A survey into the training and skill level of the Devon workforce to map shortages and skills gaps experienced by business, with the findings for use in further plans.
Devon is slightly better qualified when compared to the rest of the UK with 81% trained to level 2 or equivalent and 63% to level 3, slightly more than the national average. 38% are qualified to level 4 or above, slightly below the national average of 38% (level 4 is some form of higher education). However, this masks disparities between districts in Devon, with some areas much higher.
The number of students gaining AAB or better at A-level in Devon rose to 21% in 2016/17, although above the South West average, this is lower than the national level of 22.4%. In December 2017 3.9% of under 19’s were NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) in Devon, compared to the latest national average of 9%. Participation has remained around 82% with the majority in education and training (70% approx). There is also a growing move to community learning and traineeships, as well as apprenticeships, including significant amounts of digital skills learning and upskilling.
Apprenticeships form a core method of training the workforce and since 2014/15 there has been an increase in the number of apprenticeship starts. Around 4,200 apprenticeship programmes are completed each year with notably prominent sectors over the last few years being engineering (1,000+), business (1,500+) and public services (2,800+). However, apprenticeships in IT, and science & maths are still low; there were no apprenticeship starts in maths and science in 2015/16, and less than 5 in 16/17.
Despite having 3 universities in the area, retaining graduates in Devon can be a challenge; only 8% of graduates in the South West end up in the Exeter area.