Bethnal Green and Bow highest in London for under-qualified workers

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The proportion of people with no qualifications living in Bethnal Green and Bow is higher than in any other London constituency, new research shows.

Analysis by the University and College Union shows more than 14,000 out of 83,000 of the area’s working-age residents have no formal qualifications – the equivalent of 17.5 per cent of its population.

The constituency’s rates compare unfavourably to the national average, with 10 per cent of 16-64 year olds across the UK having no qualifications.

MP for Bethnal Green and Bow Rushanara Ali said the findings, gathered using data from 2011 released by the Office for National Statistics, show the need to ensure future generations are better educated.

“Our education system needs to be reformed so that it equips young people with the skills, knowledge and aspiration they need to play their part in the economy and society of the future”, she said.

“With the leaving age for education rising to 18, we need a set of gold standard qualifications that tests academic, practical, creative and technical learning.”

The constituency fared worse than neighbouring Poplar and Limehouse, where just over 10,000 people had no qualifications – 11 per cent of the population.

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Jane Wills, who is a professor of human geography at Queen Mary University in Mile End, said the area’s demographic may be a contributing factor to its poor performance.

She said: “This might be expected given the relatively high numbers of local residents who were born outside the UK, some of whom will not have had access to good quality schooling in their country of birth.

“School results in the borough have been improving in recent years, so for the younger generations and those born in the UK, things should be improving.”