BY LIZZIE PARRY
Friday, February 8, 2013
THERE are three times more under-achievers living in Ipswich than in neighbouring South Suffolk, a new report has revealed.
A new report,d by the University and College Union (UCU) has highlighted pockets across the country where fewer people have achieved educationally.
In Ipswich, 8,300 people have no qualifications – equating to 11.7% of the town’s population.
In Suffolk only one parliamentary constituency fares worse and that is Waveney, where 14% of the population – 8,400 people – have no qualifications, just 100 more people than in Ipswich.
West Suffolk had 7,900 people without qualifications – 11.6% of the population.
UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “It is unacceptable that there is such widespread under-achievement in Britain today. We live in a fast-changing knowledge economy where education is key to employment and getting on.
“It is this knowledge economy that will drive economic growth, enhance social mobility and enable our country to compete globally.
“Yet politicians all too often seem to see cutting off access to educational opportunities as an easy target. Given the opportunity, everyone can benefit from education.” Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said: “I am sure that most people will not be surprised by what this report says.
“It is true that there are a lot of people in Ipswich who do not have the skills that they should have and a lot of people should take the blame for that, including successive governments.
“There is no point in throwing accusations about – instead we must work together to fix it. That is why I’m glad that there has been a rise in applications to UCS and that the county council has made it one of its most important priorities to rise the skill levels of people across the county.
“We have a lot of work to do, but I will continue to push until Ipswich is one of the best skilled towns in the country.”
The most successful constituency was South Suffolk where only 2,300 people were without qualifications, equating to 4.6% of the population.
Meanwhile, 3,100 people in Suffolk Coastal had no qualifications (5.3% of the population). In Bury St Edmunds, 3,700 people lack qualifications (5.6%).
In Central Suffolk and North Ipswich the report found 5,200 people without qualifications (8.7% of the population).