The latest installment of a research initiative exploring Calderdale’s key issues has revealed the percentage of the borough’s 16 to 19 years olds not in education, employment or training is less than the national average.
The Community Foundation for Calderdale’s Vital Signs report, conducted in partnership with Huddersfield University, revealed Calderdale residents have comparable levels of educational attainment to people in the rest of the country, but there are pockets where improvements could be made.
It found that schools are performing well, with nearly 70 per cent achievening A* to C GCSEs, compared with a national average of 63.8 per cent. But the Ovenden, Park and Warley wards fall below the average by more than 10 per cent.
At all levels of qualification up to, and including NVQ4, the working population of Calderdale is close to or better than the national average.
The number of 16 to 19 year olds not in education, employment or training is less than four per cent, which is the best in the region and better than the national average.
Apprenticeships are steadily increasing with more than 2,000 16 to 19 year olds starting an apprenticeship every year.
Calderdale College principle, John Rees, said: “Calderdale has retained post-16 provision in schools and whilst many are good and some impressive, there can be limitations on the breadth and depth of provision with small sixth forms. “Future development needs to focus on the skills agenda for employers as well.”
The Community Foundation for Calderdale said the figures for the borough disguise variations between wards, particularly in relation to the number of people without qualifications.
Councillor Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for skills and the environment, said: “We need to invest more in skills education and personal confidence building to enable those with poor job prospects or in low paid work to enhance their career opportunities and improve their lives and wellbeing.”
Community Foundation for Calderdale aims to make a difference in the borough by funding students and projects specifically tailored to make a sustained difference to attainment of Calderdale College students.
The fund has supported 175 pupils and has awarded more than £34,000.