Highest level of qualification

Headlines

  • One in three Surrey residents aged 16+ has a level 4 qualification
  • One in six have no qualifications
  • The proportion of the Surrey workforce with no qualifications fell from 16.5% to 9.5% between 2001 and 2011
  • The proportion of the Surrey workforce with a level 4 qualification increased from 30.9% to 43.5% between 2001 and 2011

Qualifications categories

The highest level of qualification is derived from the Census question asking people to indicate all types of qualifications held. People were also asked if they held foreign qualifications and to indicate the closest equivalent.

There were 12 response options (plus ‘no qualifications’) covering professional and vocational qualifications, and a range of academic qualifications.

These are combined into five categories for the highest level of qualification, plus a category for no qualifications and one for other qualifications (which includes vocational or work related qualifications, and for foreign qualifications where an equivalent qualification was not indicated):
No Qualifications:

  • No academic or professional qualifications

Level 1 qualifications:

  • 1-4 O Levels/CSE/GCSEs (any grades),
  • Entry Level,
  • Foundation Diploma,
  • NVQ level 1,
  • Foundation GNVQ,
  • Basic/Essential Skills

Level 2 qualifications:

  • 5+ O Level (Passes)/CSEs (Grade 1)/GCSEs (Grades A*-C),
  • School Certificate,
  • 1 A Level/ 2-3 AS Levels/VCEs,
  • Intermediate/Higher Diploma,
  • NVQ level 2,
  • Intermediate GNVQ,
  • City and Guilds Craft,
  • BTEC First/General Diploma,
  • RSA Diploma

Apprenticeship
Level 3 qualifications:

  • 2+ A Levels/VCEs,
  • 4+ AS Levels,
  • Higher School Certificate,
  • Progression/Advanced Diploma,
  • NVQ Level 3;
  • Advanced GNVQ,
  • City and Guilds Advanced Craft,
  • ONC,
  • OND,
  • BTEC National,
  • RSA Advanced Diploma

Level 4+ qualifications:

  • Degree (for example BA, BSc),
  • Higher Degree (for example MA, PhD, PGCE),
  • NVQ Level 4-5,
  • HNC,
  • HND,
  • RSA Higher Diploma,
  • BTEC Higher level,
  • Foundation degree (NI),
  • Professional qualifications (for example teaching, nursing, accountancy)

Other qualifications:

  • Vocational/Work-related Qualifications,
  • Foreign Qualifications (Not stated/ level unknown).

Highest level of qualification of all people aged 16+

More than one in three (36.2%) Surrey residents aged 16+ has a level 4 qualification while around 1 in 6 (15.9%) have no academic or professional qualifications. 12.2% have qualifications no higher than level 1, 15.3% have reached level 2 and 12.3% level 3. 2.9% have completed an apprenticeship and 5.1% have vocational or work related qualifications or qualifications gained abroad where the level is not known.

The borough with the most highly qualified population is Elmbridge where 43.9% have a level 4 qualification and 13.2% have no qualifications, and the least qualified is Spelthorne where 20.4% have no qualifications and 25.9% reached level 4. Surrey residents are more highly qualified than England as a whole where 22.5% have no qualifications and 27.4% have reached level 4.

This data cannot be compared with the 2001 Census as those figures were only available for the population aged 16-74.
Table 1: Highest level of qualification – all people aged 16+, 2011

No
qualifications
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
and above
Other
qualifications
Apprenticeship
Surrey 15.9% 12.2% 15.3% 12.3% 36.2% 5.1% 2.9%
Elmbridge 13.2% 10.1% 13.9% 11.1% 43.9% 5.6% 2.2%
Epsom and Ewell 15.8% 12.2% 15.7% 12.1% 36.0% 5.3% 2.9%
Guildford 14.2% 10.7% 13.5% 14.2% 39.5% 5.1% 2.8%
Mole Valley 16.0% 11.7% 16.1% 11.3% 37.9% 4.2% 2.8%
Reigate and Banstead 16.6% 13.2% 16.6% 12.0% 34.0% 4.8% 2.9%
Runnymede 18.3% 12.7% 14.4% 15.1% 29.9% 6.1% 3.4%
Spelthorne 20.4% 16.1% 16.1% 11.4% 25.9% 6.2% 3.9%
Surrey Heath 15.0% 13.5% 16.3% 12.2% 34.5% 5.1% 3.5%
Tandridge 17.1% 13.4% 17.5% 12.3% 33.0% 3.9% 2.9%
Waverley 15.2% 10.3% 15.1% 12.2% 40.1% 4.1% 2.9%
Woking 15.2% 12.0% 14.3% 11.3% 38.4% 6.3% 2.6%
South East 19.1% 13.5% 15.9% 12.8% 29.9% 5.2% 3.6%
England 22.5% 13.3% 15.2% 12.4% 27.4% 5.7% 3.6%

Source: Office for National Statistics

Figure 1: Highest level of qualification – all people aged 16+, 2011
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Source: Office for National Statistics

Highest level of qualification of people aged 25-64

When people under 25, who may not have competed their education, and people over retirement age are excluded from the figures, 43.5% of the main working age population are qualified to level 4, and less than one in ten (9.5%) have no qualifications. 13.3% have qualifications no higher than level 1, 14.1% have reached level 2 and 11.8% level 3. 2.7% have completed an apprenticeship and 5.1% have vocational or work related qualifications or qualifications gained abroad where the level is not known.

The borough with the most highly qualified working age population is Elmbridge where 51.9% have a level 4 qualification and 7.3% have no qualifications, and the least qualified is Spelthorne where 12.7% have no qualifications and 31.5% reached level 4. Surrey’s workforce is more highly qualified than England as a whole where 15.8% have no qualifications and 33.5% have reached level 4.
2001 Census figures for this age group are available and show that the workforce is becoming better qualified. Since 2001 the proportion of the population aged 25-64 with no qualifications has fallen by 7 percentage points from 16.5%, and the proportion with a level 4 qualification has risen by more than 12 percentage points from 30.9%.
Table 2: Highest level of qualification – people aged 25-64, 2011

No
qualifications
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4
and above
Other
qualifications
Apprenticeship
Surrey 9.5% 13.3% 14.1% 11.8% 43.5% 5.1% 2.7%
Elmbridge 7.3% 10.5% 12.0% 10.9% 51.9% 5.6% 1.9%
Epsom and Ewell 9.7% 13.3% 14.1% 11.4% 43.5% 5.5% 2.6%
Guildford 9.1% 11.6% 12.3% 11.1% 48.4% 4.9% 2.7%
Mole Valley 9.0% 12.8% 14.6% 11.8% 45.2% 3.8% 2.7%
Reigate and Banstead 9.9% 14.3% 15.6% 12.6% 40.2% 4.8% 2.7%
Runnymede 11.6% 14.9% 14.6% 11.5% 38.1% 5.9% 3.3%
Spelthorne 12.7% 18.3% 15.7% 11.9% 31.5% 6.3% 3.6%
Surrey Heath 8.7% 14.4% 15.5% 12.6% 40.7% 5.1% 3.2%
Tandridge 10.4% 14.9% 16.6% 13.2% 38.7% 3.6% 2.7%
Waverley 8.3% 11.2% 12.9% 12.1% 48.9% 3.7% 2.7%
Woking 9.7% 12.3% 12.6% 11.3% 45.0% 6.6% 2.4%
South East 12.2% 14.9% 15.4% 12.4% 36.5% 5.2% 3.3%
England 15.8% 14.6% 15.0% 11.9% 33.5% 6.1% 3.2%

Source: Office for National Statistics

Figure 2: Highest level of qualification – people aged 25-64, 2011
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Source: Office for National Statistics

Table 3: Proportion of population aged 25-64 with no qualifications, 2001 and 2011

2001 Census 2011 Census
Surrey 16.5% 9.5%
Elmbridge 13.4% 7.3%
Epsom and Ewell 17.0% 9.7%
Guildford 16.0% 9.1%
Mole Valley 15.5% 9.0%
Reigate and Banstead 16.8% 9.9%
Runnymede 19.6% 11.6%
Spelthorne 21.0% 12.7%
Surrey Heath 15.1% 8.7%
Tandridge 17.4% 10.4%
Waverley 15.5% 8.3%
Woking 16.6% 9.7%
South East 20.9% 12.2%
England 26.1% 15.8%

Source: Office for National Statistics

Figure 3: Proportion of population aged 25-64 with no qualifications, 2001 and 2011
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Source: Office for National Statistics

Table 4: Proportion of population aged 25-64 with level 4 qualifications, 2001 and 2011

2001 Census 2011 Census
Surrey 30.9% 43.5%
Elmbridge 38.1% 51.9%
Epsom and Ewell 30.9% 43.5%
Guildford 35.2% 48.4%
Mole Valley 32.1% 45.2%
Reigate and Banstead 27.8% 40.2%
Runnymede 26.6% 38.1%
Spelthorne 20.7% 31.5%
Surrey Heath 30.3% 40.7%
Tandridge 25.8% 38.7%
Waverley 34.7% 48.9%
Woking 32.5% 45.0%
South East 24.9% 36.5%
England 22.8% 33.5%

Source: Office for National Statistics

Figure 4: Proportion of population aged 25-64 with level 4 qualifications, 2001 and 2011
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Source: Office for National Statistics