Ready for Employment

In 2009 the proportion of Bristol’s population that are aged 0 – 15 was 16.6% compared with the UK average of 18.7%. This suggests school leavers over the next few years will be slightly better-placed than the national average when it comes to finding employment. However, this is counterbalanced by the projection that the overall population will increase by 22% between 2008 and 2021, more than any other Core City, with 0 – 15 year olds increasing by 27%, leading to greater competition for jobs.

Skills and Qualifications

The latest figures estimate that 11.9%[1] of Bristol’s working age population[2] don’t have any qualifications, compared with 12.4% nationally. There is a significant gap between the proportion of Bristol’s working age population who are qualified to NVQ level 2[3] (17.0%)[4] and the national average (21.2%). This will have implications for Bristol’s residents, as many employers have a minimum requirement of NVQ level 2 for their employees.

17.6% of Bristol residents are qualified to NVQ level 3 compared with 18.9%[5] nationally. Between 2005 and 2008, the gap between Bristol residents and the Great Britain average qualified to level 3 has decreased. In 2005, 14.8% of Bristol’s working age population were qualified to level 3.

The proportion of Bristol’s working age population qualified to level 4 and over (Honours Degree and higher) is significantly higher than the national average, with 34.5% compared with 29.0% for Great Britain as a whole. This is thought to be a result of the number of undergraduates who chose to settle in the city after graduation.

Return to Achieve Economic Wellbeing page.



[1] Source Annual Population Survey January- December 2008

[2] Working age population refers to people aged 16 and over, up to 59 for women and 64 for men

[3] Qualifications equivalent to GCSEs Grades A*-C

[4] Figure has been reapportioned to include 35% of ‘other Qualifications’ and 50% of trade apprenticeships.

[5] Figures for level 3 have been modified with proportions 10% of ‘other Qualifications’ and 50% of trade apprenticeships.

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