Jobs growth brings decade-high employment rate for young people

women jobless 1

The proportion of young people in work in London is at its highest rate for nearly a decade.  Employment rates have been climbing steadily since the recession and annual figures from the ONS show that 457,000 16-24 year olds were in work in 2015.

Although London presents financial challenges for millennials who want to live and work here, the data from the Annual Population Survey reveals they are finding work at a better rate than at any time since 2006.

It has taken almost a decade for the employment rate of London’s young workforce to hit similar heights as 2006 when 47.4% of them had jobs. After a drop in youth employment rates following the financial crisis of 2008, the picture has gradually become brighter with 47.1% of the capital’s 16-24 year olds now working – a 3.8% increase from the previous year.

employment 16-24-2

The rate of increase for young women in particular has been higher with 5% more in jobs than 2014.

The steady increase in youth employment over the past six years may have contributed to a drop in the proportion of 16-24 year olds who are NEET status (not in employment, education or training).  In 2014, 5000 fewer young people were NEET throughout the capital compared to the previous year as the total number of youngsters with jobs increased by 17,400.  

At the end of 2015 London had the lowest proportion of England’s 16-24 year olds who were NEET at 9.4% 

The proportion of 16-24 year olds in work in the capital is below the national average of 53.5% but London has historically had a much higher rate of people of this age remaining in full-time education than other regions, keeping them out of the workforce.

Source data

See also

Mayoral Election Issues: The Economy and Jobs

Success of creative industries is good news for jobs growth in the capital

Over 750,000 jobs pay less than the living wage in the capital



Far more 16-year-olds staying in school in London than across the UK

students hands up-2Far more young people are staying on in full-time education in London than elsewhere in the country.  Nearly half as many leave school at 16, 22% compared to 40% nationally.

London also has the highest rate of people entering further education after school age, with a third of people studying full time until they are 20 -23.

Leaving age London v UK

This trend for more time in education has been developing over a number of years in both London and the UK and is captured in data gathered by the Office for National Statistics through its Annual Population Survey.  The latest breakdown of these figures at borough level is for 2014 and it shows a wide discrepancy in the age of leaving education across the capital.

Nearly half the young people in Havering and 40% in Bexley leave education at 16.  School leaver rates are also high in Barking and Dagenham, and Enfield.  In comparison, the boroughs in the west of the city have large proportions staying in education. Just 9% in Richmond leave school at 16, 11% in Westminster, 12% in Kensington and Chelsea, and 13% in Wandsworth, and Hammersmith and Fulham.Leaving age boroughsWhen these numbers are combined with those leaving full time education at 19 three quarters of people are out of education in Havering by that age and 60% or more in Enfield, Sutton, Barking and Dagenham, and Bexley.

But in Wandsworth, Camden, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster fewer than a third have left education.

This inner-outer, east-west divide is also evident in those staying in education until aged 24 and over.  In Kensington and Chelsea 22% are in education until this age and it’s nearly 20% I Hammersmith and Fulham, and Westminster.  But Havering has just 4% of people coming out of education at 24 and over, with 5% in Bexley and Enfield.

The data also reveals that some of London’s 16-69 year-old have never been in full-time education. In Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest it is an estimated 3% of the adult population under 70.

Source data

See also

Fight for reception gets tougher as more kids swell primary school demand

105,000 extra secondary pupils pose huge challenge for capital’s schools

Where are all the young people? The in-out flow of 20-something Londoners



The city’s workforce: best qualified in the UK and getting smarter


Photo: pcruciatti ┃

London has the best-qualified workforce in the UK. Nearly half the working-age population has a degree-level or equivalent qualification.

The proportion of people educated and trained to this level (so-called level 4+) has been rising over recent years and remains consistently above the UK average.

Data based on the Annual Population Survey from the Office for National Statistics shows London reached 49% with level 4+ qualifications by the end of last year.

Qualifications 4+ chart

Levels are far higher in some areas of the capital. 9 boroughs in the centre and South West have more than 60% of the workforce with qualifications at level 4+. These include Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, City of London, Richmond and Lambeth. But top spot goes to Wandsworth where almost 70% of people aged 16-64 have a degree or equivalent.

Only Havering, Barking and Dagenham, and Bexley have levels below the national average.

Qualifications 4+ map

The proportion of people with no qualifications was stable through 2013 and 2014 at 8%, a little below the national average. In Barking and Dagenham the rate is nearly double that at just below 16%. Greenwich, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Haringey all have more than 10% of the working population with no qualifications, which is above the national average.

Qualitfications none map

The skills levels of the London workforce has been praised by foreign business owners as an incentive for operating in the city, according to a survey conducted by the GLA, previously reported by Urbs.

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See also

What National Insurance really tells us about London’s overseas workforce

New workers stick together and head north of river as they settle in the capital

How London boroughs will rival the ‘Northern Powerhouse’

Violence, disruption and drugs – why 20,000 pupils were excluded from school last year

School LibraryMore than 22,000 pupils were excluded from primary and secondary schools on a permanent or temporary basis last year. And black children were far more likely to be excluded than white or Asian ones.

Exclusions are given to children for severe or persistent breaches of school rules. In the most serious cases a pupil is permanently prevented from attending the school. In lesser cases a Head Teacher can exclude a child for a fixed period of time.

Children are most commonly excluded for an assault on a fellow pupil. This accounted for 8,000 incidents last year. The other main reason is persistent poor behaviour. But in more than 2,000 cases a teacher or other adult was attacked and children were excluded for drug and alcohol related incidents more than 1,000 times.

Exclusions reaasons

Figures from the Department for Education for the 2013-14 school year show that 780 pupils in London were permanently excluded, 90% of them from secondary schools, though the number from primary schools was up slightly on last year.

Nearly 35,000 fixed period exclusions were handed out, with some children sent home from school for a number of days on more than one occasion. This represents a rate of exclusion of 3.37% of the compulsory school age population compared to an average for England of 3.98%. It means the capital has the lowest rate in the country.

But the overall rate masks a variation in rates among ethnic groups. Black children are excluded at a higher rate than white, while Asian children have the lowest level of exclusion.

Exclusions ethnic

Across London there is a wide range in the rate of exclusion, from 6.3% in Hackney to just 1.6% in Kingston for pupils sent home for fixed terms. Across London last year nearly 94,000 school days were lost to children on temporary exclusion

Exclusions map fixed

To understand borough patterns for the smaller number of permanent exclusions where parents have to find an alternative school for their child Urbs looked at the data over 5 years – 2009-14. This showed 7 boroughs with more than 200 exclusions and 5 with 60 or fewer.

Exclusion map permanent

According to the Department of Education 14-year olds have the highest rate of exclusion and boys are 3 times more likely to be excluded as girls.

Source data

See also

34,000 pupils could be without a secondary school place in next 5 years

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils

Newham formally lists fewer kids for special needs support than other boroughs

34,000 pupils could be without a secondary school place in next 5 years

school desk handsParents in London are familiar with the struggle to find primary school places for their children. The shortage is now feeding through to secondary schools and a local government organisation says London will face a shortfall of 34,000 places between now and 2020.

London Councils, which represents the 32 boroughs and the City of London, is warning the government that the capital’s secondary schools are facing a shortfall crisis unless more funding is given to build more schools or expand existing ones.

The organisation says that there will be a 3% growth each year in primary school pupils until the end of the decade, which means 80,000 more children. The impending problem for secondary schools is compounded by higher than average growth in primary school numbers over the past 5 years.

The organisation forecasts that this will mean an increase in secondary school pupils across London from 488,000 to 561,000 by 2020. This if 5 times more than the growth between 2010-15 and current capacity can cope with fewer than 40,000 more pupils.

See also

Private school? Depends where you live

Our multi-lingual city – English second language for half of primary pupils

The problem for London is particularly acute with a growth rate of 15% in the secondary school population compare to 9% for the rest of England.

London Councils says that in recent years boroughs have used there own resources to supplement central government funding to keep pace with demand for school places, but more government funding is now needed.

Peter John of London Councils said: “In recent years there has been a shortfall of around £1 billion between the real cost of school places and the money councils receive. Boroughs have received just 59% of the cost of new school places provided, closing the gap by selling assets, borrowing or drawing from other sources of funding within the council.”

London Councils used the data the boroughs provide to the Department for Education on school places to make the forecast and published its findings in a paper entitled The London Equation.

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils

dreamstime_s_6081706London has long been an ethnically diverse city and data from primary schools reveal the recent trends in the population groups and where they live.

Over the past 7 years the proportion of primary school children who are classified as white British has gone down from 37% to 27%. In comparison, the average figure for the rest of England is 69%. The biggest change in any ethnic group over the period has been the increase in children classified as white non-British. This group has increased from 8.9% of primary age children in 2007 to 13.4% today and can be explained by the arrival of people from EU countries.

As our chart shows, there has also been an increase in children of mixed race and children classified as Asian. Most of the growth in the Asian group is in Pakistani children, rising from 3.7% in 2007 to 4.4% today. The proportion of Indian and Bangladeshi children has changed little.

Primary pupils ethnic mix

The proportion of Black children in primary schools has remained steady at around 20%. In 2007 African children were roughly twice the number of Caribbean children. Their numbers have grown and the proportion of children of Caribbean origin has fallen slightly.

Urbs used the data produced by the Department for Education to map the city, revealing the broad patterns of population.

There are significantly higher proportions of white British children in the outer boroughs in the south and the east. In Havering it is 68% yet in nearby Newham a tenth of that. There are high proportions of white British children in Bexley, Bromley, Sutton and Richmond.

Primary pupils white brit

The proportions of non-British white children are more evenly spread but with much higher concentrations in the northern boroughs of Enfield, Haringey, Brent and Waltham Forest.

Primary pupils white other

Asian families coming to London have long settled in the East End. That legacy lives on and 65% of primary pupils in Tower Hamlets are classified as Asian. Newham and Redbridge also have a high percentage of Asian children, as does Harrow in the north west of the city.

Primary pupils asian

The black population is more uniformly spread with highest proportions south of the river in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham. Richmond and Kingston have very few black pupils.

Primary pupils black


Source data

See also:

Our multi-lingual city – English second language for half of primary pupils

London leads in places for poorer students

Private school? Depends where you live

London drives UK population growth


History gives city the edge in adapting to change in future

St paul's domeLondon is the city best equipped to adapt and thrive in a changing world due it its historical commitment to education, technology and openness to the world, according to PwC in it’s Cities of Opportunity report.

London topped the rankings of 30 global cities for the first time, as reported by Urbs. The cities were ranked under 10 different categories that were determined by 59 data points and a survey of 15,000 of PwC’s staff around the globe. The company split the 10 categories into 3 broad areas – Tools for a changing world, Quality of Life and Economics.

London scored particularly well in the first area. This included 3 of the 10 categories – intellectual capital, technology readiness and city gateway. London gained second spot for intellectual capital but was top in the other two.

The criteria for intellectual capital included the literacy and maths skills, the percentage of people in higher education, world rankings for universities, innovation and the entrepreneurial environment. London rose from sixth place last time. It scored highly for the quality of its universities, but lower for maths skills and literacy.

Technology readiness looked at Internet access, broadband quality, software development and the digital economy. London scored highly for software development and moved up from eighth place overall to share the top spot with Seoul.

As a city gateway giving it global access London won convincingly, according to PwC. It seems that all flights, if not all roads, lead to London as it had the highest passenger flows. It also scored highly not just for being connected to the world but as an attractive destination for tourists and workers.

PwC Tools for changing the world – Top 10 cities
Intellectual Capital Technology Readiness City Gateway
1 Paris London/Seoul = 1 London
2 London Beijing
3 San Francisco Stockholm Singapore
4 Stockholm Hong Kong Hong Kong
5 Toronto New York Tokyo
6 New York San Francisco Madrid
7 Los Angeles Los Angeles Paris
8 Sydney Singapore Dubai
9 Chicago Chicago Shanghai
10 Tokyo Tokyo New York

Source data

See also

Economic clout helps London to another global cities crown


Newham formally lists fewer kids for special needs support than other boroughs

Photo: © BCritchley |

Newham gives a statement of special educational needs to far fewer children than all the other London boroughs.  The average rate for London is 2.8% of pupils.  In Newham it is just 0.8%.

37,000 of London’s 1.4 million pupils have a statement of special educational needs, the formal document that details their learning difficulties and the help that is to be provided for them. The rate for London is in line with the national average and has been steady for the past 7 years.  In Newham the rate has been falling since 2002.

There are some modest variations in rates across boroughs but the lower rate for Newham stands out.  The data produced by local autorities for the Department of Education shows that in the neigbouring boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Barking and Dagenham it is 3.6% and 2.3%. The low rate for the City of London can be explained by the small number of pupils there. Newham had 57,600 school pupils in 2014.  Redbridge, Barnet and Ealing had similar numbers and their rate of statements is in line with London and national averages.

Special Educational Needs map

Newham says that it operates a different system to other boroughs providing funding to schools for special educational needs support without formal statements.  It says that 2.4% of childern, covering those with and without statements, are receiving such funding in the borough.

A request for a formal statement can be made by parents or a school.  The council then decides whether or not to assess the child.  An assessment may include talking to the parents, school, doctors, educational psychologists and, in some instances, social services.  If a statement is issued it will give details of the child’s needs and an undertaking of the help to be provided. Parents are also given the right to choose a school for their child.

The most frequent reason for a statement according to the Department for Education is to support a child who is on the autistic spectrum.

Many children without a formal statement receive additional support in schools. The most frequent need is to help children with behavioural, emotional or social difficulties.

London leads in places for poorer students

London’s newer universities are leading the way in providing opportunities for students from under-privileged backgrounds.

Across England around a third of students come from poorer families. But data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency looking at participation of under-represented groups in UK universities found that 7 of London’s universities take 50% or more.

Students copyThe London role of honour is:

  • Institute of Education (64%)
  • University of Greenwich (56%)
  • Middlesex University (56%)
  • University of East London (54%)
  • London Metropolitan (53%)
  • London South Bank (51%)
  • University of Westminster (50%)

These universities also have a very high level of students from state rather than independent schools, above the national average of 90%.

London has the second highest proportion of independent schools in the country (as reported by Urbs) and there is a marked variation in student admissions from the state sector in London. This ranges from all places going to state educated pupils at Middlesex to just over a third at the Royal Academy of Music. The smaller specialist colleges take far more students from the independent sector.

The more established London institutions that have become global brands, such as LSE, UCL and Kings, have about two thirds of students from the state sector, which is in line with the intake at Oxford and Cambridge.

 Source data


Better prospects for young Londoners

NEETs_LondonLondon is doing better than the rest of England when it comes to finding jobs and training for 16-18 year-olds or persuading them to stay on at school. Government figures released in March 2015 show that 3.4%of 16-18 year-olds can be classified at NEETS (not in employment, education or training). Across the country that figure is 4.7%.

Neets England 2

London has seen the proportion of NEETS on a downward trend since 2009 and the gap with the rest of the country opened up in October 2014. The proportion of NEETS in the North East of England is now double that of London.
Across the capital only three boroughs are failing to beat the national average – Barking and Dagenham, Islington and Greenwich.

Neets map 2


Source data