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Qualification data is drawn from the Annual Population Survey which is carried out on 320,000 respondents across the UK. The data shows the number of residents within an area who are qualified at a certain level, following the NVQ framework. These levels are standardised to equate to other qualifications; level 1 is equivalent to a BTEC first certificate or 3-4 GCSEs at grades D-E, level 2 is equivalent to 4-5 GCSEs at A*-C, level 3 is equivalent to 2 A levels, level 4 is equivalent to higher education certificate or BTEC, and level 5 (not listed in the data) is equivalent to a foundation degree or diploma.

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Column chart shows the different qualification levels comparable between areas. Use the geography filter to add more comparators and the qualification level filter to see specific variations. View either count or percentage using the filters to enable quantitative or proportional comparisons. Right click the graph to show underlying data. Click to slide 2 for a map of Devon.

About the data

Devon generally has a well-educated population, and taking the latest 3 year average to account for statistical variation, 79% of residents are qualified to at least NVQ level 2 or equivalent, above the national average of 74%. At level 3, Devon is also more qualified than the national average, though at level 4 (higher education certificate equivalent) the difference is smaller 39%, 1.5% above the national average. These numbers hide some disparity within Devon and East Devon, Exeter and South Hams districts have some 44% of residents qualified to level 4, nearly 13% more than North Devon, Mid Devon and Torridge where in the latter the figure is approximately 28%. While these differences between the districts remain at lower qualification levels, they diminish by level 1.

Despite having good qualification levels, key skills shortages remain in the local economy; recently construction, engineering and IT have been identified as areas where there are skills gaps and shortages of labour.