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Workforce Skills

Labour Force Survey (LFS) data are used to measure the highest qualification levels of the working age population (16-64 years old) in England, where Level 2 equates to achievement of 5 or more GCSEs at grades A*-C or equivalent qualifications, Level 3 equates to achievement of 2 or more A-levels or equivalent qualifications, and Level 4 and above to higher education and degree level qualifications.

The tables and charts above show the educational attainment levels of working-age people. Please note that the charts differ to the tables insofar as they show the proportion of residents by the highest qualification achieved. Slide 1 shows data for Somerset, the South West and the United Kingdom. Click to slide 2 to view data for lower-tier local authority area in Somerset. Right click on either of the charts to select and view the underlying data.

About the data

The latest estimates are for 2020 and reveal that Somerset performs below the national average for NVQ4+, NVQ3 and NVQ2 but is equal to the national average for NVQ1.

  • 35.4% of the working age population in Somerset are qualified to NVQ4+, this is lower than both the South West region (40.5%) and UK (43%)
  • 6.7% of Somerset’s working age population are thought to have no qualifications at all this is marginally higher than UK overall (6.6%)
  • Somerset has a similar proportion of working-age people qualified to at least NVQ1 as nationally.
  • 5.5% of Somerset’s working-age residents have some other form of qualification (e.g. vocational/work-related qualifications or foreign qualifications).

At the lower-tier local authority level within Somerset there is significant variation in attainment between districts.

  • Mendip performs better than the national average across all attainment levels.
  • Somerset West and Taunton also performs better than the national average for NVQ1, NVQ2 and NVQ3 level attainment, and very close to the national average for NVQ4+.
  • South Somerset performs less well than the national average across all attainment levels, but on balance performs better at lower attainment levels than higher.
  • Sedgemoor also performs less well than the national average across all attainment levels and has the highest proportion of individuals with no qualifications across all areas of Somerset.

Follow this link for an explanation of What Qualification Levels Mean from


Source: ONS, NOMIS, Annual Population Survey, April 2021