NORTHERN IRELAND

Working-age adults without qualifications

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • The proportion of the population aged 20 to retirement without any formal educational qualifications has fallen by a quarter over the last decade, from 26% to 19%.  The reason for this is that, compared with older adults, relatively few of those entering the workforce have no educational qualifications.
  • The proportion of the population aged 20 to retirement without any formal educational qualifications is much higher in Northern Ireland than in any of the regions in Great Britain.
  • Within Northern Ireland, the proportion of people under who lack basic qualifications is rises sharply with age.    Among those in their 20s, the proportion is around 10%, rising to 10-15% among those in their 30s, 20-25% to those in their 40s and 30-35% to those in their 50s.  It is the very high rates among older working-age people which give Northern Ireland such a high overall proportion – although this means that the overall proportion may well fall rapidly over the next decade.
  • Among those aged 50 and above, more women than men lack any formal qualifications.  Up to the age of 50, this difference is reversed, meaning that there are actually slightly more men than women without any formal qualifications.

Definitions and data sources

This indicator looks at working-age adults who lack any qualifications.  The main interest in this indicator lies in the differences by both age and gender in the numbers lacking any qualifications.

The first graph shows the proportion of adults aged 20 to retirement without any educational qualifications.  For comparison purposes, the equivalent proportion for those aged 20 to 39 is also shown.

The second graph shows how the proportion of adults without any formal educational qualifications various by gender and age.

The third graph shows how the proportion of adults aged 20 to retirement without any educational qualifications in Northern Ireland compares with the regions of Great Britain.

The data source for all the graphs is the Labour Force Survey (LFS).  The figures for each year are the average for the four quarters of the relevant year.  To improve their statistical reliability, the data in the second and third graphs is the average for the latest three years.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: high.  The LFS is a well-established, quarterly survey designed to be representative of the population as whole.