The Employment Gap in the West Midlands
The Youth Jobs Gap research series uses previously unseen Longitudinal Education Outcomes data to present new insights into disadvantaged young people’s transition from compulsory education into employment. The first three national reports looked at NEET rates, higher education, and apprenticeships respectively. These national reports have also looked at differences between regions – but differences within the regions are often greater than the differences between regions.
This report looks at the West Midlands region, including the combined authority area. It presents findings at local authority area level, for the measures developed in the first three national reports.
We find twice as many young people are NEET in Sandwell as Warwickshire. Young people from Solihull are more than twice as likely to do an apprenticeship as young people from Coventry – both are parts of the West Midlands Combined Authority. Some of the most interesting findings come when looking at people with similar
qualifications. We find that, in terms of NEET rates, it is better to be better-off than have better qualifications in places like Worcestershire, Herefordshire, and Stoke-on-Trent. Similarly, the gap in NEET rates between disadvantaged young people and their better-off peeris twice as big in Worcestershire as in Birmingham. And while 72% of disadvantaged young people with top GCSEs from Wolverhampton access university, only 45% of equally well qualified young people from Shropshire do so.
We can also factor in the underlying rates of qualification and disadvantage, to consider which groups are most under or over represented. So disadvantaged young people from Worcestershire are more overrepresented among those who are NEET than any other local authority area. In some local authority areas disadvantaged young people are overrepresented among apprenticeship starters by over 10%, whereas in others they are underrepresented by more than 20%.