Since 1999 The Coalfields Regeneration Trust has invested in programmes that have engaged people back in learning, improved basic skills and vocational qualifications and created new apprenticeships.

Significant challenges remain and the next generation of children and young people will be less likely to compete with their peers in other parts of the UK without a renewed focus on increasing educational attainment and investing in higher skills.

Across Britain as a whole, 48 per cent of the employed workforce are in manual occupations. In London the proportion falls as low as 38 per cent. The average in the coalfields, in contrast, is that 57 percent work in manual occupations.

All the coalfields of England, Scotland and Wales have an occupational structure that is skewed towards manual occupations. This also creates a higher exposure to job displacement risks through automation and the advances in artificial intelligence.

The coalfields have higher proportions of workers with few or no formal qualifications. In the English and Welsh coalfields, the proportion of the working age population with low or no qualifications is roughly 60 per cent higher than in London and 40 per cent higher than in South England.

Our programmes to date have increased the skills and qualifications of more than 1.3m people. For further examples of the impact we are making please visit: https://thecoalfieldsregenerationtrust.rit.org.uk/Pages/Category/on-skills