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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 2021 and reveal that Somerset performs below the national average.

  • 38.4% of the working age population in Somerset are qualified to NVQ4+, this is lower than both the South West region (42%) and UK (43.5%)
  • 5.9% of Somerset’s working age population are thought to have no qualifications at all this is lower than UK overall (6.8%)
  • Somerset has a similar proportion of working-age people qualified to at least NVQ1 as nationally.
  • 5.7% 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 well for all NVQ levels better than nationally for the upper levels.
  • Somerset West and Taunton also performs well. It has a higher proportion of people qualified to at least NVQ1, NVQ2 and NVQ3 level than is the case nationally.
  • South Somerset performs well in terms of attainment at lower qualification levels, with 89.9% of working-age residents holding at least NVQ1 and 80% holding at least NVQ2 qualifications.
  • At 7%, Sedgemoor has a higher proportion of residents with ‘Other qualifications’ than any other local authority area in Somerset and Nationally
  • Sedgemoor has the highest proportion of residents in Somerset with no qualifications (6.1%).

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


Source: ONS, NOMIS, Annual Population Survey, January 2023