be attached to the fact that Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr or Rhondda, Cynon Taff have negligible levels of under-performance.
  • Over-performance on this measure can still be consistent with a very low level overall going on to higher education.  For example, a quarter of Merthyr Tydfil’s wards over-performed relative to their deprivation score.  However, the proportion of 18- and 19-year-olds go onto higher education from there is still one of the lowest in Wales (20%) – a proportion lower only in Blaenau Gwent (18%).
  • Participation rates in higher education in Wales are similar to the average for Great Britain as a whole.

Definitions and data sources

The first graph shows the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training (sometimes referred to as NEETs).

The second graph shows how proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training in Wales compares with the rest of the United Kingdom.  To improve its statistical reliability, the data is the average for the latest three years.

The data source for the first two graphs is the Labour Force Survey (LFS).  Note that the figures are not precisely the same as those in official government publications because government publications are typically based on analysis of the fourth quarter data for each year only.

The third graph shows how the proportion of young adults who go on to higher education varies by electoral ward.  The wards are grouped by level of deprivation and, for each group, the graph shows the proportion of the wards in this group where fewer than 16% and between 16% and 24% of the young adults go on higher education.

The fourth graph provides an analysis of the numbers of wards where the proportion of young adults going on to higher education is significantly different from that which might be expected given the level of deprivation in that ward.  A ward is classified as “more than expected going on to higher education” if any of the following are true: the ward is in the most deprived fifth but the proportion of young adults going onto higher education is more than 24%; the ward is in the second most deprived fifth but the proportion of young adults going onto higher education is more than 32%, or the ward has average deprivation but the proportion of young adults going onto higher education is more than 43%.  A ward is classified as “less than expected going on to higher education” if any of the following are true: the ward is in the least deprived fifth but the proportion of young adults going onto higher education is less than 32%; the ward is in the second least deprived fifth but the proportion of young adults going onto higher education is less than 24%, or the ward has average deprivation but the proportion of young adults going onto higher education is less than 16%.

The fifth graph shows how the proportion of young adults who go on to higher education varies by local authority.

The data source for the third, fourth and fifth graph is participation of local areas (POLAR) data published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).  At ward level, the latest data is for 1999 and the data presented is the average for the years 1997 to 1999.  At the local authority level, the latest data is 2000 and the data presented is the average for the years 1997 to 2000.  At the regional level, the data is for the year 2000.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: limited.  The LFS is a large, well-established, quarterly government survey designed to be representative of the population as a whole but nevertheless the sample sizes for this age group are small.  Furthermore, the number of NEETs is estimated by deducting those in education, employment or training from the total population and LFS may not always capture all types of education or training that a person is engaged with.