25 July 2011

Cornubia est omnis divisa in partes sescentas

Another story which shows Cornwall divided into parts. Using data from the Office for national statistics (ONS), the University and College Union (UCU) has published an interesting and revealing table listing the constituencies of Britain and the proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in each of them who have no formal qualifications. The table is here and here.

I have extracted the data for the Cornwall constituencies, the percentage of people resident in the constituency aged 16-64 who have no formal qualifications and, based on that, the ranking of that constituency out of the 632 ones in Great Britain (where 1st/632 is best, that is, the lowest percentage of unqualified people in the constituency):

Camborne and Redruth 19.6 percent with no qualifications, 597th/632
North Cornwall 16.0, 529
St Austell and Newquay 14.8, 493
Truro and Falmouth 10.5, 296
South East Cornwall 6.4, 96
St Ives 6.0, 83

The mean average for England is 11.1 pc.

Note that the data for St Ives is based on a small sample.

The data refers to people resident in the constituencies at present; it does not refer to the home residences of people when they obtained their qualifications.

Nevertheless, the differences are startling and I repeat again that Cornwall is not one place; there are many Cornwalls. We must learn from the most successful and target intervention where it is needed. It does not usually make sense to see Cornwall as one uniform place, as nationalism tends to do; and it is not sensible to have countywide policies which do not recognise the needs of different parts of Cornwall.

Even within the constituencies there will be notable differences between some wards.

There are several posts on the blog which illustrate the
variations in Cornwall. For an example of nationalist misplaced generalisation about Cornwall and education see this post MK, schools, and the City of London. For an example of different circumstances across Cornwall see Tackling poverty in Cornwall 2011.