19-year-old qualifications

Date 1 September 2017
Date updated 12 October 2017

19 year olds lacking qualifications over time

What does this chart show?

Educational attainment improved more in London than in the rest of England in the early part of the last decade, but since 2012/13, improvements have stalled in many areas. The exception is Level 3 attainment in Inner London, where the proportion of 19-year-olds lacking these qualifications has continued to decline steadily.

 In 2016, 19-year-olds in the rest of England were more likely to lack Level 3 qualifications than those in London. 34% of 19-year-olds in Outer London lacked Level 3 qualifications (AS and A-Level qualifications)*, compared with 35% in Inner London and 44% in the rest of England.

The proportion of 19-year-olds lacking Level 2 (GCSE-level qualifications)** is similar in London and the rest of England. 14% of 19-year-olds in Inner London and 12% in Outer London lacked Level 2 qualifications compared with 15% in the rest of England. 

Across England, the fall in 19-year-olds lacking Level 3 qualifications was mainly driven by an increase in young people achieving a Level 3 through apprenticeships and vocational qualifications, with the proportion achieving A-levels remaining flat.***

* Examples of Level 3 qualification: 4 AS levels A – E or 1 NVQ Level 3 pass.

** Some examples of the qualifications for Level 2: 5 A*-C GCSEs; 1 NVQ Level 2 Pass; 2 AS Levels A-E; 1 Apprenticeship Pass.

*** Department for Education (2017) Level 2 and 3 attainment in England: Attainment by age 19 in 2016 Technical document Department for Education.