Qualifications are increasingly important as we move towards a higher-skilled and knowledge-based economy. There are now few jobs around that require no qualifications and in the future there is expected to be even fewer. By 2020, the Government expects that 40% of all jobs will require a degree level qualification.

Higher qualifications = higher wages

Employers are prepared to pay higher wages to people who have the qualifications and skills that they want. On average, people with higher levels of qualification earn more than those with lower qualifications.

In the North East region, a Nurse with Level 6 qualifications will expect to earn £30,656pa. A Bricklayer with Level 3 qualifications might earn £22,581pa.  However, someone earning the adult National Minimum Wage will be paid just over £13,124pa (for a 40 hour week). Many jobs pay much more than the National Minimum Wage and those in jobs that require higher skills and qualifications could have additional earnings as high as half a million to three quarters of a million pounds over a working life-time. Looked at this way, the extra earning potential which qualifications and skills provide is like a win on the National Lottery.

Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (2013).

National Average Weekly Wage by Highest Qualification

Tyne and Wear Earnings 2013

Source: Labour Force Survey (2012) ONS © Crown Copyright.

Note: Data is based on mean average wage for main job across the UK. Data relates to gross pay (before any tax and other deductions).

Young people aged 16 and 17 are entitled to the National Minimum Wage but at a lower rate than the 'adult' rate. Those on Apprenticeships who are aged under 19 or in their first year of an Apprenticeship are entitled to an Apprenticeship rate.

Original written material and template Copyright @ Focus LMI 2014. The information may be used by Connexions Hub Services in Tyne and Wear and its partners for the use of delivering careers education and guidance and aspects of the Work Related Curriculum in schools and colleges. However, the information may not be used by any party for commercial purposes and the original material or template cannot be amended or updated without the written permission of Focus LMI.