Post-16 Education and Training

Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)

Annual data for 2015 showed that 4.4% of young people aged 16-18 were not in education, employment or training (NEET). This was very similar to the England average (4.2%) and has reduced every year since 2011, when 7.6% of young people were NEET.


The number of Advanced apprenticeship starts rose slightly last year and the number of Higher starts increased from 170 to 250 (see chart below). Intermediate level are the most common apprenticeships started, and these typically lead to a Level 2 qualification (equivalent to five good GCSE passes). Higher level apprenticeships lead to a Level 4 or above qualification. The split of Higher, to Advanced, to Intermediate level is very similar to the England average.

Source: FE Data Library

In total, there were 4,100 apprenticeship starts in 2016/17, up 1.2% from the previous year. Across England as a whole starts fell by 3.6%, and across the Leeds City Region they fell 3.8%. Apprenticeships span a wide range of subjects, with 30% of starts being in the business, administration and law sector (see table below).

Apprenticeship starts by sector 2016/17. Source: FE Data Library

A Levels

There are no official A Level participation rates published, but crude rates can be calculated using exam entrant numbers. Accordingly, 25% of Wakefield’s 18 –year-olds took at least one A Level in 2016, compared to 35% across England as a whole. Conversely, 25% of the district’s 18-year olds took a tech level or applied general Level 3 qualification, compared to just 18% across England. Of the 974 students entered for an A Level or Applied A Level in 2016, 341 were male and 633 were female. This gender bias is much more pronounced in Wakefield than it is across England as a whole. By contrast, male students were more likely than female students to take tech level qualifications.

Results for 2016 show the average points score per A Level entry (29.7) was only slightly lower than the England average (31.8) (all schools, not just state funded), but only 8.5% of pupils achieved AAB grades or better, compared to 17.0% across England as a whole.

English is the A-Level subject studied most often in Wakefield, followed by psychology and sociology (it’s the same across the English state-sector as a whole). Business studies and law make up a higher proportion of total Wakefield entries than is seen across England as a whole (see table below).

Top-20 most popular A Levels. Source: FE Data Library