East-West divide on educational qualifications

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AN AREA of Scotland’s largest city has the highest proportion of working-age residents without educational qualifications of anywhere in Britain, according to a new report.

The study by the University and College Union (UCU) found that 27.5 per cent of people living in the Glasgow North-East parliamentary constituency are unqualified, compared to the Scottish average of 11.6 per cent. Across Britain, 10.7 per cent of adults have no qualifications, according to the study.

The lecturers’ union said there existed a “huge contrast in educational achievement” between Glasgow and Edinburgh, with five out of seven of Glasgow’s Westminster constituencies worse than the national average, compared to just one in the capital.

UCU Scotland official Mary Senior, said: “This research shows that access to the benefits that education brings is heavily rationed in Scotland today, with some constituencies in the west having almost seven times more people without qualifications than others in the east of Scotland.

“We live in a fast-changing knowledge economy where education is vital to improving employment chances, life chances and for society. It is this knowledge economy that will drive economic growth and enhance social mobility. Politicians must continue to increase access to educational opportunities. Given the opportunity, everyone can benefit from education.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We are working to raise attainment in our schools to help ensure our employees of the future have the qualifications they need.”