Word cloud
This week: NIACE and CESI team up on Innovation Code, latest on Growth Deals, Exeter Science Park, skills shortages, Working Futures labour market projections by sector for South West England and the ‘You’re Hired!’ employability competition. Last  week we looked at SME Growth and the Long-Term Economic Plan for South West England, focussing on Jobs, Tourism, Transport and Defence.

A new strategic alliance for learning, skills and employment has been struck between the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI), who announced details of the new strategy on Monday the 2nd of February.  The Innovation Code – which allows providers to develop a qualification while delivering the course – is increasing employer engagement in the skills system and helps providers be more responsive to the needs of both employers and learners.

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister visited the Heart of the South West recently, announcing £455 million of investment for the Heart of the South West. The Local Enterprise Partnership welcomed Government’s Growth Deal announcement. The Prime Minister has announced a major boost to Exeter’s cutting-edge weather and climate research, with a £10million cash injection for the Exeter Science Park.  A welcome boost as Devon and Cornwall continue to struggle with low job applicant numbers as wages continue to rise more slowly than in the rest of the country, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk.  Westcountry employers have vowed to expand their workforce and create more permanent jobs despite a skills time bombing ticking in certain sectors.

Data workbooks from the UKCES Working Futures programme have recently been updated, providing labour market projections by industry sector for both the South West of England and England from 2012 to 2022.

The recently launched You’re Hired! year 12 employability competition was established and delivered by a number of Plymouth businesses who are well on their way to finding “Plymouth’s Most Employable 17-year-old” for 2015.

…and finally, this will be my last newsletter for Marchmont – at least for a while – as I’m moving on to explore pastures new. For anyone who wishes to stay in touch in the interim, my details are:   my1stmonkey@gmail.com   Twitter: @my1stmonkey   LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/kevinaggett   WordPress: https://ka240.wordpress.com.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

“Strategic planning is worthless – unless there is first a strategic vision”

John Naisbitt

Headlines

Further Education

Prime Minister’s announcement ‘desperately disappointing’ for colleges
Martin Doel Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC) responds to the Conservative Party’s announcement to protect the schools budget.

‘Teenage drop-outs failed by poor careers advice’
Too many teenagers in England are dropping out of school or college or failing to pass their courses, because of poor advice, say councillors.

Get familiar with European education policies through the School Education Gateway
A new website, the School Education Gateway, shall provide clear information on education initiatives across Europe. The website is aimed primarily at teachers and school staff, as well as education sector experts and organisations.

Government launches 750 apprenticeships for talented young people
The government has nearly quadrupled the number of Civil Service apprenticeships for talented young people across the UK.

MP visits science students after plea for support
Students have welcomed a visit from South Swindon MP Robert Buckland to talk about the work of the Science Learning Partnership.

Higher Education

New HEPI book – ‘What Do I Get?’ – Ten essays on student fees, student engagement and student choice
The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) is publishing its first book – ‘What do I get?’ – Ten essays on student fees, student engagement and student choice.

HECSU – New research fund for careers staff
The Higher Education Careers Support Unit (HECSU) are offering a £50,000 Research Fund to support the research interests of careers staff in HECSU member institutions. The funding is available exclusively to projects led by staff at universities that are HECSU members, with up to £5,000 available for each individual project.

Swindon’s teenagers less likely to go on to higher education
Only 520 more teens in the South West have applied to go to University this year than last, according to the latest figures.

Government outlines higher education funding priorities for 2015 to 2016
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has issued its annual Grant Letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Funding for higher education in England for 2015-16 – HEFCE grant letter from BIS
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Minister for Universities and Science have today confirmed funding allocations to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) for financial year 2015-16.

Sector Skills

Private sector employment indicator – August to October 2014
Quarterly indicator monitoring the private sector employment growth over time, up to October 2014.

ONS to measure UK ‘green economy’
How many UK businesses are involved in the production of low carbon and renewable energy and how much does the sector contribute to the economy as a whole? The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is launching a major new survey that will assess the value of the ‘green economy’.

Hinkley Point £128m community fund ‘not new money’ fear
Sedgemoor District Council has raised concerns of how a £128m community fund linked to Hinkley Point’s planned power station will be funded by government.

Aerospace skills partnership takes off
Skills specialist Semta is flying high after joining forces with industry giants to deliver a £100 million boost for the UK aerospace sector announced by the Government.

£100 million to propel future of aerospace industry
Six projects will share £80 million for aerospace research to help deliver growth and innovation in key areas of technology.

Air Tightness and Effective Moisture Management – fully subsidised training
The Built Environment Sustainability Training (BEST) is offering flexible, fully subsidised training to develop knowledge and skills in the latest sustainability practices for the existing Built Environment workforce of Wales.

Tech Nation – Prime Minister and Chancellor welcome launch
The Prime Minister and Chancellor welcomed the launch of Tech Nation, the first comprehensive analysis of the UK’s digital technology ‘clusters’.

How creative reward can drive innovation
Innovation certainly does lurk beyond the c-suite, as Grace Lewis pointed out in her recent PM opinion piece.

From traditional trades to creative careers
How can young people apply traditional trade skills to the creative industries? We’ve been working with our education partners and industry practitioners to help students find out through a series of workshops.

Growth & Trade

Economic review – February 2015
The key economic stories from National Statistics produced over the latest month, painting a coherent picture of the UK economic performance using recent economic data.

HoSW LEP Funding Update
The recent announcement of £65.2m Growth Deal funding enables specific projects approved by Government to be delivered in this latest successful bid.

£500m investment secured to drive growth in the Solent
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the Government which will see an extra £27.1m invested in the Solent area between 2016 and 2021.

“Meet a Mentor” events for female entrepreneurs
Business mentoring for female business owners across the country.

Bristol gets £18m for Engine Shed 2, business broadband and 3 traffic-busting schemes
The Government is giving another £18 million to Bristol to build a new business centre, fund better broadband for companies and tackle congestion at three pinch points.

Employment

Benefit and tax credit expenditure growth from 1951 to 2015
Real terms growth in benefit and tax credit expenditure during each Parliament from 1951 to 2015.

Quarter of UK workforce receive insufficient training and development
A lack of training and development for the UK’s workforce is a “significant concern” for the future of business, experts have warned, after research revealed that 25 per cent of UK employees believe they receive insufficient support from their employers.

CIPD – Leading a team is not a long-term ambition for Gen Y
A mismatch between what employers think younger workers want from a job and what is actually most important to them could mean a critical shortage of managers in ten years’ time, research has revealed.

Webinars, e-learning, emails and videos on employing people
Help and support from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about being an employer.

Trade Unions

TUC – Young people must register to vote for job security and better pay
New analysis published by the TUC today (Thursday) to coincide with National Voter Registration Day reveals that young people – who are currently the least likely to vote – are getting an especially rough deal on pay and job security.

UK Research Publications

Career guidance in unstable times – linking economic, social and individual benefits
Illustrates – by means of case study summaries – the economic, social and individual benefits of career guidance in difficult economic times.

Employment regulation and the labour market
How does the UK’s employment rights framework affect labour market outcomes, and how does the UK compare with other countries?

The IFS Green Budget pre-release chapter – earnings since the recession
Argues that although employment for 16- to 64-year-olds is back to its 2008 Q1 rate, average earnings remain well below their pre-crisis level. That weak productivity has underpinned both of these features of the labour market. Concludes that the falls in both measures of annual real earnings growth since before the crisis are of a similar magnitude, therefore the drop in overall earnings is not driven only by people starting a new job.

Workplace trends of 2015 – what they mean for you
Expert commentary addressing five of the key workplace trends in 2015 and what you need to know about how they will develop throughout the year. 1) What will employment relations teach us about building skills and improving productivity in the workplace? 2) What part will a typical contracts play in the future of working life? 3) Will conflict be better managed informally in the workplace? 4) What role will social platforms play in promoting employee voice? …and 5) Will flexible forms of working be the answer to work-life balance?

Employment and the circular economy – job creation in a more resource efficient Britain
Shows that existing environmental and economic challenges are linked. Argues that improving resource efficiency presents a valuable contribution to improving Britain’s labour market situation.

Cities outlook 2015
The Centre for Cities annual health check of the largest cities and towns asks: how has policy impacted on UK city performance over the last 10 years?

Talent Match case study theme report – partnership working and development
Argues that the success of the Talent Match Programme will largely depend on its ability to facilitate effective partnership working. Consequently, partnership theme-based research was conducted in the Greater Manchester; Leicester & Leicestershire and Sheffield City Region partnerships.

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

 

UK Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points for September to November 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Comparing the estimates for September to November 2014 with those for June to August 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes maintain the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.
  • There were 30.80 million people in work. This was 37,000 more than for June to August 2014, the smallest quarterly increase since March to May 2013. Comparing September to November 2014 with a year earlier, there were 512,000 more people in work.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, unchanged from June to August 2014 but higher than for a year earlier (72.0%).
  • There were 1.91 million unemployed people. This was 58,000 fewer than for June to August 2014, the smallest quarterly fall since July to September 2013. Comparing September to November 2014 with a year earlier, there were 418,000 fewer unemployed people.
  • The unemployment rate was 5.8%, lower than for June to August 2014 (6.0%) and lower than for a year earlier (7.1%). The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
  • There were 9.09 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 66,000 more than for June to August 2014 and 41,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (the inactivity rate) was 22.4%, slightly higher than for June to August 2014 (22.2%) and for a year earlier (22.3%).
  • Comparing September to November 2014 with a year earlier, pay for employees in Great Britain increased by 1.7% including bonuses and by 1.8% excluding bonuses.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

 

 

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

  • Download PDF
  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the East of England and the South East (76.6%) and lowest in Wales (68.7%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (8.5%) and lowest in the South West (4.4%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (25.9%) and lowest in the East of England (19.3%).
  • The headline Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (4.3%) and lowest in the South East and South West (1.5%).
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Labour market projections for England
Data workbooks from the UKCES Working Futures programme, providing labour market projections for the South West of England from 2012 to 2022.

Labour market projections for the South West of England
Data workbooks from the UKCES Working Futures programme, providing labour market projections for England from 2012 to 2022.

What does skills policy look like now the money has run out?
Poses questions about what the future might look like for the education and training system as a whole and for FE in particular. Proposes that the policy world and funding regime which colleges have known over the last 20 years or more is rapidly drawing to an end and that a new era of austerity and very sharply reduced public funding is dawning.

Engaging small and medium enterprises in work experience and apprenticeships in London
Identifies good practice and challenges in engaging small and medium enterprises in work experience and apprenticeships in London.

European Programmes – Latest

ESF 2007 to 2013 – newsletters – updated 5 Feb 2015
Read the European Social Fund newsletter for local and national news about good practice, funding opportunities, events, awards and more.

UK perspectives – the UK in a European context
Presents interactive charts on the UK’s population and economy in a European context, illustrating how it compares with the other 27 member states of the European Union (EU).

Sector Skills Publications

The geography of the UK’s creative and high-tech economies
The first systematic analysis of employment in the UK’s creative and high-tech economies. Analyses their size, growth and distribution across the country.

Events

Employer Apprenticeship Breakfasts in Swindon & Wiltshire
24 February 2015, 07:00 – 09:30, UTC Swindon, Bristol Street, Swindon, Wiltshire SN1 5ET

24/02/2015 – The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the Skills Funding Agency and GWP invite you to join them at a breakfast meeting to celebrate apprenticeships. Employers will have the opportunity to; learn about how apprenticeships can help their organisation, find out more about progression opportunities onto higher level apprenticeships to support their higher level skills needs and hear about the Government’s apprenticeship reform programme.

Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central LondonNext steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central London

23/04/2015 – David Sweeney, Director, HEFCE will be speaking at this seminar, which is scheduled to follow publication of this year’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system by which the quality of research from UK HEIs is assessed – with significant implications.

Cogent – Apprenticeship Showcase & Job Opportunities
9 March 2015, 18:00 – 21:00, Alderley Park Conference Centre,

09/03/2015 – AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, is to host an Apprenticeship, Careers and Jobs Fair event on Monday 9th March 2015 (during National Apprenticeship Week) in support of the Cheshire Science Corridor agenda. The Cheshire Science Corridor will link a series of centres of excellence, based between Macclesfield, Thornton and Daresbury into the science and research community of Manchester.

Towards a sustainable agenda: Local and regional policy choices
29 April 2015, University of the West of England, Bristol

29/04/2015 – Call for papers in the field of: Green jobs, Growth and agglomeration, Impacts of creative industries, Access to markets and services, Innovation and competitiveness, Spatial productivity disparities and Low wages and high prices. Email: Don Webber or call 0117 32 83416 for details.

 

Word Cloud

This week: SME Growth and the Long-Term Economic Plan for South West England, focussing on Jobs, Tourism, Transport and Defence. Last week we looked at older workers, soft skills, the digital economy, ‘Fit for Nuclear’ fund & Universities’ contributions to European Structural & Investment Funds.

2014 was the strongest year for small business growth since 2001, with Small and Mid-sized Enterprise (SME) income growth at 7.4%. Regionally income growth was strongest in the South West, according to data released by Barclays Bank.

The six-point Long-Term Economic Plan for South West England, announced by Government earlier this week has jobs, transport, tourism and defence at its heart. The plan includes 1) increasing the size of the regional economy by £6.4bn, 2) creating over 150,000 new jobs in the South West 3) delivering ~£7.2 billion of investment in transport, rail & digital connectivity, with 95% superfast broadband connectivity by 2017 4) supporting the tourism sector, creating around 7,000 additional jobs 5) ensuring the world class defence assets & cyber security industry of the region, and 6) building on the Region’s existing reputation in life & agricultural sciences and boosting science more broadly, supporting tech clusters & green energy.

Finance from the Coastal Communities Fund will also support projects that will create nearly 3,000 jobs and almost 1,500 apprenticeships and training places across the country. It is the biggest round of cash provided by the Fund for schemes that are also attracting £36million in additional financing. The Tate St Ives is one of many seaside attractions across the South West to benefit from the record boost growth in coastal areas.

This comes as tourism in the Westcountry is in need of “a level playing field and urgent action from the Government” if it is to thrive, say industry leaders. In terms of skills shortages, the latest insight report from People 1st suggests that around six percent of hospitality and tourism businesses have vacancies for managerial positions and 42% of these are already considered hard to fill.

The University of Exeter has recently been recognised as one of the 100 most international universities in the world.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

“Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures for long-term values.” – Joshua L. Liebman

Sector Skills – Headlines

£1 million available to help UK manufacturing firms develop skills to maximise value of innovation
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has launched a new competition challenging manufacturing firms to maximise the value of innovation.

Gloucestershire Growth Deal secures a further 15 million pounds
GFirst LEP have secured further funding for Gloucestershire as part of the recent Gloucestershire Growth Deal; an additional £15 million, adding to the £62.5 million confirmed in July 2014, that is being invested into the county.

Hinkley Point nuclear deal faces fresh delay
The UK’s parliamentary watchdog has abandoned plans to scrutinise the Hinkley Point C nuclear project after predicting that a deal over state support would not be struck before May’s general election.

South West employees are happiest in UK with their pay rates
Despite despondency over current pay levels, more than half of British workers said they were hoping for a wage increase in the coming year.

Maritime and shipping statistics
Maritime and shipping statistics information.

New innovation fund to support fresh construction ideas
A new ‘innovation fund’ has been launched in the construction sector, to enhance health and safety standards while developing people’s skills.

Construction comeback set to create over 200,000 jobs
A resurgence of growth in the regions and nations is driving a strong construction comeback, which is set to create more than 200,000 construction jobs and expand the sector by up to 2.9%, year-on-year, according to new research released today by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

British Telecom Competition for SMEs
BT launches national competition to find SMEs with most innovative ideas for government £15,000 top prize for winner along with support from BT and TechHub. BT is looking for SMEs with innovative ideas to help the government meet the changing needs of people across the UK.

Automotive Industrial Partnership welcomed by UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES)
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has welcomed an £11.3 million skills boost for the automotive sector.

Further Education

Apprenticeship vacancies up by almost a third
The number of apprenticeship vacancies hits a high as the nation’s employers back a new generation of workers.

Improvements to the quality and assessment of functional skills
Awarding organisations are improving functional skills qualifications to better reflect the achievements of students and meet employers’ needs.

Improvements to Functional Skills ‘vital for learners and employers’
The improvements that awarding organisations are making to current Functional Skills qualifications have been highlighted in a report published by Ofqual today.

Fit for work, fit for life
All young people should have equal access to sport, physical activity and competition, according to AoC Sport’s blueprint, launched today.

Does human space flight influence the uptake of STEM subjects?
UK Space Agency funds new research project.

£250,000 funding announced for more than 1,500 new training opportunities
In Somerset, residents of Writhlington Court have taken on a gardening service that’s making savings of £50 per household each year – going straight back to the community

Higher Education

AGCAS – Placement and Work Based Learning Task Group vacancy
The AGCAS Placement and Work Based Learning Task Group has a vacancy for a new member.

Postdoc diaries – six months on from the job hunt
Excerpt from The Guardian’s Postdoc Diary series gets back in touch with two PhD graduates six months on from defending their viva to see if they’ve finally secured work

HEFCE to support closer working between higher education and police
HEFCE is contributing to a new initiative to support more effective responses to cutting crime.

Space race makes University of the West of England’s campus fit to face the future
An estate master plan will help the institution equip students for the 21st century, v-c Steve West says.

High proportion of graduate employers still can’t fill vacancies, finds AGR
More than two-fifths (45 per cent) of graduate employers had one or more unfilled job last year, the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has found.

2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) reports published
A number of documents have been published on the REF web-site.

Record numbers graduate with first-class degrees
Record numbers of UK students graduated with a top degree last summer, according to new figures.

Growth & Trade

Gross Domestic Product Preliminary Estimate, Q4 2014
Output increased in two of the four main industrial groupings within the economy in Q4 2014. In order of their contribution, output increased by 0.8% in services and 1.3% in agriculture. In contrast, output decreased by 1.8% in construction and 0.1% in production.

Strategic projects funding
The BAT funds a number of projects each year across the following four priority areas: 1) Environmental protection and minimising human impacts, 2) Education and outreach, 3) Heritage, and 4) Governance and promoting UK sovereignty. Deadline Friday 6 March 2015.

Mentors needed for workplace skills scheme in Torbay
An award scheme focused on developing key workplace skills for young people in Torbay is looking for inspirational business leaders to become mentors.

Lack of understanding around salaries ‘not surprising’
Richard Atkins, President of the Association of Colleges (AoC), comments on research by the Edge Foundation: ‘Teenagers and parents wide of the mark with top earning UK careers’.

Partner toolkits now available for National Apprenticeship WeekA range of National Apprenticeship Week toolkits are available to help partners get involved in the week.

TUC – More investment in jobs and wages is needed
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady responds to the earnings chapter published today (Friday) from the forthcoming Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) Green Budget.

Employment

Jobcentre Plus free services to help employers reduce costs and grow their business
A summary of the free services Jobcentre Plus offers to employers to help reduce costs and grow their business.

Fit for Work – guidance for employers
Guidance for employers on using Fit for Work to help their employees stay in or return to work.

David Cameron suggests lowering the benefit cap to £23,000 will lead more people into work
Following the Conservative Party announcement of plans to reduce the annual benefit cap on households from £26,000 to £23,000, the Prime Minister has claimed that the policy will result in a ‘rush to the jobcentre’.

Avoid regional accent discrimination when recruiting
Employment Minister Esther McVey urges people not to hide their accents when looking for work.

SummitSkills – Free Equality and Diversity Support for Your Business
Join Built Environment Sustainability Training (BEST) in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust, Constructing Excellence in Wales and the Institution of Civil Engineers (Conwy) at one of our free business breakfast events for companies working in the built environment sector.

New TV diversity monitoring system – call for training providers
Creative Skillset partner, the Creative Diversity Network (CDN), is seeking Expressions of Interest from training providers to develop and manage a comprehensive training programme in support of Project DIAMOND, a new diversity monitoring system for the UK’s key broadcasters – BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.

Harper – Major companies waking up to employment talents of disabled people
More companies across the country are waking up to the considerable talents of disabled people in the workplace, says Mark Harper.

Employer Apprenticeship Breakfasts in Swindon and Wiltshire
The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the Skills Funding Agency and GWP invite you to join them at a breakfast meeting to celebrate apprenticeships.

Cable pledges to investigate self-employed status
Business secretary Vince Cable says the government will investigate the use of self-employed status by businesses, after more than 1,000 drivers were left without compensation when courier firm City Link went into administration.

Webinars, e-learning, emails and videos if you’re self-employed
Help and support from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on self-employment.

Business leaders welcome jobless fall in South West but warn over rise in youth unemployment
The latest drop in unemployment has been welcomed by business groups – but they warned that the pace of the fall has slowed and urged the Government to do more to help young people into work.

UK Research Publications

Employment and the circular economy – job creation in a more resource efficient Britain
Shows that environmental and economic challenges are linked – improving our resource efficiency can make a valuable contribution to improving Britain’s labour market situation.

The value of soft skills to the UK economy
McDonald’s is backing a campaign and wants to challenge the idea that a soft skill is a woolly concept with no clear economic value.

What do we know about in-work poverty? A summary of the evidence
Summarises what the evidence tells us about the extent and impact of in-work poverty in Scotland, and the key factors that influence in-work poverty.

Government Digital Strategy – annual report 2014
A yearly update on the progress of government departments in carrying out the Government Digital Strategy.

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

UK Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points for September to November 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Comparing the estimates for September to November 2014 with those for June to August 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes maintain the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.
  • There were 30.80 million people in work. This was 37,000 more than for June to August 2014, the smallest quarterly increase since March to May 2013. Comparing September to November 2014 with a year earlier, there were 512,000 more people in work.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, unchanged from June to August 2014 but higher than for a year earlier (72.0%).
  • There were 1.91 million unemployed people. This was 58,000 fewer than for June to August 2014, the smallest quarterly fall since July to September 2013. Comparing September to November 2014 with a year earlier, there were 418,000 fewer unemployed people.
  • The unemployment rate was 5.8%, lower than for June to August 2014 (6.0%) and lower than for a year earlier (7.1%). The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
  • There were 9.09 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 66,000 more than for June to August 2014 and 41,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (the inactivity rate) was 22.4%, slightly higher than for June to August 2014 (22.2%) and for a year earlier (22.3%).
  • Comparing September to November 2014 with a year earlier, pay for employees in Great Britain increased by 1.7% including bonuses and by 1.8% excluding bonuses.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

  • Download PDF
  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the East of England and the South East (76.6%) and lowest in Wales (68.7%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (8.5%) and lowest in the South West (4.4%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (25.9%) and lowest in the East of England (19.3%).
  • The headline Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (4.3%) and lowest in the South East and South West (1.5%).
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Growth Deals gain momentum – firing up local economies
The government is expanding Growth Deals, with a further £1 billion of investment in local economies across England.

Government Expands Growth Deal with a Further £1bn Investment
On 29th January, the Government announced a further £1 billion investment in local economies across England by expanding the successful Growth Deals.

£65.2m Expansion of Growth Deal Boosts Local Plan for Heart of the South West Economy
The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the Government which will see an extra £65.2m invested in Heart of the South West between 2016 and 2021.

West of England – Local Growth Deal 2
The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership has been awarded an £18.1 million increase in its funding through the Growth Deal that will be invested in the West of England from 2016- 2021.

SWLEP Secures Additional Funding for Growth Deal
The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the Government, which will see an extra £11.5m invested in Swindon and Wiltshire between 2016 and 2021.

Rural businesses
Business composition and break down in rural and urban areas.

Local partnership opportunities with Jobcentre Plus
Partnership opportunities for public and voluntary organisations to help Jobcentre Plus move people off benefits and into employment.

Coastal Communities Fund annual progress report 2014
Report on the achievements and progress of the Coastal Communities Fund in its first 2 years 2012 to 2014.

New Enterprise Allowance campaign promotional videos
Promotional videos to support the New Enterprise Allowance campaign encouraging more people to consider becoming self-employed.

European Programmes – Latest

The UK’s vision for the European Union’s digital economy
The UK government sets out its vision for an ‘online’ single market in the EU, including the benefits for consumers and businesses.

International migration – a recent history
Part of a series of UK Perspectives providing an overview of key aspects of the nation over the last three decades, this article presents some key statistics on flows of long-term migrants into and out of the UK, and the impact of migration on the UK population.

Sector Skills Publications

Small Business Survey 2012 – further analysis
Further analysis of the 2012 Small Business Survey data including internet use, leadership teams, work in the public sector and social enterprises.

Engaging small and medium enterprises in apprenticeships
Identifies good practice and challenges in engaging small and medium enterprises in work experience and apprenticeships in London.

Employer satisfaction survey – provider guidance
To assist providers in the implementation of this year’s employer satisfaction survey.

Employer ownership of skills – pilot scheme (updated)
State aid guidance for the employer ownership of skills pilot scheme.

UKCES Futures Programme – skills for innovation in manufacturing competition brief
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) is offering employers in the manufacturing sector the opportunity to receive co-investment from a pot of £1 million.

Events

Cogent – Apprenticeship Showcase & Job Opportunities
9 March 2015, 18:00 – 21:00, Alderley Park Conference Centre,

09/03/2015 – AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, is to host an Apprenticeship, Careers and Jobs Fair event on Monday 9th March 2015 (during National Apprenticeship Week) in support of the Cheshire Science Corridor agenda. The Cheshire Science Corridor will link a series of centres of excellence, based between Macclesfield, Thornton and Daresbury into the science and research community of Manchester.

Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central LondonNext steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central London

23/04/2015 – David Sweeney, Director, HEFCE will be speaking at this seminar, which is scheduled to follow publication of this year’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system by which the quality of research from UK HEIs is assessed – with significant implications.

Employer Apprenticeship Breakfasts in Swindon & Wiltshire
24 February 2015, 07:00 – 09:30, UTC Swindon, Bristol Street, Swindon, Wiltshire SN1 5ET

24/02/2015 – The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the Skills Funding Agency and GWP invite you to join them at a breakfast meeting to celebrate apprenticeships. Employers will have the opportunity to; learn about how apprenticeships can help their organisation, find out more about progression opportunities onto higher level apprenticeships to support their higher level skills needs and hear about the Government’s apprenticeship reform programme.

Employer Apprenticeship Breakfasts in Swindon & Wiltshire
24 February 2015, 07:00 – 09:30, UTC Swindon, Bristol Street, Swindon, Wiltshire SN1 5ET

04/03/2015 – The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the Skills Funding Agency and GWP invite you to join them at a breakfast meeting to celebrate apprenticeships. Employers will have the opportunity to; learn about how apprenticeships can help their organisation, find out more about progression opportunities onto higher level apprenticeships to support their higher level skills needs and hear about the Government’s apprenticeship reform programme.

Word Cloud
This week: older workers, soft skills, the digital economy, ‘Fit for Nuclear’ fund and Universities’ contributions to European Structural and Investment Funds. Last week’s Higher Education blog looked at the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

The government is rolling out an ‘older workers’ champion scheme across every part of the UK – implementing fundamental reforms to fight ageism in the workplace. The older workers’ scheme aims to tackle age discrimination from April 2015. Indeed, recent reports suggest the attitudes of employers and individuals are shifting in favour of later life working. The DWP has published a report which explores attitudes amongst older people who are in work, self-employed and unemployed.

NIACE Chief Executive, David Hughes, responded: “Our Mid-life Career Review Pilot proved that this straightforward and cost-effective process can play an important role in helping older people stay in and get back into work. With almost twice as many vacancies for every new person entering the labour market over the next ten years, older people will need to fill that gap. And longer working lives mean more paid in tax and less in benefits.  It is critical, therefore that we recognise the talents of older people and the contribution that they can make to our workplaces and communities.”

A new publication from Cedefop draws attention to the mutual benefits to workers and organisations that arise when guidance is integrated in age management strategies. The Cedefop release, ‘Increasing the value of age’ also offers insights on how to develop guidance activities at the workplace.

New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found half (49%) of rural small businesses are dissatisfied with the quality of their broadband provision. The data showed nearly double the level of dissatisfaction compared to urban small businesses (28% dissatisfied). Vince Cable recently called for digital transformation across Europe. Businesses and consumers across Europe are being let down by the “patchwork” approach to the digital economy, he said. This follows consultation of employers and educators of IT users, who were invited to feedback on the development of new National Occupational Standards (NOS) for IT Users. Two recent reports around the digital economy may be of interest, ‘Creative industries economic estimates – January 2015‘, a regular release from Gov.UK, and ‘Digital life in 2015′, looking at technology’s impact on workers’. Also, the latest blog post from UKTI comments on the Consumer Electronics Show – the world’s largest trade show in Las Vegas showcasing the world’s most innovative technologies.

The government is joining forces with leading UK automotive manufacturers to boost skills across the sector with £30 million of investment.  This comes as Skills for Logistics, the sector skills council for the freight logistics industry in the UK, announces close of business, considering placing the company into administration to facilitate the closure.

South West firms are to benefit from the £1.5 million ‘Fit For Nuclear’ fund.  The support package has been unveiled to help South West manufacturers enter or expand their presence in the growing nuclear sector.  The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) has cautioned that small and medium sized manufacturers must focus more emphasis on quality and health and safety if they are going to make the most of the £60bn+ nuclear new build and decommissioning opportunity.

Universities UK has published a joint survey initiative with HEFCE and the Department for Communities and Local Government, which shows good progress on EU funding for local growth, providing an initial assessment of how universities are preparing for the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programme 2014 – 2020.

I hope you find this information useful.

Ciao!

Kevin

“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine”

Christopher Clarke

News Headlines

Trade & Growth
UK Labour Market, January 2015
There were 30.80 million people in work. This was 37,000 more than for June to August 2014, the smallest quarterly increase since March to May 2013. Comparing September to November 2014 with a year earlier, there were 512,000 more people in work.

Regional Labour Market, January 2015
The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (8.5%) and lowest in the South West (4.4%).

Forecasts for the UK economy – January 2015
A comparison of independent forecasts for the UK economy in January 2015.

Pocket databank – economic indicators
The Pocket databank is a monthly HM Treasury statistical publication, containing major economic indicators and series for both domestic and international economies.

UKCES welcomes Cities Outlook 2015
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) today welcomed the publication of the Centre for Cities’ Cities Outlook 2015.

Seeking employers views – skills challenges faced by the digital and creative sectors
Please spare a few minutes to share your views on the skills challenges faced by the digital and creative sectors.

Skills for Health – Launching the Skills Platform – the Magic of Digital Marketing
As we enter the digital age, it’s becoming more and more prevalent to concentrate on ‘start-up strategy’.

People 1st Response to UKCES Report
Despite the career opportunities on offer, we need to work harder to showcase career opportunities in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Research highlights need for more police management skills
Police officers seeking promotion should have access to more leadership and management training, according to new research.

Business mentors sought in Torbay
Mentors are being sought to teach young people about business in Torbay.

Hinkley Point C pylon project could be delayed by three years
Plans to erect more than 140 pylons connecting Hinkley Point to Avonmouth could be delayed by up to three years.

New initiative to unlock £100m of finance for regional businesses
Nick Clegg announces that up to £50 million will be available for regionally-focused business lenders through the British Business Bank.

Small business growth – new support on offer
Small businesses awarded Innovate UK funding will now be connected to business support to help them to grow faster.

‘On-Demand Economy’ Reshaping Companies and Careers
Handy is creating a big business out of small jobs. The company finds its customers self-employed home-helps available in the right place and at the right time.

8,000 companies benefit from Regional Growth Fund
The Regional Growth Fund established by the Deputy Prime Minister has now supported 8,000 companies through 400 projects and programmes.

Rural productivity driven by hi-tech boost and better roads
More rural opportunities could increase rural employment in England by 6%.

Rural productivity and Gross Value Added (GVA)
Productivity levels in rural and urban areas in England.

Innovation in agriculture – funding opportunities for business
Businesses invited to apply for funding from the £70 million Agri-Tech Catalyst to support innovative solutions to agricultural challenges.

LEPs
Greg Clark visits GFirst LEP at The Growth Hub
Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities, Greg Clark visited GFirst LEP and the University of Gloucestershire today, to hear more about the exciting projects that will help to create up to 5000 jobs and generate up to £40 million in public and private investment for Gloucestershire.

Solent Growth Deal Consultation January 2015
The Solent LEP is seeking views on the ability of the following capital projects to contribute to the Solent Growth Strategy as set out in the Strategic Economic Plan.

Swindon and Wiltshire Secure £129 million Growth Deal
Swindon and Wiltshire secured £129 million of investment yesterday as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg signed an historic Growth Deal in Wichelstowe.

Solent LEP – Funding advice for Island businesses
The Isle of Wight Council hosted a business support event organised by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) on Friday (16 January).

Employment
UKCES supports call for more employers to work with schools
UKCES welcomes MyKindaCrowd research into inspiring young people about the world of work.

CIPD – Dearth of skills biggest concern for UK leaders, PWC research reveals
Concerns over skills shortages are the “biggest headache” for UK bosses who are otherwise confident about their organisations’ growth prospects, according to a global survey of leaders.

Nick Clegg responds to labour market statistics – January 2015
The Deputy Prime Minister has made a statement on employment figures released today that show an increase in the number of people in work.

Unemployment falls below 6 percent as vacancies hit record high
A new milestone has been reached with the unemployment rate falling below 6% for the first time in 6 years.

CIPD – Employment is up but ONS data suggests economic growth is slowing
The number of unemployed people fell by 58,000 to 1.91 million in the three months to November 2014 from the previous quarter, according to the latest data from Office for National Statistics (ONS).

A landmark one million jobseekers on more rigorous work search regime
Over a million jobseekers have signed up to a Claimant Commitment meaning they need to do more to find work or face losing their benefits.

A fifth of women believe it’s ‘impossible’ to attain a top job
A large proportion (45 per cent) of working women still believe that women don’t hold enough of the senior posts in their company, according to research from telecoms firm O2.

UK economy shows shift to low-skilled jobs, research finds
Britain’s economy has shifted more towards low-skilled jobs and less towards high-skilled ones compared with other European countries, according to Oxford university research.

CIPD – What to look out for in 2015
With preparations for Christmas festivities in full swing, and the new year nearly here, it’s time to look at some of the legal changes in store for employers in 2015.

City Link in Administration – Information for employees
Administrators for the delivery firm City Link have confirmed they anticipate a substantial number of redundancies in the coming days.

Jobcentre staff targeting blitz at unusual locations – taking work support direct to jobseekers
How Jobcentre staff are taking work support direct to jobseekers in unusual locations.

Quality of UK management has failed to improve in more than a decade, says CIPD report
According to a new report from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, the overall quality of management in the UK is one of the key reasons behind the UK’s long-standing productivity weakness.

Further Education
Nick Gibb – reforming education through international evidence
Schools Minister speaks at Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Education Policy Outlook Conference.

International inspectors meet to discuss improving the FE sector
The event is an opportunity for inspectors from across Europe to learn from each other.

AoC – Department for Education cannot carry on ‘hoping for the best’
The Association of Colleges (AoC) responds to the Public Accounts Committee Report (2014-15) “16 to 18-year old participation in education and training”.

FE data library – qualifications in the population based on the labour force survey
Reports to inform understanding of qualifications in the population.

Apprenticeships add £3.2bn into South West’s economy
Apprenticeships will have been worth more than £3.2 billion to the South West’s economy in 2014, new figures have revealed.

Students set for job market, Ofsted says
Staff and students at New College have been praised by Ofsted for preparing their students for the job market.

New headteacher standards and review of ITT published
The Education Secretary welcomes new professional standards for school leaders and the Carter review of initial teacher training (ITT).

Qualifications included in performance tables
The latest position on level 1 and level 2 (sometimes known as IGCSEs) academic qualifications in performance tables.

NIACE backs ‘soft skills’ campaign
NIACE, alongside a host of other organisations – including McDonald’s, the CBI, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Association of Colleges and the National Youth Agency – are today launching a campaign to promote the importance of soft skills.

Soft skills are a building block of the economy
The Association of Colleges (AoC) is backing a new initiative from McDonald’s and James Caan calling for the re-evaluation of soft skills.

New Year Honours list 2015 – education and children’s services
The list of people working in education and children’s services who have received an honour.

Just one percent of parents want their daughters to be engineers
Attempts to change attitudes regarding gender and careers are falling on deaf ears…

Higher Education

Major HEFCE study of monographs and open access sheds light on complex issues
The Monographs and Open Access Project considers the place of monographs in the arts, humanities and social science disciplines, and how they fit into the developing world of open access to research.

UCU response to Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training
The most effective teacher training partnerships include universities as well as a range of schools, a government review has concluded recently (Monday).

£150million boost to economy from Gloucestershire’s university
The University of Gloucestershire contributed an estimated £150 million to the county’s economy in 2014 according to an independent report.

New service to support open access in the post-2014 REF
HEFCE has agreed to fund the development of a new shared service to support compliance with the policy for open access in the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). At its core, this new service will enable authors and universities to check whether a given publication is compliant with the open access policy (Note 1).

Submissions to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) published
The 1,911 submissions made by 154 UK universities to the 2014 REF have been published on the REF website. The submissions included 52,061 academic staff, 191,150 research outputs (such as journal articles, authored books and book chapters); and 6,975 case studies of the impact of research.

Universities worry about fallout from research ranking
As universities congratulate themselves on their ratings in the Research Excellence Framework, there are fears that subjects such as modern languages may end up losing out.

UCU – Part-time student enrolments drop by 7 percent
Part-time student enrolments for UK higher education fell by 7% between 2012/13 and 2013/14, following a fall of 22% in the previous year when the part-time tuition fee cap was raised to £6,750.

Trade Unions
TUC – Full wages recovery set to take another parliament at least
Trade Unions’ Congress Head of Economics Nicola Smith comments on the latest labour market statistics published today (Wednesday) by the Office for National Statistics.

TUC – Under-employment won’t return to pre-crisis levels until 2023
The number of people who are under-employed will not return to pre-recession levels for more than eight years at the current rate of reduction, according to new analysis published by the TUC today (Monday).

International Research

International evidence review of basic skills – learning from high-performing and improving countries
Research focused on countries that were high-performing in at least one of the three dimensions assessed by the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills, or rapidly improving in literacy. The study comprised of three strands: (1) a rapid review and assessment of international evidence; (2) analysis of data from the International Survey of Adult Skills conducted as part of [Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies] PIAAC; and (3) four in-depth country case studies which included interviews with basic skills experts and English and non-English language literature reviews.

Boosting technical and vocational education – international evidence
The final report of the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce said young people of all abilities should have the opportunity to follow industry relevant vocational pathways alongside academic studies, based on new school-college partnerships. This paper provides brief insights into policy and practice in Switzerland, British Columbia and New Zealand.

Active labour market programme participation for unemployment insurance recipients – a systematic review
Study on the effectiveness of Active Labour Market Programmes (ALMPs) participation on employment status for unemployment insurance recipients. The primary outcome was measured as exit rate to work in a small time period and as the probability of employment at a given time. The two measures were analysed separately. We also investigated if participation effects differ with the type of ALMP programme and if participation in ALMP was associated with the quality of the job obtained as measured by employment duration and income.

Employment and Social Developments – Annual Review highlights key factors behind resilience to crisis
Countries providing high quality jobs and effective social protection and investing in human capital have proved to be more resilient to the economic crisis. This is one of the main findings of the 2014 Employment and Social Developments in Europe Review, which has looked back to the legacy of the recession.

UK Research Publications

Digital life in 2015 – technology’s impact on workers
Pew Research surveyed online a representative sample of adult internet users and asked those who have jobs a series of questions about the role of digital technology in their work lives. This is not a sample representative of all workers. It covers online adults who also have full- or part-time jobs in any capacity.1 The most recent survey data from Pew Research in late 2013 shows that 94% of jobholders are internet users and they work in all kinds of enterprises from technology companies to non-technology firms; from big corporations to small proprietor operations; and from those in urban areas, farms, and places in between.

Local authority schemes supporting people towards work – an independent report for the Local Government Association
Presents evidence of how local authorities are supporting people towards work through employment and skills programmes. Uses evidence from programmes in nine local authorities selected to represent a range of provision in terms of target groups and interventions.

Labour market predictions for 2015
The CIPD’s chief economist, Mark Beatson, provides an end-of-year commentary on what might be expected to happen in the UK labour market in 2015, based on economic forecasts already in the public domain.

Attitudes of the over 50s to fuller working lives
Explores attitudes to later life working and retirement among those aged over 50.

Earning by degrees – differences in the career outcomes of UK graduates
Examines how graduate career outcomes differ depending on the subject they studied and the university they attended.

Out of sight – how we lost track of thousands of NEETs, and how we can transform their prospects
We have lost track of over 150,000 young people nationally, including over 50,000 NEETs – this paper argues that society is captivated by the profoundly misleading idea that they are troubled, excluded and even dangerous.

South West Regional Ofsted Report 2013/14
This report covers schools and further education and skills inspections carried out in the South West during 2013/14. Consists of an overarching commentary, supported by separate reports on schools and the further education and skills sector and a separate report for each of Ofsted’s eight regions.

Work Programme – building best practice report – recommendations to the Department for Work and Pensions
A report by the Work Programme: Building Best Practice Group that looks at how the Work Programme can be improved.

Good jobs – a Demos and PWC essay collection
Collected essays combining a wide range of contributors sharing views on what might be meant by ‘good jobs’, productive and rewarding in all senses, and how more of them can be created through changes in approach to job design, learning and development and reward.

Our plan for growth – science and innovation – evidence paper
A summary of the evidence that was compiled to support the development of the science and innovation strategy. Sets out the role of the knowledge system in the UK and how it is resourced.

The Autumn Statement 2014
Seeks to explore this debate of infrastructure development versus cuts in more detail and highlight what was in the Autumn Statement for those in local government and those working in local economic development.

Sector Skills Research

Creative industries economic estimates – January 2015
Official Statistics measuring the contribution made by the Creative Industries to the UK Economy, including Employment, GVA and Exports of Services.

Inequality and financialisation – a dangerous mix
Emerging body of research into the links between inequality and the growth in scale and influence of the financial sector. Argues that rising economic inequality was a major cause of the financial crisis. To reduce the risk of future crises, we must both roll back financialisation and implement policies to reduce inequality.

Engineering UK 2015 – the state of engineering
Now in its 17th year, our Engineering UK report has provided the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) community, government, businesses and third sector organisations with a compelling evidence base across the STEM continuum. Concludes, firstly, that Britain has skilled, world-class engineers, who are a vital and valued contribution to the UK economy, and can help mitigate the grand global challenges of climate change, ageing populations, supply of food, clean water and energy. Secondly, that the UK at all levels of education does not have either the current capacity or the rate of growth needed to meet the forecast demand for skilled engineers by 2022.

Reconomics – the economic impact of outdoor recreation
Aims to highlight the economic impact of outdoor recreation to Great Britain.

Local Enterprise Partnerships – Latest

Encouraging enterprise in education
Examines the policy issues around boosting the provision of enterprise education in the UK and Europe. It looks at how some UK education providers are embracing the challenge of integrating entrepreneurial learning in education and training.

Policy brief – how increased connectivity is boosting economic prospects of rural areas
Sets out how government policy is supporting trends in the rural economy to enhance economic prospects.

Key issues in employer engagement in education – why it makes a difference and how to deliver at scale
Identifies the tangible benefits of links between employers and young people in education; looks at some of the reasons such links have not (yet) become deep rooted; and suggests ways of increasing the variety, frequency and quality of future links.

Growth for everyone – CBI / Accenture employment trends survey 2014
Covers 323 businesses employing a combined total of more than 1.25 million people. The survey found that 50% of firms expect their workforce to grow in number over the next year. Jobs growth is expected in every region of the UK, with Scotland leading the way. Also, job prospects for young people have improved on last year with many firms planning to recruit graduates and apprentices in 2015.

Labour Market Intelligence

UK Labour Market, December 2014

Key Points for September to November 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Comparing the estimates for September to November 2014 with those for June to August 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes maintain the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.
  • There were 30.80 million people in work. This was 37,000 more than for June to August 2014, the smallest quarterly increase since March to May 2013. Comparing September to November 2014 with a year earlier, there were 512,000 more people in work.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, unchanged from June to August 2014 but higher than for a year earlier (72.0%).
  • There were 1.91 million unemployed people. This was 58,000 fewer than for June to August 2014, the smallest quarterly fall since July to September 2013. Comparing September to November 2014 with a year earlier, there were 418,000 fewer unemployed people.
  • The unemployment rate was 5.8%, lower than for June to August 2014 (6.0%) and lower than for a year earlier (7.1%). The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
  • There were 9.09 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 66,000 more than for June to August 2014 and 41,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (the inactivity rate) was 22.4%, slightly higher than for June to August 2014 (22.2%) and for a year earlier (22.3%).
  • Comparing September to November 2014 with a year earlier, pay for employees in Great Britain increased by 1.7% including bonuses and by 1.8% excluding bonuses.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

  • Download PDF
  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the East of England and the South East (76.6%) and lowest in Wales (68.7%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (8.5%) and lowest in the South West (4.4%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (25.9%) and lowest in the East of England (19.3%).
  • The headline Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (4.3%) and lowest in the South East and South West (1.5%).
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Events

Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central London

23/04/2015 – David Sweeney, Director, HEFCE will be speaking at this seminar, which is scheduled to follow publication of this year’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system by which the quality of research from UK HEIs is assessed – with significant implications.

Cogent – Apprenticeship Showcase & Job Opportunities
9 March 2015, 18:00 – 21:00, Alderley Park Conference Centre,

09/03/2015 – AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, is to host an Apprenticeship, Careers and Jobs Fair event on Monday 9th March 2015 (during National Apprenticeship Week) in support of the Cheshire Science Corridor agenda. The Cheshire Science Corridor will link a series of centres of excellence, based between Macclesfield, Thornton and Daresbury into the science and research community of Manchester.

Word Cloud

This month: the Research Excellence Framework. Last month: The Autumn Statement – implications for Higher Education, STEM investment and postgraduate careers.

The University and College Union (UCU) has called for a fundamental review of UK research in a report released a week before this year’s REF results, UCU says it wants to see a complete overhaul of research and development that goes beyond the planned operational review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

The Research Excellence Framework (REF), an exercise that assesses the quality of academic research, is a huge deal for universities and academics. The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), announced recently, demonstrate the world-leading quality of research conducted in UK universities. For the first time in an exercise of this kind, the REF also highlights the wide-ranging and significant benefits that UK research brings to the economy and society. The REF informs policy development around Higher Education funding for the next six years. Funding experts Research Fortnight created ‘power rankings’ based on how they assessed each university.

The UK is the best place in the world to undertake research, according to HEFCE’s response to the Government’s Science and Innovation Strategy. The UK research system is world class, delivering significant impact and substantial benefits for our economy and society. HEFCE has also recently published a review of the use and impact of its quality-related research (QR) funding, which demonstrates the irreplaceable value universities place on this income stream.

Ciao!

Kevin

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

News Headlines

Training elderly in social media improves well-being and combats isolation
Training older people in the use of social media improves cognitive capacity, increases a sense of self-competence and could have a beneficial overall impact on mental health and well-being, according to a landmark study carried out in the UK.

Government unveils £6 billion package for UK science and innovation
The government unveils its ambitious new plan to keep British science and innovation at the forefront of global excellence.

Erasmus Mundus Graduate Impact Survey – 55 percent of graduates have jobs within two months of graduation
The Erasmus Mundus programme gives students from the whole world the chance to study in two or more European countries at Master’s level. What do students and prospective students expect from a European masters programme, and how do Erasmus Mundus Masters Courses fulfil these expectations? Check out this year’s Graduate Impact Survey .

UK Labour Market, December 2014
The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, higher than for May to July 2014 (72.8%) and higher than for a year earlier (71.8%).

University of Exeter Career Mentor Scheme helps students on path to business success
Students in Exeter are developing vital employability skills by working alongside business leaders from Devon, the UK and around the world.

Higher education and local growth: launch of local profiles data
HEFCE has published a new interactive data toolkit based on local higher education profiles.

Graduate labour market statistics – July to September 2014
These statistics provide information on graduate and non-graduate earnings and employment rates for England.

University of Exeter to help Cornwall’s young people access higher education
The University of Exeter will play a pivotal role in helping more people in Cornwall access higher education, it has been confirmed.

Survey shows good progress on EU funding for local growth
Universities UK has published a survey providing an initial assessment of how universities are preparing for the European Structural and Investment Funds programme 2014 – 2020 (ESIF). This shows that the higher education (HE) sector is making good progress. Interest is also higher than the previous 2007-2013 programme.

HEFCE input – the Science and Innovation Strategy and Science Capital Roadmap
HEFCE has published submissions to two Government consultations.

National networks to help more young people access higher education
A new £22 million scheme involving over 200 higher education institutions and reaching 4,300 secondary schools and colleges aims to encourage more young people into higher education.

UK graduate recruitment prospects ‘at 10-year high’
The first students to pay higher university tuition fees will graduate into the UK’s most attractive job market for a decade, a High Fliers study suggests.

Higher Education Research Publications

Earning by degrees – differences in the career outcomes of UK graduates
Examines how graduate career outcomes differ depending on the subjects studied and the institution attended.

Young people’s perceptions about post-18 education and training options: a report for the University and College Union
Shows that the three main reasons given for not going to university (too expensive, no guaranteed job and fears of debt) are the same top three concerns raised by young people who do intend to go.

International Research Publications

Education and Training Monitor 2014
The Education and Training Monitor is an annual series that reports on the evolution of education and training systems across Europe, bringing together the latest quantitative and qualitative data, recent technical reports and studies, plus policy documents and developments.

The validation challenge – how close is Europe to recognising all learning?
The European inventory on validation of non-formal and informal learning provides an unrivalled source of information detailing how validation of prior learning is developing across Europe.

Contextual data for the Research Excellence Framework 2014
The table shows the total full-time equivalents (FTE) of staff identified as eligible to be submitted to the REF 2014 by HE provider and REF Unit of Assessment.

e-Appendix

The Fourth Work-Life Balance Employer Survey
Presents the findings of a major study of work-life balance among British workplaces with 5 or more employees.

Hands-on communities – the community and wellbeing benefits of learning and sharing practical skills
Explores how organisations seeking to make practical activities a force for good can maximise their impact by illustrating how do-it-yourself (DIY), gardening, and other hands-on activities may significantly boost wellbeing. They can also help strengthen communities and combat unsustainable throwaway consumerism.

At what price justice – the impact of employment tribunal fees
Analyses the latest Ministry of Justice statistics and reveals that: 1) there has been an 80 per cent fall in the number of women pursuing sex discrimination claims. 2) the number of women pursuing pregnancy discrimination claims is also down by over a quarter, with just three per cent of women seeking financial compensation after losing their jobs; and 3) during the first three months of 2014 the number of race discrimination and sexual orientation claims both fell by 60 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.

Young people’s experiences in the workplace
Insight into what motivates young people as they make the transition into employment including: what makes work desirable; organisational commitment, and; employee involvement and voice at work.

A map of social enterprises and their eco-systems in Europe – country report, United Kingdom
Maps the broad contours of social enterprise activity and eco-systems in 29 European countries (EU 28 and Switzerland) using a common ‘operational definition’ and research methodology.

The pregnancy test – ending discrimination at work for new mothers
Suggests pregnancy and motherhood can seriously affect a woman’s career. Around a quarter of women don’t return to work after maternity leave, and one in six of the mums who do go back, change jobs because their employer won’t allow them to work reduced or flexible hours. Identifies ten ways pregnant women and new mothers are mistreated at work and five things that need to change.

Improving access to work for disabled people – second report of session 2014–15
Examines Universal Credit implementation, monitoring DWP’s performance in 2012-13. Provides Government’s response to the Committee’s Fifth Report of Session 2012-13.

Events

Westminster Higher Education Forum: Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central London

David Sweeney, Director, HEFCE will be speaking at this event.

HEFCE Annual Conference 2015
4-5 February 2015, Senate House, London

The conference is an invitation-only event for heads of higher education providers in England and representatives of HE stakeholder organisations.

The future for open access and the move towards open data
26 March 2015, Central London. This event is CPD certified.

This conference is timed to follow the publication of Research Councils UK’s review of the impact of Open Access so far, expected in early 2015. The conference will focus on key remaining implementation issues as well as looking forward to next steps for policy, in light of Government’s stated aim of adopting an Open Data culture for publicly funded research.

 

Word Cloud
This month: the Autumn Statement – implications for Higher Education, STEM investment and postgraduate careers. Last month: Exeter’s Supercomputer, Government’s Science & Innovation Strategy, public funding for universities and graduate retention.

An offer of loans of up to £10,000 to students taking taught postgraduate degrees has been greeted with enthusiasm by the education sector. The Chancellor said it would “revolutionise” access to postgraduate university courses, as the cost of postgraduate courses “deters bright students from poorer backgrounds”. The National Union of Students’ vice president, Megan Dunn, described the move as a “major step in the right direction”. “Creating a government-backed postgraduate loans scheme will make a fundamental difference to the lives and opportunities of students”, she said. HEFCE welcomed the proposal to begin to address the gap in taught postgraduate finance through a three-stage plan. “I am delighted that the Government has announced a wide-ranging loan scheme for masters students and that we can build upon the Postgraduate Support Scheme by allocating 10,000 taught postgraduate bursaries to students who will be graduating with higher levels of undergraduate debt this year. This will provide a much-needed bridge to the wider postgraduate student loan proposals announced by the Chancellor” said HEFCE Chief Executive Madeleine Atkins. The Russell Group responded, with Professor Sir David Eastwood, Chair, commenting: “The benefits of studying high quality postgraduate programmes to students and to the economy are significant and growing, and the availability of loans will enable qualified students to take advantage of postgraduate study across the full range of academic and professional programmes. The Chancellor is to be congratulated for developing a funding model which will enhance investment in higher education without repurposing existing expenditure.”

The University and College Union (UCU) suggested bolder measures are needed to encourage more people into postgraduate study recommending that additional support, such as the restoration of grants for postgraduate study or a partial write-off of undergraduate debt for those completing postgraduate courses, would be more helpful. Incidentally, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) published a detailed study on the electoral power of full-time students, Do students swing elections? Registration, turnout and voting behaviour among full-time students, on the morning of 1st December 2014 – the deadline for the first electoral roll under Individual Electoral Registration. The research confirms that the student vote responds to political parties’ policies on tuition fees. The student vote swung towards the Liberal Democrats in 2001, 2005 and 2010 and is set to swing towards Labour at the 2015 election. This could affect the result in around 10 seats.

The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) has published a new report, Getting the First Lecturing Job, which reveals how doctoral researchers and PhDs manage the challenging and demanding transition from early careers researcher to the established academic position of lecturer.

The Autumn Statement also includes £5.9 billion sustained investment in science, including £89 million to support the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and a new National Formulation Centre. Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said: “We also welcome the announcement of £200 million to be allocated through the Research Partnership Investment Fund and the additional funding for the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centres which work closely and successfully with our universities. We look forward to more detail on the Science and Innovation Strategy in the coming days.” In relation to this, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) welcomed a parliamentary report into collaboration between universities and business.

The University of Exeter this week received a £5 million funding boost to create its next generation of world-class science facilities. The grant will be used to complete 19 projects in total, including a field station to allow demonstrations and testing of renewable energy equipment, the provision of digital microscopy and streaming facilities, and new or refurbished teaching and research laboratories. The University has committed more that £5M of matched funding for the project. Professor Tim Quine, from the College of Life and Environmental Sciences said: “We see this investment as integral to our work to reach out to the most diverse group of STEM students of the future, to ensure that our graduates have the attributes and skills that industry demands and to collaborate more closely with business and industry regionally, nationally and globally.”

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is once again taking part in a unique pairing scheme collaborating with academia run by the Royal Society – the UK national academy of science. The pairings will look at a variety of subject matters, from 3D printing technology, chemical and biological research and decision support within the operational analysis area.

…and finally, Grads for Growth’s latest newsletter around their work with award-winning companies and placements in a range of sectors may also be of interest.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Higher Education Headlines

HEFCE invests £200 million to support an increase in high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics students
The Government has confirmed the 73 universities and colleges that will receive a share of £200 million funding for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching capital projects during 2015-16.

Cost, poor advice and lack of jobs putting young people off higher education, warns report
Privately educated children more than twice as likely to want to go to university as college students • Boys are significantly less likely to want to go than girls • The desire to go to university declines as teens get older • Union calls for overhaul of advice and guidance for all young people

Top universities for graduate employment – in full
The Global Employability University Ranking has listed the top universities in the world for graduate employment, including 12 UK institutions.

Where next for university governance?
After a period of turmoil at Plymouth University, an external review is pending, and the findings may have implications for the sector, writes John Morgan.

Five things we’ve learned about the British economy #AutumnStatement
George Osborne showed he hadn’t lost his appetite for gimmicks and giveaways, but behind the crowd-pleasing tactics there was plenty of pain.

#AutumnStatement 2014 – 16 things you should know
The Chancellor has presented the Autumn Statement to Parliament – here’s a summary of what was announced.

@hefce response to #AutumnStatement Ten thousand bursaries for ten thousand students in 2015
The Government’s Autumn Statement addresses the gap in taught postgraduate finance through a three-stage plan.

@UCU Response to #AutumnStatement – bolder plans needed for postgraduates
Bolder measures are needed to encourage more people into postgraduate study and to ensure the replenishment of the academic profession, UCU said today.

@CIPD Chancellor pledges skills and productivity boost in #AutumnStatement
Chancellor George Osborne today promised to continue the process of “lower inflation, lower unemployment and higher growth” with the government’s long-term economic plan. Using the latest forecast figures from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR), Osborne’s Autumn Statement looked to capitalise on the economic gains seen in the last year.

Postgraduate loans of £10,000 and Science Centres #AutumnStatement
A student loan system for postgraduate master’s degrees has been announced in the chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Education sector welcomes postgraduate student loans #AutumnStatement
Treasury estimates that new loans will see 10,000 more students taking postgraduate degrees a year.

£89 million new investment in UK Catapult network
Autumn Statement includes additional support for High Value Manufacturing Catapult and a new National Formulation Centre.

@UKCES welcomes report on university-business collaboration – calling for action from both sides for mutual benefit #GrowthThroughPeople
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) welcomes a parliamentary report into collaboration between universities and business.

@RussellGroup response to the #AutumnStatement
The Russell Group response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2014.

Select committee endorses importance of HEFCE knowledge exchange funding
HEFCE welcome the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s endorsement of the importance of HEFCE’s support for higher education knowledge exchange through Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF).

Students could tip the balance of power at the 2015 election – so long as they register to vote
HEPI published a detailed study on the electoral power of full-time students, Do students swing elections? Registration, turnout and voting behaviour among full-time students, on the morning of 1st December 2014 – the deadline for the first electoral roll under Individual Electoral Registration.

Association of Graduate Recruiters university awards 2015 – nominate your service
The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) is inviting higher education careers and employability services, which are members of AGR, to nominate themselves for the AGR Graduate Development Awards 2015.

Is bigger better for universities?
Student numbers will be uncapped from 2015. Chris Havergal examines arguments for and against expansion.

Report highlights 10 trends set to shake up education
Massive open social learning and dynamic assessment on the Open University’s list.

Teacher shortage fears as figures warn of under-recruitment in key areas
Universities performing best at recruiting trainee teachers according to new government data.

HEFCE report highlights the growing transnational nature of English higher education
New research by HEFCE looks for the first time at how students on UK higher education programmes delivered overseas move on to first degree courses delivered in England.

New qualifications launched to meet UK demand for digital skills
New government and industry-backed digital qualifications will provide the skills for a wide range of digital jobs.

Degree apprenticeships launched to boost hi-tech skills
Young people will be able to gain a full honours degree while earning a wage and paying no fees, under a scheme backed by government and industry.

Chinese students to help UK businesses
Chinese-speaking students are to be placed with UK companies to help them break into the Chinese market or find new investment.

Billions of pounds to be saved thanks to new What Works Network findings
Taxpayers’ money could be saved and spent more effectively thanks to findings from the government backed What Works Centres.

Mature students – lifelong learning on life support?
Matthew Reisz talks to academics about their experiences of teaching older learners, while Holly Else analyses the decline in the number of mature students.

UCU launches pre-election manifesto
The next government must look again at student finance and consider radical alternatives to the current system says UCU as it launches its 15-point pre-election manifesto today.

‘Leaky pipe’ between 1980s grammar schools and university
Grammar school pupils in the 1980s were no more likely to gain degrees from “elite” universities than comprehensive pupils, research suggests.

British Embassy hosts UK Skills Expo to develop talent in UAE
The second UK Skills Expo will be held at the British Embassy Dubai. Bringing UK players in the training sector to showcase their expertise.

Employer leadership in skills and employment is vital to long term prosperity and growth
A report looking into the UK skills system puts forward 5 recommendations for action, with employers leading the way.

Open University protests over potential loss of 700 jobs
UCU members at the Open University will lobby a meeting of the university’s council on Tuesday (25 November) in protest at plans that could see around 700 jobs go from eight regional centres across England.

Universities and colleges step up support for social entrepreneurs
Higher education institutions (HEIs) are working together to build a national ‘ecosystem’ of support for social entrepreneurs through a series of new partnerships announced by HEFCE and UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.

Universities that fail should be punished, says Which?
It should be easier to remove the degree-awarding powers of universities that fail to meet academic and consumer standards, a report by Which? has said.

Happy Birthday #HEInnovate!
HEInnovate, the self-assessment tool for encouraging institutional change and innovation in higher education institutions, was launched one year ago. The release of an updated version of the tool marks the occasion.

UKCES set to launch milestone report on the state of UK skills, supported by CBI and TUC
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) will next week launch a comprehensive summary of the state of the UK skills system, co-signed by union and employer bodies.

Exeter researcher contributes to government report on managing the risk of innovative technologies
The first ever Annual Report by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport will be launched at the Institute for Government in London on 19 November 2014. Dr James Lyons, Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Exeter and academic advisor for the report, contributed a case study on communicating the risk of climate change.

The Education and Training Monitor 2014 is out now
The third annual edition of the Education and Training Monitor charts the evolution of education and training systems across Europe. It brings together, in a concise, digestible way, the latest quantitative and qualitative data, recent technical reports and studies, plus policy documents and developments.

University of Exeter scoops award for best international student satisfaction
The University of Exeter has been named the best university in the UK for international student satisfaction.

The Student Engagement Partnership
HEFCE is providing funding for the Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP) to support, develop and promote student engagement activity in the higher education sector in England.

UCU response to IFS report on costs of Initial Teacher Training routes
UCU has said that simple cost-benefit analysis of teacher training routes doesn’t address the long-term threats to university education departments caused by competitive teacher training allocations.

CBI comments on Cranfield University’s Women on Boards progress report
The CBI recently responded to Cranfield University’s Women on Boards progress report.

UK Research Publications

What works? Evidence for decision makers
An overview of the What Works Centres, bringing together a selection of findings from the Centres’ work to date.

Access to finance – evidence review 4
This review covers three policy strands: 1) Public loans on subsidised loans – where the public sector directly lends all or part of the money to the firm, whether this is on commercial or subsidised rates; 2) Government loan guarantees – The government guarantees or partly guarantees the loan; and, 3) Facilitating alternative forms of lending – creating networks, incentivising or match-making for Business Angels, micro-finance, venture capital, P2P lending and crowdfunding, self-financing groups, group lending and so on.

11/2014 – #AutumnStatement measures
Business rates information letters are issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government at regular intervals throughout the year.

Economic and fiscal outlook – December 2014
This is the OBR’s December 2014 Economic and fiscal outlook.

#AutumnStatement – Supporting Documents
This is the Autumn Statement in full. You can find supporting and related documents below.
Autumn Statement 2014
Impact on households: distributional analysis to accompany Autumn Statement 2014
Autumn Statement 2014 policy costings
Autumn Statement 2014 data sources
Policy decisions table: Autumn Statement 2014
Policy decisions within the welfare cap: Autumn Statement 2014

Budget and #AutumnStatement representations – guidance
Guidance for submitting Budget and Autumn Statement representations.

A map of social enterprises and their eco-systems in Europe – country report, United Kingdom
Outlines the main features of social enterprises in 28 EU Member States and Switzerland using a common definition and approach. Gives an overview of social enterprise eco-systems across countries, including factors constraining their development.

Changing attitudes to vocational education
Argues for a fundamental change to the way we view vocational education. Changing attitudes is the next key step in transforming our education system into the inclusive and productive one we need to prosper in the global market place. Proposes some actions for policymakers to raise awareness and understanding among teachers, parents and employers that will help bring about real change for young people.

International Research Publications

England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth programme handbook
Detailed information on the England European Growth programme, who is involved, how it is managed and how to apply for funding.

European Structural and Investment Funds – UK proposals
Sets out how the UK proposes to use the European Structural and Investment Funds across the UK from 2014 to 2020.

European Structural and Investment Funds – UK Partnership Agreement
Sets out how the European Structural and Investment Funds will be used across the UK from 2014 to 2020.

Occupational regulation in the EU and UK – prevalence and labour market impacts
Research on the prevalence of occupational regulation in the UK and EU, and an examination of labour market impacts in the UK.

Events

Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central London

23/04/2015 – David Sweeney, Director, HEFCE will be speaking at this seminar, which is scheduled to follow publication of this year’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system by which the quality of research from UK HEIs is assessed – with significant implications.

Welfare reform – creating effective local delivery partnerships
20 December 2014, Prospero House, Borough High Street, London SE1

20/12/2014 – This one day conference will provide an early opportunity to consider the updated Local Support Services Framework and will feature examples of best practice in the planning and delivery of services sharing learning from the Local Authority led pilots as well as drawing on the experience of housing associations, and third sector organisations in the delivery of budgeting support, debt advice, and financial inclusion inititatives, local welfare schemes, and digitial inclusion projects.

Semta Skills Awards – Engineering Skills for the Future
24 February 2015, Park Plaza Riverbank hotel, London

24/02/2015 – Turn on the spotlights, dust off the red carpet – the hunt is on to find the very Best of British Engineering – which is to be celebrated at the second Semta Skills Awards. The backing of some of the biggest engineering brands in Britain have made the awards night one of the most important dates in the sector’s diary.

 

Word Cloud

So, the Chancellor has presented the Autumn Statement to Parliament. The UK has the fastest growth in the G7, stamp duty will be cut for 98% of people, the health service will receive £2 billion and business rates will be cut and capped, but what does the Autumn Statement mean for employment and skills? Here we look at some of the responses from educators, policy institutes, unions and industry.

The big problem has been the pressure on income tax receipts from weak wage growth, which is in turn due to the large number of low-paying jobs in the economy and a sharp increase in self-employment. A rise in the income tax personal allowance to £10,000 has further cut receipts by taking more people out of paying income tax – a lot of the recent rise in employment has been at the low end of the pay scale. The (predominantly minimum wage) services industry in the UK accounts for roughly 78% of overall GDP, and about three-quarters of all jobs.

Bristol is one of the few regions that actually contributes more to the Exchequer than it gets back. Managing director at Business West, Phil Smith, said closing the skills gap, particularly among young people, was key to achieving long-term growth: “Youth unemployment remains stubbornly high despite total unemployment at its lowest since 2008,” he said. “Firms consistently tell us about skills shortages and we are working hard to ensure better links between education and business. We urge the Chancellor to use tax cuts to incentivise this.”

To encourage more firms to take on young apprentices, the Chancellor has exempted employers from national insurance contributions when they hire apprentices under 25. “Encouraging more employers to offer apprenticeships is important but the Government must work with colleges to ensure that employers are ready to take on apprentices. Colleges already work with an average of 700 employers in their local area and they are keen to do more” said the Association of Colleges’ (AoC) Chief Executive Martin Doel. On Careers Advice, he said: “In announcing the investment of £20 million to improve careers advice and support for young people the Government must now ensure that careers education is part of the curriculum” also pointing out thatAoC’s “Careers Guidance Guaranteed campaign calls for the establishment of careers hubs in every local area involving schools, colleges, local councils and others. We look forward to hearing the detail of how the Government will take this forward”.

An offer of loans of up to £10,000 to students taking taught postgraduate degrees has been greeted with enthusiasm by the education sector. The Chancellor said it would “revolutionise” access to postgraduate university courses, as the cost of postgraduate courses “deters bright students from poorer backgrounds”. The National Union of Students’ vice president, Megan Dunn, described the move as a “major step in the right direction”. “Creating a government-backed postgraduate loans scheme will make a fundamental difference to the lives and opportunities of students”, she said.

HEFCE welcomed the proposal to begin to address the gap in taught postgraduate finance through a three-stage plan. “I am delighted that the Government has announced a wide-ranging loan scheme for masters students and that we can build upon the Postgraduate Support Scheme by allocating 10,000 taught postgraduate bursaries to students who will be graduating with higher levels of undergraduate debt this year. This will provide a much-needed bridge to the wider postgraduate student loan proposals announced by the Chancellor” said HEFCE Chief Executive Madeleine Atkins.

The University and College Union (UCU) suggested bolder measures are needed to encourage more people into postgraduate study recommending that additional support, such as the restoration of grants for postgraduate study or a partial write-off of undergraduate debt for those completing postgraduate courses, would be more helpful

Incidentally, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) published a detailed study on the electoral power of full-time students, Do students swing elections? Registration, turnout and voting behaviour among full-time students, on the morning of 1st December 2014 – the deadline for the first electoral roll under Individual Electoral Registration. The research confirms that the student vote responds to political parties’ policies on tuition fees. The student vote swung towards the Liberal Democrats in 2001, 2005 and 2010 and is set to swing towards Labour at the 2015 election. This could affect the result in around 10 seats.

The Autumn Statement also includes £5.9 billion sustained investment in science, including £89 million to support the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and a new National Formulation Centre. Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said: “We also welcome the announcement of £200 million to be allocated through the Research Partnership Investment Fund and the additional funding for the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centres which work closely and successfully with our universities. We look forward to more detail on the Science and Innovation Strategy in the coming days.” In relation to this, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) welcomed a parliamentary report into collaboration between universities and business.

The Chartered Institute for Professional Development (CIPD) also welcomed the Chancellor’s pledges on skills and productivity to continue the process of “lower inflation, lower unemployment and higher growth” in line with the government’s long-term economic plan.

The National Institute for Continuing Adult Learning (NIACE) welcomed announcements including £20 million in 2015-16 and 2016-17 to fund courses to help adults experiencing mild to moderate depression, anxiety and sleep disorders in England; £5 million for the Behavioural Research Centre for Adult Skills and Knowledge (ASK) to conduct pilots using Children’s Centres to provide employment support and access to basic skills training; and a pilot program on career-change work experience and training opportunities for older benefit claimants to help them gain the experience and training they need to re-skill and get back to work. However, NIACE also believes the plans for long-term economic growth, as detailed by the Chancellor, require significant improvements in our skills base. However investment in – and learning by – adults over 25 is falling the Autumn Statement has fallen short in addressing that challenge: “by making young people a priority there is a danger that the impending adult skills crisis – identified recently by NIACE, the CBI, OECD and UKCES – will continue to threaten future economic prospects and limit social mobility.”, adding “What the Chancellor didn’t mention was the overall collapse in adult skills participation, particularly at the technical and professional levels – where employers are already saying they have the highest skills shortages – which has been a consequence of the introduction of 24+ adult learning loans.”

Trade Unions Congress General Secretary Frances O’Grady responded to the announcement, saying “Nothing in today’s Autumn Statement will give Britain a pay rise, and Conservative plans to effectively outlaw strikes will help make Britain permanently low-paid.”

The Gfirst Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) welcomed the announcement that Government will commit a further £1 billion to the country’s Local Enterprise Partnerships, to support the second round of Growth Deals. This builds on Gfirst LEP’s success in the first round of Growth Deals announced in July, where Gloucestershire were the only county to receive the full amount of funding that was asked, £62.5 million.

The Heart of the South West LEP have endorsed ‘Greater Connected’, an independent, business-led report to identify common strategic goals for greater connectivity across the five LEPs in the South West – all to enable transformational economic growth. The report has been endorsed by the CBI and all five Local Enterprise Partnerships in South West England: Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly LEP; Dorset LEP; Heart of the South West LEP; Swindon & Wiltshire LEP; West of England LEP and can be viewed here.

…and finally, survey! Survey! Survey!!!

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Higher Education

Government loans for postgrads are welcome, but universities must play their part
Postgraduate students under 30 will be eligible for an income-contingent loan of up to £10,000 from 2016-17, it was announced in the autumn statement. But state-backed loans are only part of the solution.

Government’s flagship postgraduate loan plan will leave students with 50 percent tax rate
Students who take out a new loan to fund a master’s degree will effectively be paying a 50% tax rate, said the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) today. UCU said the findings demonstrated the pitfalls of increasing students’ debt to fund an expansion of postgraduate education and called for a rethink.

Select committee endorses importance of HEFCE knowledge exchange funding
HEFCE welcome the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s endorsement of the importance of HEFCE’s support for higher education knowledge exchange through Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF).

Students could tip the balance of power at the 2015 election – so long as they register to vote
HEPI published a detailed study on the electoral power of full-time students, Do students swing elections? Registration, turnout and voting behaviour among full-time students, on the morning of 1st December 2014 – the deadline for the first electoral roll under Individual Electoral Registration.

Further Education & Skills

Association of Colleges Response to latest National Audit Office report on FE and skills
Martin Doel, Chief Executive at the Association of Colleges, responds to the National Audit Office’s latest report Further Education and skills sector: implementing the Simplification Plan.

Edward Timpson – supporting SEND students in further education
How colleges can help young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) into work and independence.

Commemorating 100 years of apprenticeships – new historical research
New historical research released today to tie in with the centenary apprenticeship commemorations reveals how employers’ relationships with apprenticeships have changed over the last 100 years.

Industry

Energy and Utility Skills – Apprenticeships, a Paradigm Shift
When it comes to developing the current and future skills of the UK workforce, the policy focus increasingly seems to be looking to employers to take the lead.

CITB – Autumn Statement projects ‘must be delivered’
The construction industry has grounds for cautious optimism following a series of headline-grabbing Government announcements about infrastructure and apprenticeships.

South West Manufacturers Answer Call for Greater Productivity
A drive in productivity is helping to sustain growth among small to medium sized (SME) manufacturers in the South West.

Employment

Qualitative study of welfare reform shows those affected find it harder to find and keep jobs
The charity Community Links have published the third report in their longitudinal study of the cumulative impact of welfare reform in the London borough of Newham.

George Osborne’s plan may not be set in stone, but it still spells deep cuts
The chancellor has accused his critics of hyperbole, but his autumn statement leaves him little room for manoeuvre.

CIPD – Spending cuts risk one million public sector jobs, figures suggest
Up to one million public sector jobs could be cut by 2020 under dramatic plans to move Britain “out of the red and into the black”, outlined in yesterday’s Autumn Statement.

Trade Unions

TUC – OBR forecast signals dramatic public service cuts and longer living standards squeeze
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady comments on the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts published on Wednesday.

TUC – IFS analysis digs up the bad news George Osborne tried to bury
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady comments on Thursday’s analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) of the Autumn Statement and the forecasts by the Office for Budgetary Responsibility.

TUC – Pregnancy and motherhood still hurt career progress
Thousands of new mothers are still being “shunned” by employers despite increased legal protection and new flexible working legislation, according to a report.

UK Research Publications

What works? Evidence for decision makers
An overview of the What Works Centres, bringing together a selection of findings from the Centres’ work to date.

Access to finance – evidence review 4
This review covers three policy strands: 1) Public loans on subsidised loans – where the public sector directly lends all or part of the money to the firm, whether this is on commercial or subsidised rates; 2) Government loan guarantees – The government guarantees or partly guarantees the loan; and, 3) Facilitating alternative forms of lending – creating networks, incentivising or match-making for Business Angels, micro-finance, venture capital, P2P lending and crowdfunding, self-financing groups, group lending and so on.

11/2014 – #AutumnStatement measures
Business rates information letters are issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government at regular intervals throughout the year.

Economic and fiscal outlook – December 2014
This is the OBR’s December 2014 Economic and fiscal outlook.

#AutumnStatement – Supporting Documents
This is the Autumn Statement in full. You can find supporting and related documents below.
Autumn Statement 2014
Impact on households: distributional analysis to accompany Autumn Statement 2014
Autumn Statement 2014 policy costings
Autumn Statement 2014 data sources
Policy decisions table: Autumn Statement 2014
Policy decisions within the welfare cap: Autumn Statement 2014

Budget and #AutumnStatement representations – guidance
Guidance for submitting Budget and Autumn Statement representations.

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

Infographic – the Labour Market in the Heart of the South West LEP
Infographic illustrating the Labour Market in the Heart of the South West LEP benchmarked against the South West region and England in terms of percentage change.

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

UK Labour Market, November 2014

Key Points for July to September 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Comparing the estimates for July to September 2014 with those for April to June 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes maintain the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.
  • There were 30.79 million people in work. This was 112,000 more than for April to June 2014 and 694,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, higher than for April to June 2014 (72.8%) and higher than for a year earlier (71.6%).
  • There were 22.52 million people working full-time, 589,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.27 million people working part-time, 105,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 1.96 million unemployed people, 115,000 fewer than for April to June 2014 and 529,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 6.0%, lower than for April to June 2014 (6.3%) and lower than for a year earlier (7.6%). The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
  • There were 9.03 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 38,000 more than for April to June 2014 but 16,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate was 22.2%, little changed compared to April to June 2014 (22.1%) and compared to a year earlier (22.3%).
  • Pay including bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 1.0% higher than a year earlier. Pay excluding bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 1.3% higher than a year earlier.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Regional Labour Market, November 2014

  • Download PDF
  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the East of England and the South East (76.5%) and lowest in the North East (69.0%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (9.2%) and lowest in the South East (4.6%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (25.8%) and lowest in the East of England (19.4%).
  • The Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (4.7%) and lowest in the South East (1.6%).
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Changing attitudes to vocational education
Argues for a fundamental change to the way we view vocational education. Changing attitudes is the next key step in transforming our education system into the inclusive and productive one we need to prosper in the global market place. Proposes some actions for policymakers to raise awareness and understanding among teachers, parents and employers that will help bring about real change for young people.

European Programmes – Latest

England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth programme handbook
Detailed information on the England European Growth programme, who is involved, how it is managed and how to apply for funding.

European Structural and Investment Funds – UK proposals
Sets out how the UK proposes to use the European Structural and Investment Funds across the UK from 2014 to 2020.

European Structural and Investment Funds – UK Partnership Agreement
Sets out how the European Structural and Investment Funds will be used across the UK from 2014 to 2020.

Occupational regulation in the EU and UK – prevalence and labour market impacts
Research on the prevalence of occupational regulation in the UK and EU, and an examination of labour market impacts in the UK.

Sector Skills Publications

A map of social enterprises and their eco-systems in Europe – country report, United Kingdom
Outlines the main features of social enterprises in 28 EU Member States and Switzerland using a common definition and approach. Gives an overview of social enterprise eco-systems across countries, including factors constraining their development.

Events

Semta Skills Awards – Engineering Skills for the Future
24 February 2015, Park Plaza Riverbank hotel, London

24/02/2015 – Turn on the spotlights, dust off the red carpet – the hunt is on to find the very Best of British Engineering – which is to be celebrated at the second Semta Skills Awards. The backing of some of the biggest engineering brands in Britain have made the awards night one of the most important dates in the sector’s diary.

Welfare reform – creating effective local delivery partnerships
20 December 2014, Prospero House, Borough High Street, London SE1

20/12/2014 – This one day conference will provide an early opportunity to consider the updated Local Support Services Framework and will feature examples of best practice in the planning and delivery of services sharing learning from the Local Authority led pilots as well as drawing on the experience of housing associations, and third sector organisations in the delivery of budgeting support, debt advice, and financial inclusion inititatives, local welfare schemes, and digitial inclusion projects.

Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central London

23/04/2015 – David Sweeney, Director, HEFCE will be speaking at this seminar, which is scheduled to follow publication of this year’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system by which the quality of research from UK HEIs is assessed – with significant implications.

 

Wordcloud
This week: SetSquared boost, UKCES’s ‘Growth Through People’ report, ageing seaside towns, and Happy Birthday HEInnovate! Last week’s edition looked at golden handcuffs, high earning graduates, supercomputers, and the latest on Hinkley.

Research from universities across the South of England could be commercialised and turned into successful businesses faster than ever before, thanks to a multi-million pound project announced this week (November 26) by Minister for Universities and Science, Greg Clark MP. Under the programme, early-stage researchers at the five SETsquared universities (Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey) will be given tailored training, mentoring and funds to speed up the commercialisation of their ideas, technologies and products.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) will, next week, launch a comprehensive summary of the state of the UK skills system, co-signed by the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) and the Confederation for British Industry (CBI), which makes five recommendations for action, with employers driving long-term prosperity and growth.

Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges said: “Employers must work together with the education community to create meaningful qualifications for today’s fast-changing global skills economy” David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE said: “We need to build stronger social partnerships across the country to deliver a new localism where skills and employment services are better joined up and where employers can work with colleges, universities and other providers to find the skills solutions which support better progression in work and higher productivity”.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) suggests the report calls for investment in skills to boost UK’s productivity, as Ministers, unions and businesses have been urged to deliver more ‘earning and learning’ employment schemes, in order to raise people’s skill levels. The CBI also called on Chancellor George Osborne this week to focus on infrastructure investment and remove barriers to enterprise when he delivers his Autumn Statement next week.

Energy and Utility Skills welcomed the report “Through the Energy and Efficiency Industrial Partnership led by National Grid, employers in the power and utilities sector are working together for the first time and with their supply chains to tackle issues of energy demand and job creation.”

Creative Skillset also welcomed the report. David Abraham, Creative Skillset Board Member and Chief Executive of Channel 4, said: “The Growth Through People strategy highlights the importance of industry-wide collaboration and employer-led partnerships in developing a skilled workforce.

The research suggests that climbing the career ladder has become harder as technology has increasingly infiltrated the workplace, according to the Chartered Institute for Professional Development (CIPD). Urgent action must be taken to improve skill levels and how they are developed in order to boost productivity, wages and social mobility, according to Cogent, the Sector Skills Council for science based industries. Almost half of UK businesses have turned to migrant workers as they struggle to find local talent, a report from British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has found.

The population of coastal towns is ageing. More than a third of residents in some of the country’s best-known seaside resorts are over 65, prompting calls from MPs and business leaders for a massive investment to attract younger residents.

The number of young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (Neet) has fallen by 142,000 from a year ago to 954,000, according to the latest figures.

…and finally, Happy Birthday HEInnovate! …the self-assessment tool for encouraging institutional change and innovation in higher education institutions, was launched one year ago. The release of an updated version of the tool marks the occasion.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Higher Education

Association of Graduate Recruiters university awards 2015 – nominate your service
The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) is inviting higher education careers and employability services, which are members of AGR, to nominate themselves for the AGR Graduate Development Awards 2015.

Is bigger better for universities?
Student numbers will be uncapped from 2015. Chris Havergal examines arguments for and against expansion.

Report highlights 10 trends set to shake up education
Massive open social learning and dynamic assessment on the Open University’s list.

Teacher shortage fears as figures warn of under-recruitment in key areas
Universities performing best at recruiting trainee teachers according to new government data.

HEFCE report highlights the growing transnational nature of English higher education
New research by HEFCE looks for the first time at how students on UK higher education programmes delivered overseas move on to first degree courses delivered in England.

New qualifications launched to meet UK demand for digital skills
New government and industry-backed digital qualifications will provide the skills for a wide range of digital jobs.

Degree apprenticeships launched to boost hi-tech skills
Young people will be able to gain a full honours degree while earning a wage and paying no fees, under a scheme backed by government and industry.

Chinese students to help UK businesses
Chinese-speaking students are to be placed with UK companies to help them break into the Chinese market or find new investment.

Billions of pounds to be saved thanks to new What Works Network findings
Taxpayers’ money could be saved and spent more effectively thanks to findings from the government backed What Works Centres.

Mature students – lifelong learning on life support?
Matthew Reisz talks to academics about their experiences of teaching older learners, while Holly Else analyses the decline in the number of mature students.

UCU launches pre-election manifesto
The next government must look again at student finance and consider radical alternatives to the current system says UCU as it launches its 15-point pre-election manifesto today.

‘Leaky pipe’ between 1980s grammar schools and university
Grammar school pupils in the 1980s were no more likely to gain degrees from “elite” universities than comprehensive pupils, research suggests.

British Embassy hosts UK Skills Expo to develop talent in UAE
The second UK Skills Expo will be held at the British Embassy Dubai. Bringing UK players in the training sector to showcase their expertise.

Dstl pairs up with academia
Dstl is strengthening relations with academia as part of this year’s Royal Society Pairing Scheme.

New AGCAS liaison officer for the pharmaceutical industry
AGCAS is pleased to announce that Ian Walker, Project Manager at the University of Leicester, is the new AGCAS liaison officer (ALO) for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

Open University protests over potential loss of 700 jobs
UCU members at the Open University will lobby a meeting of the university’s council on Tuesday (25 November) in protest at plans that could see around 700 jobs go from eight regional centres across England.

Universities and colleges step up support for social entrepreneurs
Higher education institutions (HEIs) are working together to build a national ‘ecosystem’ of support for social entrepreneurs through a series of new partnerships announced by HEFCE and UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.

Universities that fail should be punished, says Which?
It should be easier to remove the degree-awarding powers of universities that fail to meet academic and consumer standards, a report by Which? has said.

Further Education

UKCES Employer Skills Survey 2011 – data tables
Data tables relating to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES) Employer Skills Survey 2011.

Further education and skills – statistical first release
Success rates for 2012 to 2013 and final further education and skills data for the full 2013 to 2014 academic year.

Rates of relative low income among 16 to 24 year olds
Rates of relative low income among 16 to 24 year olds for the financial years from 1994/95 to 2012/13.

Dramatic falls in learning require radical action
The introduction of adult learning loans for those aged 24 and over has led to a dramatic fall in the numbers participating in learning. This, alongside fewer adults participating in other learning, will severely impact the prospects for long-term economic growth and for people’s ability to progress in their careers and in life.

New figures show large drop in number of adult learners and apprenticeship starts
The number of people starting an apprenticeship fell by 13.7% this year and the number of adult learners dropped by 10.7%, according to government figures released today.

Skills Funding Agency to commission in-work support for Work Programme participants following Inclusion report
The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has released a memo to Work Programme providers outlining new provision for in-work support funded by the European Social Fund.

Trade & Growth

Business population estimates 2014
Annual business population estimates for the UK and regions in 2014.

Second Estimate of GDP, Q3 2014
UK gross domestic product (GDP) in volume terms was estimated to have increased by 0.7% between Q2 2014 and Q3 2014, unrevised from the previous estimate of GDP published 24 October 2014.

Innovate UK 2014 – watch the highlights
Over 2,000 attendees from 30 countries and a stellar line-up of speakers made Innovate UK 2014 bigger and better than ever.

Government launches maritime study to boost growth
Study that will look at how to boost the UK’s maritime industry has been launched.

Public Sector Finances, October 2014
Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks (PSNB ex) from April to October 2014 was £64.1 billion, an increase of £3.7 billion compared with the same period in 2013/14.

Industry Skills

Employers struggle to find ‘job-ready’ entry-level candidates
Around one in seven employers (16 per cent) were unable to fill all their entry-level vacancies in the last three years, despite a greater number of young people gaining qualifications since the recession, a report has revealed.

What is employability?
There is an initiative taking place in Plymouth this week in relation to enterprise and education.

Business Matters – Narrowing the skills gap
Adam Powell, director of skills at the West of England LEP, discusses inspiring the future of the region’s workforce.

CITB – Autumn Statement ‘must deliver infrastructure boost’
Infrastructure should be the main focus of Chancellor George Osborne’s upcoming Autumn Statement, according to an influential business group.

SkillsActive supports the launch of EMD Academy’s new training grant
SkillsActive is delighted to support the Exercise, Movement and Dance (EMD) Academy’s launch of their new training grant opportunity – the Open Bursary Scheme. The scheme aims to offer financial support to passionate individuals hoping to train or develop their career in teaching Exercise, Movement and Dance.

Academy launches upgrade plan on food safety training
The National Skills Academy for Food & Drink has launched a special online survey to determine how well current food safety training in the UK is meeting business needs.

National recognition for Black Country Skills Factory in specially commissioned film
Employer-led training partnership is hailed as a leader in the high value manufacturing (HVM) sector.

Welcome to the Creative Industries Federation
“The coming together of some of the sector’s most influential and engaged leaders to provide a strengthened voice is hugely positive.” – John Kampfner, Director

Trade Unions & Low Wages

TUC – Stronger flexible working rights would help overworked and under-employed
“It makes no sense that there are so many people wanting more work, while others complain of being overworked and want fewer hours. The government should strengthen flexible working rights, which could help solve both problems” – TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady

TUC – Low pay recovery is fuelling in-work poverty
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady comments on the report published Recently (Monday) by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation – which shows that more working households are living below the poverty line.

National minimum wage rates – survey of awareness – October 2014
Survey by one poll on behalf of BIS from 23 October to 25 October 2014 on national minimum wage awareness.

Underemployed workers in the UK – 2014
This report looks into those workers in the UK who are underemployed and want to work more hours, as well as those workers who want to work less hours, meaning they are overemployed. This report therefore looks in more detail at whether people in work are working the hours that they would like to.

UK Research Publications

 

Creating economically successful places – why planning is needed in a fast-changing world
Considers the major economic trends that will shape societies in the twenty-first century – from population change, globalisation and competition, to technological change and the increased scarcity of natural resources – and how planners can play a critical role in supporting sustainable economic growth.

Going for growth – reviewing the effectiveness of government growth initiatives
Assesses how policies such as new funding streams, and structures such as Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), have stimulated development and urges a continued focus on growth. It proposes that the next government should extend devolution to the UK’s cities and regions, making local authorities and strategic areas responsible for a wider range of priorities.

Employer Perspectives Survey 2014 – UK results
Findings from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES) Employer Perspectives Survey 2014.

Escape plan – understanding who progresses from low pay and who gets stuck
Argues that employers and government alike should review their policies and approaches to pay progression to ensure that this large part of the UK’s workforce is not denied the opportunity to move up in work. Also reveals that in many ways, progression is just one part of the wider low pay story, with small wage increases for perceived significant increases in responsibility discouraging many from moving off the first rung.

Too good to fail – the financial sustainability of higher education in England
Warns reforms to the higher education funding model have created the ‘worst of both worlds’ and have put the sector on a long-term footing that is ‘far from clear’.

Review of the Catapult network – recommendations on the future shape, scope and ambition of the programme
A review to advise on the medium-term strategy setting out the future scale and scope of the Catapult network of technology and innovation centres.

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

Infographic – the Labour Market in the Heart of the South West LEP
Infographic illustrating the Labour Market in the Heart of the South West LEP benchmarked against the South West region and England in terms of percentage change.

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

UK Labour Market, November 2014

Key Points for July to September 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Comparing the estimates for July to September 2014 with those for April to June 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes maintain the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.
  • There were 30.79 million people in work. This was 112,000 more than for April to June 2014 and 694,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, higher than for April to June 2014 (72.8%) and higher than for a year earlier (71.6%).
  • There were 22.52 million people working full-time, 589,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.27 million people working part-time, 105,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 1.96 million unemployed people, 115,000 fewer than for April to June 2014 and 529,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 6.0%, lower than for April to June 2014 (6.3%) and lower than for a year earlier (7.6%). The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
  • There were 9.03 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 38,000 more than for April to June 2014 but 16,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate was 22.2%, little changed compared to April to June 2014 (22.1%) and compared to a year earlier (22.3%).
  • Pay including bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 1.0% higher than a year earlier. Pay excluding bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 1.3% higher than a year earlier.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Regional Labour Market, November 2014

  • Download PDF
  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the East of England and the South East (76.5%) and lowest in the North East (69.0%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (9.2%) and lowest in the South East (4.6%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (25.8%) and lowest in the East of England (19.4%).
  • The Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (4.7%) and lowest in the South East (1.6%).
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Local growth deals – an early assessment
The latest in the series being carried out jointly by CEDOS and the ADEPT Planning, Regeneration & Housing Board and its predecessors focusing on local authority economic development.

Economic growth through devolution – towards a plan for cities and counties across England
Sets out a detailed approach to devolution to city regions and city-county areas in England to enable them to drive local and national economic growth.

Big data analytics – assessment of demand for labour and skills 2013–2020
Investigates the big data skills gap in the UK economy. Contends that demand for big data skills is surging and if the skills gap is not addressed the digital economy in the UK will be severely hampered.

Measuring digital skills – from digital skills to tangible outcomes project report
Aims to develop new survey measures of people’s digital skills, digital engagement and outcomes of Internet use.

European Programmes – Latest

Urban Europe – understanding how UK cities compete – Edinburgh & Glasgow
Argues that Edinburgh and Glasgow are two of Europe’s great cities. They are very different in size and character, and have contrasting, but equally dynamic, business bases.

RDPE Skills and training: guide for applicants
If you are an adult working in the agricultural, horticultural and forestry sectors or are a rurally located small business there may be training opportunities you can sign up to.

Migrants in low-skilled work
Migration Advisory Committee report on the the growth of European Union (EU) and non-EU labour in low-skilled jobs and its impact on the UK.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office economic factsheets
Economic factsheets briefly summarising key economic data for over 180 countries and territories. Download the EU factsheet. See the link below for all factsheets…

Sector Skills Publications

Accelerating economic growth – delivery plan financial year 2014-15
Describes how Innovate UK will identify markets and technology areas with the greatest potential for growth. This work complements the government’s new long-term approach to industrial strategy.

Europe’s low carbon industries – a health check
Assesses the market development and state of innovation of a selection of Europe’s low carbon industries compared to those in the rest of the world.

Events

Semta Skills Awards – Engineering Skills for the Future
24 February 2015, Park Plaza Riverbank hotel, London

24/02/2015 – Turn on the spotlights, dust off the red carpet – the hunt is on to find the very Best of British Engineering – which is to be celebrated at the second Semta Skills Awards. The backing of some of the biggest engineering brands in Britain have made the awards night one of the most important dates in the sector’s diary.

Welfare reform – creating effective local delivery partnerships
20 December 2014, Prospero House, Borough High Street, London SE1

20/12/2014 – This one day conference will provide an early opportunity to consider the updated Local Support Services Framework and will feature examples of best practice in the planning and delivery of services sharing learning from the Local Authority led pilots as well as drawing on the experience of housing associations, and third sector organisations in the delivery of budgeting support, debt advice, and financial inclusion inititatives, local welfare schemes, and digitial inclusion projects.

Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central London

23/04/2015 – David Sweeney, Director, HEFCE will be speaking at this seminar, which is scheduled to follow publication of this year’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system by which the quality of research from UK HEIs is assessed – with significant implications.

 

Wordcloud

This week: golden handcuffs, high earning graduates, supercomputers, and the latest on Hinkley.

Last week’s HE blog looked at Exeter’s Supercomputer, Government’s Science & Innovation strategy, public funding for universities and graduate retention.

Areas of the South West are among the worst parts of the country for getting young people into higher education. Labour activists ask ‘Is the Government failing to get enough Devon children into university?’. …and what of the graduates that do emerge? Calls to encourage ‘stay local’ graduate retention have been met with proposals to offer graduates a “golden handcuff” to stay and work locally.  Creating more opportunities for graduates to find jobs in Devon is vital to the county’s future prosperity, argues Andrew Leadbetter, councillor for economy and growth at Devon County Council.

On the plus side, the South West has the second lowest unemployment rate in UK, with a record-breaking number of people now in work, averaging over 13,000 more people in jobs every single week over the last year, according to new official figures. Incidentally, students from the University of Exeter’s Mining Engineering course are amongst the highest-earning graduates from any UK institution, a new league table has shown, with the average salary earned by ‘Materials Technology’ graduates entering employment six months after graduation at £41,000. The University has also been named the best university in the UK for international student satisfaction.

In the third quarter of 2014, output in the construction industry was estimated to have grown by 0.8% compared with Q2 2014. Between Q3 2013 and Q3 2014 output was estimated to have increased by 2.9%. This was the sixth consecutive period of annual quarter-on-quarter growth. Hundreds of former soldiers, Royal Navy sailors and air force personnel could be given jobs building houses across the country under a new scheme launched by a major housing group.

Exeter’s growing reputation as a world-leading centre for climate change science was given another boost this week (October 28) by the announcement that the Met Office has secured the investment required to purchase one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. Minister Swire, FCO Ministerial Champion for Science and Innovation, cut the turf for the Met Office’s new supercomputer this week. Funding has been confirmed for the £97m supercomputer to improve the Met Office’s weather forecasting and climate modelling. The new system will be housed partly at the Met Office headquarters in Exeter and partly at a new facility in the Exeter Science Park, and will reach its full capacity in 2017. The Met Office works in strategic partnership with the Universities of Exeter, Oxford, Leeds and Reading. As one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world when fully installed, it will also be a catalyst for regional growth in the South West, supporting collaboration and partnerships between science, business and academia, cementing the UK’s position as a world leader in weather and climate prediction.

EDF Energy has said it is using Somerset as the template for how it will deliver nuclear builds in the future, pledging Hinkley Point C contracts for local Somerset firms. The managing director of new builds at EDF Energy, although London-based, Cadoux-Hudson will lead the team behind the project, which could bring 900 jobs to the South West and has topped Insider’s Power 50, the annual list which ranks the individuals with the greatest influence in the South West. One of Saudi Arabia’s biggest power companies is in talks to acquire a stake in Hinkley Point C, potentially leading to billions of pounds of investment in the venture and huge revenues for the Saudis in coming decades.

EDF recently celebrated the next generation of engineers as almost 80 apprentices graduated from the Gloucestershire energy business. Youth unemployment – one of the most depressing results of the recent recession – has tumbled in Gloucestershire during the last 12 months. The Environment Agency reported recently applications received to vary a permit allowing the discharge of run-off and effluent generated during construction of the proposed nuclear power station.

Petroc are organising two events on behalf of the Skills Fund for Hinkley ESF project in Devon, one at their Mid Devon campus on 10 December 2014 and one at Sandy Park in Exeter on 6 February 2015.  Prior to these events we have launched a survey to help tailor these events to match the needs of businesses and provide information that is both useful & relevant.

…and finally, survey! Survey! survey!!!

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Further Education & Skills

Nicky Morgan – closing the skills gap and our plan for education
Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan speaks at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on closing the skills gap.

New figures show sharp fall in number of young people NEET
The number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) for 2014’s summer months returned to levels not seen since 2007.

Further Education Commissioner urges colleges to strive for excellence in first annual report
Further Education Commissioner publishes his first annual report.

Association of Colleges calls for Government to stop ‘unsustainable’ cuts to college student funding
The continuing cuts to 16-18 college funding have been described as ‘unjust and unsustainable’ by Richard Atkins, the President of the Association of Colleges (AoC) at the organisation’s Annual Exhibition and Conference in Birmingham today.

Updates from Association of College’s Annual Conference 2014
Updates from Association of College’s Annual Conference 2014

AoC responds to Sir Michael Wilshaw’s ‘Transforming vocational education’
Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges responds to HMI Sir Michael Wilshaw’s speech ‘Transforming vocational education’ to the CBI.

AoC cautious of high level specialism
Responding to a new report by the CBI, Better Off Britain , Gill Clipson, Deputy Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “The CBI is right to call for employees to be more skilled as this benefits not just the business and the employee but also the wider UK economy.”

Further education for benefit claimants – 2012 to 2013
Analyses training for learners on benefits in England using government data for the 2012 to 2013 academic year.

AoC responds to CBI’s Better off Britain report
Gill Clipson, Deputy Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges responds to a new report by the CBI, Better Off Britain.

SFA clarifies FELTAG 10 percent recommendation at NIACE conference
The Further Education Learning Technology Action Group’s (FELTAG) recommendation that ‘10% of learning should be online’ has left many providers feeling confused, but will be clarified by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) during their seminar at NIACE’s Digital Learning Conference at The Skills Show tomorrow.

Schools working in partnership get funding boost
Green light given to independent and state primary school projects which share subject expertise.

Destinations of key stage 4 and key stage 5 pupils – 2011 to 2012
This publication shows educational or employment destinations of key stage 4 (KS4) and key stage 5 (KS5) students.

Destinations of KS4 and KS5 pupils by characteristics – 2010 to 2011
Education, employment and training destinations of key stage 4 (KS4) and key stage 5 (KS5) students by characteristics.

A coherent framework for higher level vocational education is crucial
NIACE is encouraged by the progress made in the last year to establish an outstanding vocational learning system in the UK, as highlighted today in the publication of One Year on Review, the update report from the Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL).

National Literacy Trust publishes State of the Nation and Impact Report 2013/2014
In this 2013/2014 report the National Literacy Trust presents a snapshot of literacy in the UK at a time when the impact of the recession has continued to work its way through society.

November edition of the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Skills Newsletter
Unlocking Big data, Skills fund for Hinkley, MTI14, Employment & Skills Conference fully booked! …and Lottery funding awarded to help voluntary sector access EU funding

Science careers not ‘the preserve of men’
Teenaged girls must not be allowed to feel that maths and science subjects are “the preserve of men”, says England’s Education Secretary.

UKCES welcomes employer involvement in review of maths and English qualifications
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) today welcomed skills minister Nick Boles’ announcement that that the Education and Training Foundation is to undertake a review of maths and English qualifications.

Thousands inspired at The Skills Show 2014
The Skills Show provided inspiration and advice about future careers to almost 74,000 people at the NEC, Birmingham last week (13 to 15 November).

FE Commissioner Annual Report
Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges responds to the annual report from FE Commissioner Dr David Collins.

Skills Commission report supports NIACE’s call for radical action
Today’s analysis from the Skills Commission – which warns that the UK’s system of training and skills provision is growing increasingly out of step with the needs of the modern economy – is further support for NIACE’s call for a radical new approach to skills training for the UK workforce.

BIS adopts NIACE Traineeship recommendation
NIACE’s recommendation that young people aged 19 – 24, who have a full level 2 qualification, should have the same eligibility rights to a Traineeship as those aged 16-18, has been adopted today by BIS.

More young people to be helped into work with traineeships
Skills Minister announces government plans to open up the traineeships programme to more young people.

Higher Education

Exeter researcher contributes to government report on managing the risk of innovative technologies
The first ever Annual Report by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport will be launched at the Institute for Government in London on 19 November 2014. Dr James Lyons, Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Exeter and academic advisor for the report, contributed a case study on communicating the risk of climate change.

Data, analysis and reports – the Education and training Monitor 2014
The latest report charting the evolution of education and training systems across Europe and outlining clear policy messages for Member States was adopted by the European Commission on 13 November.

Erasmus+ Programme Guide
The Erasmus+ Programme Guide is an integral part of the 2015 Erasmus+ Call for Proposals . Organisations and institutions seeking funding in the framework of this call must comply with the conditions for participation and funding expressed in this Guide.

The Education and Training Monitor 2014 is out now
The third annual edition of the Education and Training Monitor charts the evolution of education and training systems across Europe. It brings together, in a concise, digestible way, the latest quantitative and qualitative data, recent technical reports and studies, plus policy documents and developments.

University of Exeter scoops award for best international student satisfaction
The University of Exeter has been named the best university in the UK for international student satisfaction.

The Student Engagement Partnership
HEFCE is providing funding for the Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP) to support, develop and promote student engagement activity in the higher education sector in England.

UCU response to IFS report on costs of Initial Teacher Training routes
UCU has said that simple cost-benefit analysis of teacher training routes doesn’t address the long-term threats to university education departments caused by competitive teacher training allocations.

CBI comments on Cranfield University’s Women on Boards progress report
The CBI recently responded to Cranfield University’s Women on Boards progress report.

Sutton Trust research reveals cost of unpaid internships to graduates
New research published by the Sutton Trust has revealed that 31 per cent of university graduates working as interns are unpaid. The report finds that ‘the cost barriers to participating in an unpaid internship have significant consequences for social mobility’.

PM stresses importance of lifelong learning
Encouraged by the glowing references made on the importance of lifelong learning, NIACE has responded to the Prime Minister’s speech at today’s CBI Conference.

Employment

UK Labour Market, November 2014
There were 30.79 million people in work. This was 112,000 more than for April to June 2014 and 694,000 more than for a year earlier.

Regional Labour Market, November 2014
The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the East of England and the South East (76.5%) and lowest in the North East (69.0%).

Historical labour market statistics
Statistics showing annual changes to employment.

Launch of ASHE 2014 results and latest developments in the labour market seminar
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is hosting a short Labour Market Seminar to be held at the Royal Society, London on Wednesday 19th November from 10.00am until 12.30pm.

Public Spending Statistics release – November 2014
The November 2014 National statistics public expenditure outturn release.

New Workforce Survey welcomed by UK Commission for Employment and Skills
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has welcomed a new report by the British Chambers of Commerce, urging employers and policy-makers to act now to maximise skills.

CIPD – Private sector drives jobs growth this quarter
Employment is expected to grow strongly in the final quarter of this year, according to the CIPD’s latest Labour Market Outlook survey.

Young offenders given work experience by top businesses
Young people leaving custody in London and Manchester will get invaluable work experience and mentoring with leading British businesses.

UK employers urged to become more agile
A group of the UK’s most high-profile companies are calling on employers to adopt more agile working practices to help boost business as well as the economy.

‘Facebook at Work’ under development, reports say #FacebookAtWork
Facebook is developing a new product called ‘Facebook at Work’ to enable users to message colleagues and link with business associates, it has been reported.

Innovate UK 2014 – bigger and better than ever
It was a record-breaking 2 days with over 2,000 attendees from 30 countries and a stellar line-up of speakers.

Deputy Prime Minister names social mobility employment ‘champions’
The government hailed 12 UK companies for leading the way in helping young people find jobs.

UKAEA named as a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer
UKAEA’s award winning scheme is recognised in the prestigious Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list for 2014.

Young offenders given work experience by top businesses
Young people leaving custody in London and Manchester will get invaluable work experience and mentoring with leading British businesses.

CIPD – Private sector drives jobs growth this quarter
Employment is expected to grow strongly in the final quarter of this year, according to the CIPD’s latest Labour Market Outlook survey.

Minister for Portsmouth accelerates deal to create 3,700 jobs
A massive component of the Portsmouth and Southampton City Deal which will create 3,700 permanent jobs moves a step closer.

Enterprise zones pass 12,000 jobs mark
Enterprise zones are playing a vital role in driving forward the country’s economy.

Protest in Slough against M&S work conditions at Swindon warehouse
Workers at a Marks & Spencer warehouse have staged a protest over “Victorian” working conditions.

Royal Agricultural University and Morrisons announce pioneering partnership
The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and food retailer Morrisons have launched an education and research based partnership which will benefit the wider farming industry.

Tribal Group poised for global expansion
Tribal Group, the Bristol-based software provider to the education, training and learning markets, has revealed it is braced to secure a number of “significant” international contracts before the end of the year.

Young workers say they pay over 40 per cent of their salary on rent
The housing experiences of young people across the UK – who have told the TUC and Generation Rent that they face unaffordable housing costs, insecurity of tenure and exploitation by private landlords – will be one of the topics debated today (Saturday) in London at the TUC’s Big Youth Debate.

Industry

Forecasts for the UK economy – November 2014
A comparison of independent forecasts for the UK economy in November 2014.

UK Trade, September 2014
Seasonally adjusted, the UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services was estimated to have been £2.8 billion in September 2014, compared with £1.8 billion in August 2014. This reflects a deficit of £9.8 billion on goods, partly offset by an estimated surplus of £7.0 billion on services.

Big Lottery Funding awarded to Gloucestershire Companies
The Big Lottery Fund has awarded £630,000 of Lottery funding to 36 organisations across England to raise awareness to the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector, of the opportunities available to them through the European Social Fund (ESF). GFirst LEP worked with the Big Lottery to provide advice and guidance on funding, and to appoint the successful applicants to move the project forward.

Extension for Plymouth’s Urban Enterprise scheme
A project to help set up new businesses in Plymouth has been given a boost with a three-month extension.

Hinkley Point C nuclear plant’s future in doubt as crisis hits shareholder
Questions over new Somerset power station after Areva’s nuclear projects in Finland and France run into difficulties.

New plans to unlock manufacturing supply chain opportunity
The Deputy Prime Minister announces a new ambitious action plan to help UK manufacturers to work together with British companies.

Logistics – AIM for Excellence Endorsements
Skills for Logistics’ Standard of Excellence Driver CPC has been introduced in response to a need voiced by employers and providers to showcase excellent training provision.

Norbert Dentressangle gains external excellence endorsement
The Standard of Excellence Driver CPC has been introduced by Skills for Logistics in response to a need voiced by employers and providers to showcase excellent training provision.

SkillsActive supports the launch of EMD Academy’s new training grant
SkillsActive is delighted to support the Exercise, Movement and Dance (EMD) Academy’s launch of their new training grant opportunity – the Open Bursary Scheme. The scheme aims to offer financial support to passionate individuals hoping to train or develop their career in teaching Exercise, Movement and Dance.

Skills for Health – Are you ready to grow and develop your support workforce?
With the recent spotlight on healthcare support staff, organisations are now in an exciting position to establish lasting changes that increase both productivity and the overall quality of care.

Industry supports EngTech, research finds
There is overwhelming support for the promotion of career progression to those working in plumbing and domestic heating, according to latest industry research.

Employers urged to join scheme to improve apprentice training
New Science Industry Partnership initiative is helping to close the gap between employer needs and apprentice capabilities Teesside employers are being urged to take advantage of a new scheme to improve apprentice training and skills standards.

Low Energy Company (LEC) Initiative Launched to help UK organisations’ reduce Energy Use
Today (Wednesday 19 November 2014), in partnership with the Energy Managers Association (EMA), the Low Energy Company Initiative was launched at the inaugural Energy Managers Exhibition (EMEX). EMEX takes place between 19-10 November at the ExCel centre in London.

CITB and NCS renew partnership to promote construction
CITB and the National Careers Service have reaffirmed their Partnership Agreement to support careers, progression, jobs and skills across the construction industry.

Leading industry experts discuss the evolution of the workplace
The roundtable discussion, entitled ‘From Facilities to Workplace Management’, was sponsored by AON and chaired by Harvey Atkinson of The Building Futures Group.

People 1st Employment Academies help hospitality employers fill over 5,000 vacancies
People 1st has revealed that its work with leading hospitality employers has helped fill over 5,000 new roles.

UK Space Agency to invest up to £32 million in global space industry partnerships
The UK Space Agency is investing up to £32 million to open opportunities for the UK space sector to share expertise in real-world satellite technology and services overseas.

Low Pay

Low Pay, April 2014
Based on a new methodology which accounts for the apprentice National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate, there were 236,000 jobs with pay less than the NMW held by employees aged 16 and over in April 2014. This constituted 0.9% of UK employee jobs.

Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, 2014 Provisional Results
Adjusted for inflation, weekly earnings decreased by 1.6% compared to 2013. The largest decrease was between 2010 and 2011, but inflation-adjusted earnings have continued to decrease every year since 2008, to levels last seen in the early 2000s.

Gender pay gap highlights part-time pay penalty
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady commented on the latest annual pay statistics published today (Wednesday) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – which show that the full-time median gender pay gap reduced to 9.4 per cent in 2014 (from 10 per cent the year before).

Public and private sector earnings – November 2014
This analysis looks at differences in average hourly earnings in the public and private sector from 2002-2010 using regression analysis, and considers the difficulties in making comparisons due to the differences between the two sectors.

Trade Unions

TUC – Wages recovery should be at the heart of government’s economic strategy
“The bad news on wages just keeps on coming. The government should be putting a wages recovery at the heart of its economic strategy to make sure more businesses give Britain the pay rise that workers deserve and need.” –

TUC – Low inflation points to wage rises as the priority
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady comments on the latest inflation figures published recently (Tuesday), which show CPI inflation at its lowest level for five years.

TUC – Only one in every forty new jobs since the recession is for a full-time employee
The share of UK jobs accounted for by full-time employees fell during the recession and has failed to recover, according to new analysis published today (Wednesday) by the TUC.

TUC – Even flirting with the idea of leaving the EU is dangerous
“We should not sacrifice economic growth for a family squabble between UKIP and the Conservatives.” – TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady

FSB calls for Autumn Statement to deliver investment and support business ambitions
Reform of business rates, tax simplification, better roads and faster broadband is needed against a backdrop of solid support for small businesses.

UK Research Publications

Education and training statistics for the United Kingdom – 2014
Provides statistics relating to education and training in the UK. Source agency: Education Designation: National Statistics Language: English Alternative title: Education and training statistics for the United Kingdom.

Employee outlook – autumn 2014
The survey of over 2,500 employees found that one in three employees report that their career progression to date has failed to meet their expectations and more than a quarter are either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the level of career training and development offered by their current employer.

Does worker wellbeing affect workplace performance?
Review of evidence on employee wellbeing and its potential impact on workplace performance.

The impact of free, universal pre-school education on maternal labour supply
Estimates the impact of free, universal pre-school education for three year olds on maternal labour supply in England, exploiting discontinuities arising from date of birth eligibility cut-offs and geographical variation in the speed at which the entitlement effectively covered all children.

Estimating the effect of UK direct public support for innovation
Presents new analysis of direct UK innovation grant funding programmes, combining data from the ONS, the UK innovation survey and Innovate UK. Uses Propensity Score Matching to robustly assess the causal impact of innovation grant support. Considers this in the context of the recent broader economic literature on innovation to consider its likely impact on the UK Economy.

Escape plan – understanding who progresses from low pay and who gets stuck
Argues that employers and government alike should review their policies and approaches to pay progression to ensure that this large part of the UK’s workforce is not denied the opportunity to move up in work. Also reveals that in many ways, progression is just one part of the wider low pay story, with small wage increases for perceived significant increases in responsibility discouraging many from moving off the first rung.

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

Infographic – the Labour Market in the Heart of the South West LEP
Infographic illustrating the Labour Market in the Heart of the South West LEP benchmarked against the South West region and England in terms of percentage change.

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

UK Labour Market, November 2014

Key Points for July to September 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Comparing the estimates for July to September 2014 with those for April to June 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes maintain the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.
  • There were 30.79 million people in work. This was 112,000 more than for April to June 2014 and 694,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, higher than for April to June 2014 (72.8%) and higher than for a year earlier (71.6%).
  • There were 22.52 million people working full-time, 589,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.27 million people working part-time, 105,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 1.96 million unemployed people, 115,000 fewer than for April to June 2014 and 529,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 6.0%, lower than for April to June 2014 (6.3%) and lower than for a year earlier (7.6%). The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
  • There were 9.03 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 38,000 more than for April to June 2014 but 16,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate was 22.2%, little changed compared to April to June 2014 (22.1%) and compared to a year earlier (22.3%).
  • Pay including bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 1.0% higher than a year earlier. Pay excluding bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 1.3% higher than a year earlier.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Regional Labour Market, November 2014

  • Download PDF
  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the East of England and the South East (76.5%) and lowest in the North East (69.0%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (9.2%) and lowest in the South East (4.6%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (25.8%) and lowest in the East of England (19.4%).
  • The Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (4.7%) and lowest in the South East (1.6%).
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

The missing million – illuminating the employment challenges of the over 50s
Demonstrates that of the 3.3 million economically inactive people aged 50-64, approximately 1 million people have been made ‘involuntarily workless’ – pushed out of their previous job as a result of ‘shocks’, a combination of redundancy, ill health or early retirement.

Youth transitions – helping every young person reach their full potential
Despite welcome falls in unemployment, the LGA is warning that a third of young people – around 2.1 million – will be unemployed or underemployed by 2018 unless something changes.

European Programmes – Latest

Urban Europe – understanding how UK cities compete – Edinburgh & Glasgow
Argues that Edinburgh and Glasgow are two of Europe’s great cities. They are very different in size and character, and have contrasting, but equally dynamic, business bases.

Economic crisis and the resilience of regions
Exposes territorial evidence that supports policymakers at different administrative levels in making the economic structure(s) in Europe and its countries, regions and cities more resilient to economic crises and a sudden economic downturn.

Making Europe open and polycentric – vision and scenarios for the European territory towards 2050
Provides answers to the following key questions: 1. Why does Europe need a territorial vision now? 2. How will Europe develop if current policies are not changed? 3. How could different policy scenarios influence Europe? 4. How to make Europe more Open and Polycentric? 5. What policies could support this?

Sector Skills Publications

Low carbon jobs – the evidence for net job creation from policy support for energy efficient and renewable energy
Examines the economy-wide consequences for employment of policies encouraging investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. It examines whether, how, to what extent and under what conditions such policies lead to net job creation in the implementing regions. The assessment is confined to OECD economies and covers all relevant policy measures with the exception of carbon taxes and carbon emission trading schemes.

Guide on EU funding for the tourism sector 2014-2020
Information on the various sources of EU funding of interest for the European tourism industry and its different actors, from both private and public sector.

The changing shape of UK manufacturing
The contribution of the manufacturing industry to the UK economy has changed markedly over the last 60 years. On average, output in the industry has grown by 1.4% a year since 1948, although it has contracted around the economic downturns in the 1970s and early 1990s, and most recently and notably during the 2008-9 economic downturn.

Events

IES employment policy conference 2014
25 November 2014, Ambassadors Bloomsbury, London

25/11/2014 – Examines The UK youth labour market, UK policy initiatives, The role of employers, The perspectives of young people and International policy perspectives.

Learning Networks and Annual Conference for Erasmus+
26-27 November 2014, Conference Aston, Central Birmingham

26/11/2014 – The very first Learning Networks and Annual Conference for Erasmus+ have arrived. Conference Aston in central Birmingham will be the venue for the Learning Networks event on 26 November and Annual Conference on 27 November. Bookings will open in October.

Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central London

23/04/2015 – David Sweeney, Director, HEFCE will be speaking at this seminar, which is scheduled to follow publication of this year’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system by which the quality of research from UK HEIs is assessed – with significant implications.

Welfare reform – creating effective local delivery partnerships
20 December 2014, Prospero House, Borough High Street, London SE1

20/12/2014 – This one day conference will provide an early opportunity to consider the updated Local Support Services Framework and will feature examples of best practice in the planning and delivery of services sharing learning from the Local Authority led pilots as well as drawing on the experience of housing associations, and third sector organisations in the delivery of budgeting support, debt advice, and financial inclusion inititatives, local welfare schemes, and digitial inclusion projects.

Semta Skills Awards – Engineering Skills for the Future
24 February 2015, Park Plaza Riverbank hotel, London

24/02/2015 – Turn on the spotlights, dust off the red carpet – the hunt is on to find the very Best of British Engineering – which is to be celebrated at the second Semta Skills Awards. The backing of some of the biggest engineering brands in Britain have made the awards night one of the most important dates in the sector’s diary.

Creative SkillSet – Get Your Next Job in TV Drama, Salford
21 November 2014, MediaCityUK, Salford

21/11/2014 – This day is a Creative Skillset funded initiative for TV freelancers in the UK creative industries, and is supported by the Skills Investment Fund. Booking for this will open nearer the time.

The Manufacturer Directors’ Conference
26-27 November 2014, Birmingham

26/11/2014 – An event for manufacturers in Birmingham open for booking now, part of the week of excellence provided by The Manufacturer.

Lean Start-Up for Business Advisors
26 November, 2014 09:30 – 16:00, Bridgwater College, Somerset, TA6 4PZ

26/11/2014 – Free workshop for those providing support and advice to Start Ups, Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs across Somerset. Interactive sessions exploring the key strategies from Eric Ries’ hugely successful Lean Start Up. Understand the principals of lean and how to use new tools like the business model canvas.

Lean Start-Up in Action
26 November, 2014 09:30 – 16:00, Bridgwater College, Somerset, TA6 4PZ

26/11/2014 – Free workshop for Start Ups, Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs in Somerset. Putting into practice the key strategies from Eric Ries’ hugely successful Lean Start Up. Leave with a complete business model canvas, practical next steps to move your product forward, local contacts and grant funding opportunities. For bookings email leanstartup@swmas.co.uk or call: 0845 608 3838

 

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This month: Exeter’s Supercomputer, Government’s Science & Innovation strategy, public funding for universities and graduate retention. Last week: Innovate UK, the £30m Skills Fund and launching the National Composites Centre in Bristol.

Exeter’s growing reputation as a world-leading centre for climate change science was given another boost this week (October 28) by the announcement that the Met Office has secured the investment required to purchase one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. Minister Swire, FCO Ministerial Champion for Science and Innovation, cut the turf for the Met Office’s new supercomputer this week. Funding has been confirmed for the £97m supercomputer to improve the Met Office’s weather forecasting and climate modelling. The new system will be housed partly at the Met Office headquarters in Exeter and partly at a new facility in the Exeter Science Park, and will reach its full capacity in 2017. The Met Office works in strategic partnership with the Universities of Exeter, Oxford, Leeds and Reading. As one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world when fully installed, it will also be a catalyst for regional growth in the South West, supporting collaboration and partnerships between science, business and academia, cementing the UK’s position as a world leader in weather and climate prediction.

The Government is committed to producing a Science and Innovation Strategy to coincide with the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2014. The objective of the strategy is to secure economic growth and high quality jobs for the UK through investment in science and innovation. Timely, then, for a visit from Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, who met with councils and businesses from across the South West on the 8th of October to sign the £270.3 million Heart of the South West Growth Deal. The Minister also met with key researchers and business representatives during a fact-finding visit to the University of Exeter. The Minister fed back to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee after his visit to Exeter, speaking about growth deals, science parks, universities and links to local growth in the South West. The University of Exeter also secured a share of a £150m government investment in the UK’s clinical research infrastructure. HEFCE welcomed the final report of the City Growth Commission, including its specific analysis of the role of universities in driving local economic growth.

Petroc are organising two events on behalf of the Skills Fund for Hinkley ESF project in Devon, one at their Mid Devon campus on 10 December 2014 and one at Sandy Park in Exeter on 6 February 2015.  Prior to these events we have launched a survey to help tailor these events to match the needs of businesses and provide information that is both useful & relevant.

Employers and educators are joining forces with Semta to improve the quality of teaching and training in STEM subjects essential to engineering.  Leading science industry employers celebrated this month following the successful enrolment of the first apprentice cohort on revolutionary new Apprenticeship Standards.  An innovative new Modular Masters Training in Formulation Science and Technology being promoted by Cogent, offers greater flexibility for businesses and learners.

Businesses working in the wave and tidal technology sector in South West England could also be eligible for a new £1.85m funding opportunity. A new science park in Wiltshire has also been awarded £2m of local authority funding on top of £4m from the government’s growth fund.

We have been celebrating the history St Luke’s Campus this month to mark its 160th anniversary. Originally founded as a teacher training college in 1854, the campus is now home to the Graduate School of Education, as well as the University of Exeter Medical School and Sports and Health Sciences.  In relation to this, Nick Boles announced the continuation of a bursary scheme to encourage more top graduates to begin a teaching career in further education.

Public funding for universities should be scrapped and replaced by graduates paying an earnings levy to their institutions, to end the taxpayer ‘burden’ according to the Institute of Economic Affairs. Graduates should pay their university a proportion of their future earnings rather than taking out loans, the report suggests.

Changes in university tuition fees have had a significant effect on the rate of inflation over the last couple of years. Recent analysis by HEFCE gives a brief overview of the methodology used to measure these fees and includes a stylised example of the Consumer Prices Index calculation. UCU criticised the proposals. Six Russell Group universities have rejected government loans for postgrad study, suggesting £10,000 state loans wouldn’t help students from less well-off backgrounds. HEFCE is providing funding for the Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP) to support, develop and promote student engagement activity in the higher education sector in England.

Areas of the South West are among the worst parts of the country for getting young people into higher education. Labour activists ask ‘Is the Government failing to get enough Devon children into university?’. …and what of the graduates that do emerge? Calls to encourage ‘stay local’ graduate retention have been met with proposals to offer graduates a “golden handcuff” to stay and work locally.  Creating more opportunities for graduates to find jobs in Devon is vital to the county’s future prosperity, argues Andrew Leadbetter, councillor for economy and growth at Devon County Council. Incidentally, students from the University of Exeter’s Mining Engineering course are amongst the highest-earning graduates from any UK institution, a new league table has shown, with the average salary earned by ‘Materials Technology’ graduates entering employment six months after graduation at £41,000. The University has also been named the best university in the UK for international student satisfaction.

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News Headlines

University of Exeter scoops award for best international student satisfaction
The University of Exeter has been named the best university in the UK for international student satisfaction.

PM stresses importance of lifelong learning PM stresses importance of lifelong learning
Encouraged by the glowing references made on the importance of lifelong learning, NIACE has responded to the Prime Minister’s speech at today’s CBI Conference.

HEFCE – The Student Engagement Partnership
HEFCE is providing funding for the Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP) to support, develop and promote student engagement activity in the higher education sector in England.

HEFCE – Responses to independent review of metrics
A summary of responses to a call for evidence on the use of metrics in research assessment has been published by HEFCE.

HEFCE – The importance of people and partnership in university-business links
HEFCE welcomes the statement of the UK’s expert knowledge exchange practitioner bodies on universities’ principles and practices in managing their intellectual assets.

UK is magnet for highly educated EU migrants, research shows
Study reveals that 62% of migrants from western Europe have a university degree, compared with 24% of British workforce.

Student startups – could you be the next Mark Zuckerberg?
University might be the perfect time to create your own startup.

University welcomes announcement of Met Office £97m supercomputer to Exeter Science Park
Exeter’s growing reputation as a world-leading centre for climate change science was given another boost today (October 28) by the announcement that the Met Office has secured the investment required to purchase one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world.

Future financial challenges facing the higher education sector
A review of the financial health of higher education institutions published by HEFCE concludes that the higher education sector in England faces significant financial challenges over the next three years.

University of Exeter gets share of £150m fund
The University of Exeter has secured a share of a £150m government investment in the UK’s clinical research infrastructure.

The role of universities in city and local growth
HEFCE welcomes the final report of the City Growth Commission, including its specific analysis of the role of universities.

Higher qualifications – July to September 2014
This bulletin covers qualifications of all types at Level 4 and above (equivalent to post-A level), excluding university degrees, which are regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency. There is some overlap between the figures in this bulletin and the Vocational Qualifications Quarterly which covers vocational qualifications at all levels.

Plymouth to loan science park £2million for expansion bid
Plymouth City Council has loaned the largest science park in the region £2million to help expansion plans.

UK review of National Student Survey – the next phase
The review of the National Student Survey is entering a phase of testing and development.

New HEPI report highlights the benefits of shared infrastructure
The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) today publishes a new report entitled Jisc: a hidden advantage for higher education, written by the Chief Executive of Jisc, Martyn Harrow, with a Foreword by Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI.

HEFCE – Evaluating impact assessment in the REF
An evaluation of the assessment process for impact in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) is now under way.

Quality assessment in UK higher education
Nick Davy, Higher Education Policy Manager for the Association of Colleges responds to the recent Quality assessment in UK higher education anouncemet by HEFCE.

University teaching departments key to train future teaching workforce says UCU as government cuts places by 5 percent
Commenting on National College for Teaching and Leadership figures that show teacher training places in universities will be reduced by 5% next year (2015/16), UCU said university teaching departments are key to producing the high-quality teaching workforce of the future.

£750,000 competition announced to help students with clever ideas
University students will bid for £750,000, in a new competition designed to encourage the practical use of intellectual property.

Cities call for HE investment powers
Groups of local authorities and universities should be allowed to use public money to create Metro Investment Funds for Higher Education focused on major urban areas, according to the latest report from the City Growth Commission.

Eden and University of Exeter sign up to a growing relationship
Two of the UK’s leading education centres, the University of Exeter and the Eden Project, have celebrated their strengthening links with a formal signing ceremony.

Higher Education Research Publications

Univercities – the knowledge to power UK metros
Presents a report from the City Growth Commission which makes recommendations for universities to enhance their economic impact on the UK’s metros. Explains that ‘metros’ are defined by the Office for National Statistics as “built-up areas including city centres, and surrounding settlements with total resident population over 500,000 residents”. Provides an overview of the policy concerning the relationship between universities and economic growth.

Sustainable Integration of Long-term Unemployed – From Work First to Career First
Considers the move from a “Work first” policy orientation towards a more sustainable “Career first” approach with a greater emphasis on the quality of jobs, job progression and longer-term career progression.

The business of cities
Seeks to review and explain the important new agenda arising from the changing relationships between cities and businesses.

The future of work
Explores the way office culture is changing, the new technologies in the work place and how to attract and retain the best talent.

What are the prospects for a wage recovery in the UK?
Compares employment, wage and cost of living data over two distinct periods of recession and recovery (1990-2001 and 2004-2014).

Project STEM – book of insights 2014
Describes young people’s attitudes, beliefs, motivations and behaviours that affect their decisions on subject choice and career paths.

The changing shape of UK manufacturing
The contribution of the manufacturing industry to the UK economy has changed markedly over the last 60 years. On average, output in the industry has grown by 1.4% a year since 1948, although it has contracted around the economic downturns in the 1970s and early 1990s, and most recently and notably during the 2008-9 economic downturn.

International Research Publications

Positive economic impact of UK immigration from the European Union – new evidence
Shows that European immigrants to the UK have paid more in taxes than they received in benefits, helping to relieve the fiscal burden on UK-born workers and contributing to the financing of public services.

Economic crisis and the resilience of regions
Exposes territorial evidence that supports policymakers at different administrative levels in making the economic structure(s) in Europe and its countries, regions and cities more resilient to economic crises and a sudden economic downturn.

Making Europe open and polycentric – vision and scenarios for the European territory towards 2050
Provides answers to the following key questions: 1. Why does Europe need a territorial vision now? 2. How will Europe develop if current policies are not changed? 3. How could different policy scenarios influence Europe? 4. How to make Europe more Open and Polycentric? 5. What policies could support this?

Why have some countries become more unemployed than others? An investigation of changes in unemployment in EU member states since 2008
Investigates links between employment changes and both sectoral developments and changes in earnings levels in six EU member states. Challenges the view that a remedy focusing on reducing employment protection and pay levels leads to higher levels of employment. Recommends instead policies to restore investment levels and to help transformation towards economies based on higher skill and qualification levels.

The growth of EU labour – assessing the impact on the labour market
Aims to inform the debate about the impact of the increase in EU migrant workers on the UK labour market, and particularly on young UK-born workers.

The Erasmus Impact Study – effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and the internationalisation of higher education students
Study on the impact of the European Union’s Erasmus student exchange programme. Shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market.

e-Appendix

Women in engineering – fixing the talent pipeline
Demonstrates that 16 is the critical age at which women are lost to potential careers in engineering, and considers what needs to be done both in and outside of schools to attract more female talent into the industry.

The impact of welfare interventions on life-courses of deprived groups
Reducing poverty and social exclusion is one of the main challenges for ensuring social cohesion in modern Europe. How to facilitate active inclusion through integrated and participatory modes of multilevel governance is the core of COPE’s research. The project addresses key questions: How can the combat against poverty be organised in practice? How do European, national and local institutions shape the co-production of active inclusion? How do beneficiaries participate in these policies and how does this shape their life courses?

The reason for migration and labour market characteristics of UK residents born abroad
Analyses the labour market position of foreign born UK residents by their original purpose for migrating.

Events

The Skills Show, NEC
13 – 15 November 2014, Birmingham NEC

FREE to attend, The Skills Show provides young people with opportunities to discover what they are good at and what they enjoy, through hands-on experiences combined with practical advice and guidance, to help shape futures and transform lives.

Improving financial stability and efficiency in Higher Education – sustainability, alternative revenue streams and lean ways of working
19 November 2014, central London

Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive, HEFCE, will be speaking at this event, which will bring out latest thinking on making the Higher Education sector more efficient, and to increase financial stability at a time of considerable changes to university fundi

Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central London

David Sweeney, Director, HEFCE will be speaking at this seminar, which is scheduled to follow publication of this year’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system by which the quality of research from UK HEIs is assessed – with significant implicati

Welfare reform – creating effective local delivery partnerships
20 December 2014, Prospero House, Borough High Street, London SE1

This one day conference will provide an early opportunity to consider the updated Local Support Services Framework and will feature examples of best practice in the planning and delivery of services sharing learning from the Local Authority led pilots as

Semta Skills Awards – Engineering Skills for the Future
24 February 2015, Park Plaza Riverbank hotel, London

Turn on the spotlights, dust off the red carpet – the hunt is on to find the very Best of British Engineering – which is to be celebrated at the second Semta Skills Awards. The backing of some of the biggest engineering brands in Britain have made the awards night one of the most important dates in the sector’s diary.

Creative SkillSet – Get Your Next Job in TV Drama, Salford
21 November 2014, MediaCityUK, Salford

This day is a Creative Skillset funded initiative for TV freelancers in the UK creative industries, and is supported by the Skills Investment Fund. booking for this will open nearer the time.

The Manufacturer Directors’ Conference
26-27 November 2014, Birmingham

An event for manufacturers in Birmingham open for booking now, part of the week of excellence provided by The Manufacturer.

AoC Conference and Exhibition
18-20 November 2014, ICC Birmingham

The AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition brings together the further education sector under one roof to learn, develop, influence, exchange information and network. The highlight of AoC’s events calendar, the conference combines keynote speakers, plenary sessions and breakout sessions to inform and stimulate debate.

Learning Networks and Annual Conference for Erasmus+
26-27 November 2014, Conference Aston, Central Birmingham

The very first Learning Networks and Annual Conference for Erasmus+ have arrived. Conference Aston in central Birmingham will be the venue for the Learning Networks event on 26 November and Annual Conference on 27 November. Bookings will open in October.

 

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This week: the Met Office Supercomputer, deprivation in coastal towns, £1.2 million jobs boost for Torquay, the latest on Hinkley and West of England Skills Junction. Last week’s newsletter covered challenging low pay, Women in Enterprise, Exeter’s high-earning graduates and the innovation agenda.

Exeter’s growing reputation as a world-leading centre for climate change science was given another boost this week (October 28) by the announcement that the Met Office has secured the investment required to purchase one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. Funding has been confirmed for the £97m supercomputer to improve the Met Office’s weather forecasting and climate modelling. The new system will be housed partly at the Met Office headquarters in Exeter and partly at a new facility in the Exeter Science Park, and will reach its full capacity in 2017. The Met Office works in strategic partnership with the Universities of Exeter, Oxford, Leeds and Reading. As one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world when fully installed, it will also be a catalyst for regional growth in the South West, supporting collaboration and partnerships between science, business and academia, cementing the UK’s position as a world leader in weather and climate prediction.

The number of low paid workers in Britain is at an all-time high with more long-term low paid workers than ever, warns the Resolution Foundation. Figures suggest communities in coastal towns are dealing with higher rates of unemployment and poorer levels of health than the rest of the country. However, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset charted the highest employment rates in the country, a fact thought to be linked to progressing rollout of superfast broadband.

Environment Minister Dan Rogerson has announced £1.2 million worth of funding to help a South West company bring 60 new jobs to Torquay. Gooch & Housego – which design, manufacture and supply fibre optic solutions used across the aerospace, defence, industrial, life science and scientific research sectors – will receive the award towards an £18 million expansion project providing a major boost to the region.

A group of Somerset food and drink producers have been awarded the interim catering contract to feed more than 5,000 workers on the EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C project. Nigel Cann, Site Construction Director at Hinkley Point C, said: “The South West regional economy will benefit by £100m each year of peak construction and using local suppliers wherever possible is a key commitment for the project. We are hopeful that this will be the first of many supplier collaboration success stories for the county.”

Skills Junction is a dedicated search engine that aggregates all courses and training opportunities, including apprenticeships, from the educational institutes in the West of England. It’s aimed at people who are looking to further their career and at employers who are looking to train their existing staff or recruit from particular educational institutes.

One of our key aims here at Marchmont is to summarise the wealth of developments relating to skills and growth into easily digestible chunks, so ….if you have been too busy to complete our survey, we would especially value your input

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Skills:

Student startups – could you be the next Mark Zuckerberg?
University might be the perfect time to create your own startup.

NIACE chief calls for broader debate on skills devolution
Today’s Metro Growth report by the City Growth Commission gives a welcome and clear recognition of the central role that skills will play in our future economic success.

Teaching assistant standards review – call for evidence launched
A range of views are being sought to support the development of a new set of professional standards for teaching assistants.

Quality Assessment Review Steering Group announced
A Quality Assessment Review Steering Group has been established, consisting of representatives from the higher education sector including the National Union of Students.

Student visa rules condemned by employers
A business leader has accused some MPs of “cheap and pathetic gestures” in their approach to student visas.

UK review of National Student Survey – the next phase
The review of the National Student Survey is entering a phase of testing and development.

Future financial challenges facing the higher education sector
A review of the financial health of higher education institutions published by HEFCE concludes that the higher education sector in England faces significant financial challenges over the next three years.

Further education and skills – statistical first release
Success rates for 2012 to 2013 and provisional further education and skills data for the full 2013/14 academic year.

Funding cuts, policy changes and careers advice – how are colleges faring?
Looking to the general election in 2015, further education needs more funding and a consistent, long-term strategy from the next government, reports Louise Tickle.

Apprenticeships website transition to GOV.UK
The apprenticeships website and online recruitment system (apprenticeship vacancies) are both at the heart of the Skills Funding Agency’s drive to improve services for users through digital service transformation.

Exeter wins £1m funding for new initiative in bio-medicine
The University of Exeter has been awarded £1 million by the Wellcome Trust to establish an initiative aimed at advancing our understanding of living systems and the causes of disease.

Employment:

Scrap Failing Jobcentre Plus to save long-term unemployed youngsters, says the LGA
New analysis conducted by the Local Government Association (LGA) and Inclusion reveals the number of 16 to 24-year-old’s out of work for more than two years has quadrupled in the past decade.

Claimants on working-age benefits for 3 out of previous 4 years – July 2014
Statistics on claimants claiming DWP working-age benefits for at least 3 out of the previous 4 years, by local authority.

Working and workless households – 2014
Information about households and the adults and children living in them, by household economic activity status.

UK Business – Activity, Size and Location, 2014
Companies and public corporations’ numbers have continued to rise and represent 66.1% of total businesses. The number of sole proprietors and partnerships has continued to decline and now represents 29.9% of total businesses.

Workplace employment by industry in Wales – 2001 to 2013
An annual report in which analyses presented cover the aggregate of employees, the self employed and government supported trainees at a broad industrial level for Wales with estimates also presented at sub-Wales levels.

Help for 16 and 17 year olds to find work
Jobcentre Plus work coaches, local authorities and voluntary sector organisations to help 16 and 17 year olds find work.

Fall in unemployment masking ‘fundamental weaknesses’ in the economy, Swindon Initiative warns
The economic recovery may not be as strong as anticipated despite the latest fall in unemployment, Business West, the organisation that runs the Initiative in Swindon & Wiltshire, has warned.

More than one million over-50s pushed out of employment
Employers are missing out by overlooking the skills and experience of more than a million older people, a charity has warned.

Government to tackle ‘revolving door’ of redundancy and rehiring
Public sector executives who receive large redundancy payouts will no longer be able to keep the money if they return to a comparable sector job, the government has announced.

Women and overseas staff increase in the City, research shows
Recruitment of women and overseas employees in the City has sharply increased over the past year, according to recruitment firm Astbury Marsden.

UK gender gap continues to widen, says World Economic Forum report
Britain falls to 26th in Global Gender Gap Report rankings, recording its lowest overall score for equality since 2008.

More than half of home-based entrepreneurs are women
According to a report from Enterprise Nation and Direct Line for Business, 64% of home workers are women, with the highest concentration of female entrepreneurs in the Midlands.

Women on the Tech Partnership’s ITMB degree inspired by IBM
This week more than 50 female students studying the ITMB degree at universities around the UK gathered at IBM on London’s South Bank, to find out how to establish a career in the tech industry.

Independent Living Fund – user profile analysis, September 2014
Data on users of the Independent Living Fund for the quarter to the end of September 2014.

Business & Growth:

Gross Domestic Product Preliminary Estimate, Q3 201
Output increased in all four main industrial groupings within the economy in Q3 2014. In order of their contribution, output increased by 0.7% in services, 0.5% in production, 0.8% in construction and 0.3% in agriculture.

Pocket databank – economic indicators
The Pocket databank is a weekly HM Treasury statistical publication, containing major economic indicators and series for both domestic and international economies.

UK Export Finance strengthens regional team to support UK’s export businesses
UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, has strengthened its regional team of specialist export finance advisers with the addition of nine key appointments.

Business leaders headlining at UK Investment Summit announced
Businesses are backing this autumn’s UK Investment Summit Wales 2014, which will explore how new technologies are fuelling business growth.

Modern Commonwealth – potential for British business and young people
Hugo Swire spoke at a Commonwealth Exchange event on the Commonwealth role in enhancing business, trade and opportunities for young people.

NATEP Call 4 now open until 15th December
Do you have an idea that might improve a process, a technology, a supply chain? If you had some funding & a little support do you think you could improve, invent or develop something that would help your business & the aerospace industry?

Funding available for SMEs to take on a placement student
Cogent announce that the Royal Society of Chemistry is again fully funding ten year long placements in SMEs for chemistry undergraduates in 2015.

Call for Action! £20m funding for Employer Ownership of Skills
Employers and employees know what training is best for them. The Employer Ownership Fund offers all employers direct access to public investment to design and deliver bespoke own training solutions.

Solent Young Entrepreneurs
To date, the Solent LEP’s (Local Enterprise Partnership) Young Entrepreneur Fund has awarded 10 young people with a share of £39,000. These business leaders of the future, all aged 16 to 24, were given a head start by the fund.

Sector Skills:

ProSkills – Call for proposals for Going Global 2015
Going Global is an annual conference hosted by the British Council, which provides a forum for world leaders in education to network, debate international tertiary education issues and challenges, and to discuss creative, collaborative solutions.

Proskills wins top international skills accolade
The International Skills Partnership between Proskills UK Group and Petra Egypt has been recognised as the British Council’s prestigious Partnership of the Year 2014.

Tesco executives realign culture with ‘hands-on experience’
In a bid to realign Tesco leadership strategy with what customers want, the retailer’s chief executive took its senior executives on an away day where he tasked them with buying, and then cooking, meals from Tesco stores.

Challenges in Health and Care for the next government
The NHS Confederation has produced a well-balanced and well referenced declaration.If you are looking for a speedy update, with signposting to recent research on the current issues facing health and care, this is as good a place as any to start.

Leading names in fashion & broadcasting to design new apprenticeships
Some of the UK’s leading names in fashion including Jasper Conran, Mulberry and Burberry and the BBC, ITV and SKY from broadcasting have announced (23rd November) that they will help design apprenticeships in their sectors.

SkillsActive launches largest Fitness Work-Force Survey in partnership with EMDP and REPs
SkillsActive, the Exercise, Movement and Dance Partnership (EMDP) and REPs are delighted to be working in partnership to launch the Working in Fitness 2014 survey.

CITB – Lack of careers information ‘creating skill gaps’
Teachers and employers need to collaborate more closely to encourage young people to enter skilled professions, according to a new study.

Have your say in shaping the future of plumbing and heating Apprenticeships
In an important and exciting move, Plumbing and Heating Apprenticeships are now joining Phase 3 of the Trailblazer project and employers in the industry are being invited to participate in an important electronic survey, the results of which will help greatly in altering the format of Apprenticeships for the better.

Semta Group hails Trailblazer announcement
Semta and EAL has welcomed today’s Government announcement that more than 700 employers are to design 76 new apprenticeship standards as part of the third phase of its successful Trailblazers scheme.

Trade Unions & SME’s:

#ibacksmallbusiness – FSB launch dynamic social media campaign for the 2015 General Election
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is launching a new campaign putting prospective politicians in direct contact with small businesses on social media. The #ibacksmallbusiness campaign forms the centrepiece of the FSB’s work in advance of the 2015 General Election.

TUC comment on Resolution Foundation low pay report
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady commented on research published recently (Sunday) by the Resolution Foundation that shows the proportion of employees in low-paid work has increased and now stands at just over five million people.

UK Research Publications

Unleashing metro growth – final recommendations of the City Growth Commission
Makes the case for, and explains how, cities can take a new role in our political economy, creating stronger, more inclusive and sustainable growth in the UK.

Pay progression – understanding the barriers for the lowest paid
Finds that 64% of those on low pay are women. There is also a strong correlation between age and being stuck on low pay, with the chances of escaping low pay becoming less likely the older you become.

Universal Credit at work
Progress report on the implementation of Universal Credit: how we are restoring work incentives, renewing fairness and transforming lives.

The impact of welfare interventions on life-courses of deprived groups
Based on research carried out in five European cities (Dortmund, Malmö, Radom, Turin, Glasgow), in winter and spring 2014, descibes problem-centred case studies of interviews conducted among long-term unemployed, working poor and single parents, who currently receive – or have received minimum income benefits in the last five years.

Work 2.0 – helping the hardest to help – targeted assistance, incentives and the Work Programme
Provides a blueprint for how the Work Programme should be improved, including ideas on how to better assess jobseeker needs, how to integrate the Programme into the structures of Universal Credit, and how to better recognise local labour market conditions.

Deep value assessment – how ongoing, participatory employability assessments could improve outcomes for jobseekers
Highlights four areas where the principles of a Deep Value approach to assessment can be put into practice now. The processes and tools of assessment need to be less ‘tick-box’ and more collaborative and engaging – and it needs to be possible to regularly update them. Partnerships need to be strengthened to ensure that different providers are able to share information about jobseekers’ strengths, abilities and barriers. Frontline staff need additional training to be able to undertake ongoing, participatory assessment. Employment coaches and advisors need to be enabled to build Deep Value relationships between jobseekers and their advisors.

Future of cities – investing in city regions – London and the UK system of cities
Essay examining how London interacts with the UK system of cities and the implications of this relationship.

Project STEM – book of insights 2014
Describes young people’s attitudes, beliefs, motivations and behaviours that affect their decisions on subject choice and career paths.

Economic resilience in small and medium sized towns
Shows how regional economic resilience has been widely inconsistent during the crisis in geographical terms. Analyses the unique factors of small and medium sized towns in the UK, and how these factors have contributed to economic resilience, or lack of resilience, in UK regions.

Hidden potential of small and medium sized towns
Argues that the size of urban settlements plays an important role within the wider regional and functional context, hence towns can make an important contribution in supporting EU strategic policies and for the achievement of territorial cohesion.

Professionalism in further education
Final report from an independent review chaired by Lord Lingfield. Makes recommendations to Government on a new framework for professionalism…

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

Infographic – the Labour Market in the Heart of the South West LEP
Infographic illustrating the Labour Market in the Heart of the South West LEP benchmarked against the South West region and England in terms of percentage change.

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

UK Labour Market, October 2014
Key Points for June to August 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Comparing the estimates for June to August 2014 with those for March to May 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes continue the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.
  • There were 30.76 million people in work. This was 46,000 more than for March to May 2014, the smallest quarterly increase since March to May 2013. Comparing June to August 2014 with a year earlier, there were 736,000 more people in work.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, slightly higher than for March to May 2014 (72.9%) and higher than for a year earlier (71.5%).
  • There were 1.97 million unemployed people, 154,000 fewer than for March to May 2014 and 538,000 fewer than a year earlier. This is the largest annual fall in unemployment on record. Records for annual changes in unemployment begin in 1972.
  • The unemployment rate continued to fall, reaching 6.0% for June to August 2014, the lowest since late 2008. The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
  • There were 9.03 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 113,000 more than for March to May 2014 but 46,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate was 22.2%, higher than for March to May 2014 (22.0%) but lower than for a year earlier (22.4%).
  • Pay including bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 0.7% higher than a year earlier. Pay excluding bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 0.9% higher than a year earlier.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Regional Labour Market, October 2014

  • Download PDF
  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the East of England (76.8%) and lowest in Wales (68.8%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (9.3%) and lowest in the South West (4.6%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (26.3%) and lowest in the East of England (19.1%).
  • The Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (4.8%) and lowest in the South East (1.6%).
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

NATEP Call 4 now open until 15th December
Do you have an idea that might improve a process, a technology, a supply chain? If you had some funding & a little support do you think you could improve, invent or develop something that would help your business & the aerospace industry?

West of England – Skills Junction
Skills Junction is a dedicated search engine that aggregates all courses and training opportunities, including apprenticeships, from the educational institutes in the West of England.

#ibacksmallbusiness – FSB launch dynamic social media campaign for the 2015 General Election
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is launching a new campaign putting prospective politicians in direct contact with small businesses on social media. The #ibacksmallbusiness campaign forms the centrepiece of the FSB’s work in advance of the 2015 General Election.

Sense and instability – three decades of skills and employment policy
Tracks and evaluates key changes to skills policy over the past three decades in order to identify areas of good practice and ways in which lessons can be learnt in skills development.

What are the prospects for a wage recovery in the UK?
Compares employment, wage and cost of living data over two distinct periods of recession and recovery (1990-2001 and 2004-2014).

Univercities – the knowledge to power UK metros
Makes recommendations for universities to enhance their economic impact on UK metros – our largest cities and their surrounding areas. 72 of the UK’s 123 universities are in our 15 largest metro areas.

The match factor – good practice in Apprenticeship recruitment
Looks at the role of learning providers and recruitment practices and how mismatches between the supply of Apprenticeships and the demand for Apprenticeships can be improved.

European Programmes – Latest

Economic crisis and the resilience of regions
Exposes territorial evidence that supports policymakers at different administrative levels in making the economic structure(s) in Europe and its countries, regions and cities more resilient to economic crises and a sudden economic downturn.

Making Europe open and polycentric – vision and scenarios for the European territory towards 2050
Provides answers to the following key questions: 1. Why does Europe need a territorial vision now? 2. How will Europe develop if current policies are not changed? 3. How could different policy scenarios influence Europe? 4. How to make Europe more Open and Polycentric? 5. What policies could support this?

Sector Skills Publications

Workplace employment by industry in Wales – 2001 to 2013
An annual report in which analyses presented cover the aggregate of employees, the self employed and government supported trainees at a broad industrial level for Wales with estimates also presented at sub-Wales levels.

Funding available for SMEs to take on a placement student
Cogent announce that the Royal Society of Chemistry is again fully funding ten year long placements in SMEs for chemistry undergraduates in 2015.

Solent Young Entrepreneurs
To date, the Solent LEP’s (Local Enterprise Partnership) Young Entrepreneur Fund has awarded 10 young people with a share of £39,000. These business leaders of the future, all aged 16 to 24, were given a head start by the fund.

Preparing for the perfect storm – skills for a sustainable economy
Shows that investment in developing organisational capability and skills to address the sustainability challenge is significantly lagging behind other areas.

Understanding skills and performance challenges in the logistics sector
A report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) examining current issues with skills and performance for the logistics sector.

Mapping the core public health workforce
Explores the context and key considerations for mapping the core public health workforce under the following headers: Public health workforce policy; Counting the public health workforce; Previous recommendations on numbers and roles; The Public Health Skills and Knowledge Framework education and training; Education and training; Registration and revalidation of the workforce; and, Previous attempts to examine the public health workforce.

Measuring employment in the tourism industries – guide with best practices
Suggests that employment in tourism and the economic value of tourism in terms of employment remain inadequately measured and insufficiently studied. Provides examples of best practices of measuring employment in the tourism industries from countries that have demonstrated capacity to develop a comprehensive set of employment indicators.

Future of the financial workplace – identifying the future trends for work and the workplace in the financial sector
Identifies the future trends for work and the workplace in the financial sector, including views of key decision makers from leading financial organisations across the globe through a series of interviews and workshops held over the past year.

Events

SKOPE seminar
3 November 2014, 10:45 – 18:00, St. Anne’s College, Oxford

03/11/2014 – This event is part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s annual Festival of Social Science. Entry is free, with lunch and refreshments provided. For reservations please contact skope@education.ox.ac.uk

Join ‘Digital Works’ campaign to improve recruitment pool
3-4 November 2014, (teleconference)

03/11/2014 – The ‘Digital Works’ campaign aims to bring together leading IT & Telecoms employers, trade bodies and Jobcentre Plus to: Improve Jobcentre Plus work coaches’ knowledge of the sector and its opportunities; Encourage customers to consider IT & Telecoms as a career choice; Make opportunities more visible to Jobcentre Plus customers; Build a legacy of lasting relationships with local IT & Telecoms employers; and, Support employers’ responsible business agenda to engage with local and diverse talent. contact: Elaine Townshend, 07966 566236, elaine.townshend@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Dorset LEP ESIF Update
31 October2014, North Dorset, venue tbc.

31/10/2014 – This unique event is being held to raise awareness of and provide a breakdown of how you can benefit from the EU funding as a business, and use the fund to help your local community. ESIF formulates part of the Dorset LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, and will help to increase the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises, improve the skills and employability of the county’s workforce and strengthen the Dorset economy through growth and enterprise.

IES employment policy conference 2014
25 November 2014, Ambassadors Bloomsbury, London

25/11/2014 – Examines The UK youth labour market, UK policy initiatives, The role of employers, The perspectives of young people and International policy perspectives.

Learning Networks and Annual Conference for Erasmus+
26-27 November 2014, Conference Aston, Central Birmingham

26/11/2014 – The very first Learning Networks and Annual Conference for Erasmus+ have arrived. Conference Aston in central Birmingham will be the venue for the Learning Networks event on 26 November and Annual Conference on 27 November. Bookings will open in October.

ESRC’s Festival of Social Science
1-8 November 2014, University of Exeter

01/11/2014 – 11 separate events celebrating social science research and its relevance to many areas of life, from personal wellbeing to the sustainability of the economy.

The Skills Show, NEC
13 – 15 November 2014, Birmingham NEC

13/11/2014 – FREE to attend, The Skills Show provides young people with opportunities to discover what they are good at and what they enjoy, through hands-on experiences combined with practical advice and guidance, to help shape futures and transform lives.

GET THE GRIT – A resilience workshop to develop a ‘growth mindset’ for all – training event
led by Jackie Beere OBE
12 November 2014, Campaign for Learning, 24 Greencoat Place, Westminster, London, SW1P 1RD

12/11/2014 – Raise achievement and improve wellbeing through resilience training with Jackie Beere, who has years of experience in coaching and personal development for children and teachers.

Improving financial stability and efficiency in Higher Education – sustainability, alternative revenue streams and lean ways of working
19 November 2014, central London

19/11/2014 – Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive, HEFCE, will be speaking at this event, which will bring out latest thinking on making the Higher Education sector more efficient, and to increase financial stability at a time of considerable changes to university funding – focusing on options and implementation.

Next steps for the Research Excellence Framework
23 April 2015, central London

23/04/2015 – David Sweeney, Director, HEFCE will be speaking at this seminar, which is scheduled to follow publication of this year’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system by which the quality of research from UK HEIs is assessed – with significant implications.

Welfare reform – creating effective local delivery partnerships
20 December 2014, Prospero House, Borough High Street, London SE1

20/12/2014 – This one day conference will provide an early opportunity to consider the updated Local Support Services Framework and will feature examples of best practice in the planning and delivery of services sharing learning from the Local Authority led pilots as well as drawing on the experience of housing associations, and third sector organisations in the delivery of budgeting support, debt advice, and financial inclusion inititatives, local welfare schemes, and digitial inclusion projects.

SW TUC – A Vision for a South West That Works
4 November 2014, 16:00-18:00, Unite, Tolpuddle Martyrs House, 238 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth BH8 8EG

04/11/2014 – This session will focus on public services.

SW TUC – A Vision for a South West That Works
12 November 2014, 14:00-16:00, Taunton Rugby Club, Hyde Park, Hyde Lane, Taunton, Somerset TA2 8BU

12/11/2014 – This session will focus on tacking inequality.

Semta Skills Awards – Engineering Skills for the Future
24 February 2015, Park Plaza Riverbank hotel, London

24/02/2015 – Turn on the spotlights, dust off the red carpet – the hunt is on to find the very Best of British Engineering – which is to be celebrated at the second Semta Skills Awards. The backing of some of the biggest engineering brands in Britain have made the awards night one of the most important dates in the sector’s diary.

Creative SkillSet – Get Your Next Job in TV Drama, Salford
21 November 2014, MediaCityUK, Salford

21/11/2014 – This day is a Creative Skillset funded initiative for TV freelancers in the UK creative industries, and is supported by the Skills Investment Fund. Booking for this will open nearer the time.

Open consultation – Higher education living cost support, EU nationals’ residency requirements
10 November 2014, 23:45

10/11/2014 – Proposal to extend the residency requirement from 3 to 5 years, before EU nationals can receive higher education living cost support.

AoC Conference and Exhibition
18-20 November 2014, ICC Birmingham

16/11/2014 – The AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition brings together the further education sector under one roof to learn, develop, influence, exchange information and network. The highlight of AoC’s events calendar, the conference combines keynote speakers, plenary sessions and breakout sessions to inform and stimulate debate.

The Future of Higher Education
3 November 2014, St Anne’s College, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HSA

03/11/2014 – In all OECD countries Higher Education is central in political discourse concerning both economic growth and the need to diminish inequality of opportunities and outcomes. Three main questions will be considered: 1.What, if anything, has been achieved to improve growth performance and to enhance social mobility via the expansion of the HE sector and by efforts to increase its accessibility? 2.What has all this meant for the higher education sector itself in terms of its objectives, governance, efficiency, funding, course content and delivery? ..and 3.What developments are likely in the future?

The Manufacturer Directors’ Conference
26-27 November 2014, Birmingham

26/11/2014 – An event for manufacturers in Birmingham open for booking now, part of the week of excellence provided by The Manufacturer.