DUDLEY people are more likely to be poor with less chance of a good job according to statistics revealed by the council.

A public inquiry into plans for a new university was presented with data about how deprivation, low earnings, benefits dependency and poor school results in the borough  compares with the rest of the nation.

The decline is a result of the loss of jobs in mining, glass-making and iron and steel since the 1970s.

Dudley’s director of regeneration, Helen Martin, said: “The town struggles to retain higher-skilled workers in the area, as many commute out to Birmingham and the wider West Midlands conurbation. 

“Alongside concentrations of deprivation within the borough where disadvantaged communities are excluded from the labour market, there is a growing need for targeted intervention to ensure that residents can gain the skills and experience needed to enter and progress in the labour market, and businesses are able to attract highly skilled workers to improve their competitiveness.”

In 2020 the number of people in Dudley with no qualifications was 11.3 percent, in the West Midlands the level was 8.5 percent and in the UK it stood at 6.6 percent.

Since 2015 the Attainment 8 score, which focuses on achievement in eight subjects including English and maths for school age pupils, has been lower in Dudley every year than the West Midlands and the UK.

At A-level, in 2020 13.8 percent of Dudley students got grades of AAB or above compared with 24.2 percent in England while the proportion of working age people with an NVQ level 4 or above qualification in Dudley is currently 30.9 percent compared to 43 percent for England.

In figures from December 2012, 10,625 people in Dudley aged from 16 to 64 were claiming benefits principally due to unemployment which is 5.5 percent of the population, the  level for England as a whole is 4.5 percent.

Boroughwide there were 13,600 households with at least one person of working age where no one aged 16 or over was in employment, which is 15.2 percent compared to 13 percent in England. 

Large scale unemployment can lead to high levels of deprivation, in Dudley 28.1 percent of the population live in areas that are in the 20 percent most deprived in England.

Latest data on earnings show salaries in Dudley are seven percent lower than the national average for England.

The new centre, which will be the first higher education campus in Dudley, is a collaboration between Dudley College and the University of Worcester to focus on providing courses in the healthcare sector.

It is intended to be the latest part of a drive to bring new educational opportunities to the borough in a bid to move away from traditional industries and keep highly skilled workers in the region.

Helen Martin said: “The new facility will significantly raise aspirations and ambitions amongst the local community by bringing high quality facilities into a community that suffers from low levels of educational engagement and multigenerational levels of worklessness.

“The scheme will make a significant contribution to the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of the area and deliver significant benefits supporting the regeneration objectives of the town centre and the wider borough.”