Without a basic qualification at age 19

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • Around one in four 19-year-olds lack a basic level of qualification (‘Level 2’ qualifications).  This proportion has been falling in recent years (in 2005/06 – the earliest year for which data is available – the proportion was 30%).
  • Although a half of young adults have not obtained a Level 2 qualification at age 16, this proportion reduces to a quarter by age 22.
  • The lower a person’s qualifications, the more likely they are to be unemployed and the more likely they are to be in low-paid work.  See the indicator on risks by level of qualification.

Definitions and data sources

The first graph shows the proportion of 19-year-olds without a basic qualification, with the data shown separately for those without ‘Level 1’ qualifications (effectively the same as ‘fewer than 5 GCSEs of any grade or equivalent’) and those with Level 1 but not Level 2 (effectively the same as ‘5 or more GCSEs or equivalent but less than 5 at grade C or above’).

The second graph shows, for those pupils born in 1986/87, what proportion has achieved certain educational levels at each age from 16 (i.e. in 2004/05) to 22 (i.e. in 2008/09). The particular educational levels shown are below Level 1, Level 1 but not Level 2, Level 2 but not Level 3, and Level 3 or above (where Level 3 is effectively the same as ‘2 A-Levels or equivalent’).

The data source for both graphs is the Welsh Assembly Government’s publication entitled Educational Attainment of Young People by Age 19.  Note that the ages quoted in the publication are those at the start of the academic year rather than at the end so, for example, 19-year-olds on this website would be labelled 18-year-olds in the publication.  Also note that the data for 19-year-olds only goes back to 2005/06.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: high.  The data is based on complete administrative counts and, as such, is considered to be very reliable.