Parts of Wakefield among the most deprived in the UK

editorial image

Large parts of Wakefield are among the most deprived areas for education and skilled jobs anywhere in the UK, a new study has revealed.

Around 28 per cent of neighbourhoods in the city were classed as being among the country’s poorest for schooling, training and skills.

Places in Knottingley, Hemsworth and South Emsall and Normanton are among the most deprived.

A number of factors were considered in the findings, including secondary school absence, the number of pupils who stay in education after sitting their GCSEs and university figures.

The survey looked at levels of deprivation in the Leeds City Region, which covers all of West Yorkshire, Barnsley and parts of North Yorkshire.

Alongside a graph showing figures, the report said: “Skills deprivation is most prevalent in Barnsley, Bradford and Wakefield.”

It also showed that overall poverty in Wakefield remains a problem, with nearly 15 per cent of the city classed as being among the most deprived in the UK.

And the levels of education provision is having a knock-on effect on the city’s labour market it would seem, with the number of people unable to work also high.

Around a quarter of Wakefield workers are paid less than the living wage of £8.45 an hour, though that figure is relatively typical.

There is a significant gap in productivity between the Leeds City Region and the UK average. In its conclusions WYCA said there was “no sign” of this shrinking.

It said: “A weak skills base plays a key part in this deficit.”

It added that although more people were receiving job-related training, low skilled-workers were less likely to receive it.

Murray Edwards, from the charity Wakefield and District Community Foundation, said all kinds of poverty remained a huge problem across the area.

He said: “We recently gave out £10,000 in fuel poverty grants between January and March. The amount of applications we had from people just showed how many people in the district can’t afford to put electricity in the meter.

“Part of the reason this is the case is a shrinking in public funding, so organisations that would have been able to help in the past can’t anymore.”