This week: growth deals, science parks & STEM skills, the latest on Hinkley and responses to Vince Cable’s recent address. Last week’s newsletter covered devolution, cold-spots in HE provision, the latest on LEPs, Apprenticeships and sector skills.

Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, recently (8th October) met with councils and businesses from across the South West to sign the £270.3 million Heart of the South West Growth Deal.  Last week, the Minister met with key researchers and business representatives during a fact-finding visit to the University of Exeter. The minister also visited Cornwall to sign the £198.9million Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Deal earlier this month. The deal secures £48.9m of government funding, and a further £150m from local partners and the private sector: “This Growth Deal will boost key industries such as the area’s world-leading marine renewable energy sector, will bring real improvements to rail, cycling and road networks, and provides the tools this beautiful region needs to forge ahead”, he said. Businesses working in the wave and tidal technology sector in South West England could also be eligible for a new £1.85m funding opportunity. The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has called on further education colleges in the region to bid for a slice of £10m of government funding.

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.  Leading science industry employers celebrated this month following the successful enrolment of the first apprentice cohort on revolutionary new Apprenticeship Standards.  Employers and educators are joining forces with Semta to improve the quality of teaching and training in STEM subjects essential to engineering and the future of the UK economy.  Also, an innovative new Modular Masters Training in Formulation Science and Technology has been introduced – a multidisciplinary course and instead of being studied across a full academic year offers greater flexibility for businesses and learners.  In relation to this, a new forecast centre dedicated to space weather is due to officially open in Exeter, it was announced recently. The Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre is designed to protect the UK’s economy and infrastructure from severe events caused by space weather. 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.

The European Commission has approved final backing for the Hinkley Point C. The £24.5bn nuclear power station in Somerset is to go ahead after it received final approval from European Union regulators. EDF Energy has overcome the final hurdle for the project, which the EC warns could cost over £24bn by the time it is completed in 2023. Tougher profit clawback clauses were added to the contract, convincing Brussels to approve Europe’s biggest state-backed infrastructure project. It is thought that Hinkley will generate a stable source of clean power to nearly 6 million homes once it is up and running, and will provide 25,000 jobs during construction. UK companies could benefit from getting more than 50% of the work, and thousands of jobs are expected to go to local people. The European Commission’s approval of agreements between EDF Group and the UK government to build Hinkley Point C demonstrates that they are “fair and balanced for investors and consumers now and for the long term,” EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said.

Dr Cable told the Liberal Democrat Conference that he was advised to ‘effectively kill off FE’ by Government officials in 2010. “I have a so-called unprotected department. We were going to have our budget cut by 25%. The biggest items were universities and students, and FE” said Dr Cable. The Trade Unions Congress (TUC) welcomed Dr Cable’s announcements, where he outlined proposals to simplify and boost the national minimum wage for apprentices, making this an even more financially attractive route for young people deciding whether to go into full time employment or to earn whilst they learn. But Katja Hall, Deputy Director-General at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) points out that: “Apprenticeships are a vital route for young people to get a step on the career ladder and are part of the answer to solving the UK’s skills crisis. Yet too few apprenticeships at the moment go to the young and relatively unskilled. Companies already pay their share into training, so raising the cost of taking these young people on would be unwise and put off many smaller firms from getting involved.” Julian Gravatt, Assistant Chief Executive at the Association of Colleges reminds us that: “Although pleasing to hear that Vince Cable prevented even worse funding cuts being handed out to FE colleges in 2010, it does need to be recognised that funding for adult skills has fallen by 35% since then”.

Steve West, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England, in Bristol, replaces Graham Cole of AugustaWestland, as the new chair of the CBI South West. Deborah Waddell, CBI regional director South West, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Steve to his new role adding “His experience of working with the region’s businesses and universities means he is well positioned to represent their interests and ensure national governments understand what makes the South West unique.” Workers in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset earn up to £17,000 less than Londoners as the pay gap widens, with Weymouth and Portland among lowest wages for South West.

…and finally, SLIM’s Infographic profiling the Heart of South West LEP has been updated to October – feel free to forward comments and suggestions! …and if you have not yet completed the survey, we would appreciate your views

I hope you find this information useful.



National Headlines

Higher Education

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.

Quality assessment in UK higher education
The higher education (HE) funding bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are to seek views on future approaches to the assessment of quality in higher education.

HEFCE – Views on an international REF invited
HEFCE has published a survey inviting views on an internationalised system of research assessment.

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.

University tuition fees in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), 2014
Changes in university tuition fees have had a significant effect on the rate of inflation over the last couple of years. This article gives a brief overview of the methodology used to measure these fees and includes a stylised example of the calculation.

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.

UCU repeats calls for regulation of private education providers as Vince Cable admits there’s ‘a lot of dross’
Responding to Vince Cable’s admission that the expansion of private providers in higher education has let in ‘a lot of dross’ UCU today reiterated its call for government to bring in stringent new regulation and inspection.

Catching up with AGCAS Alumni
Each year AGCAS holds a reunion for retired and former members. These events are held in different parts of the country to encourage and support those coming from across the UK to attend and they are well supported by retired members, many of whom were once very active in AGCAS.

Call to encourage graduates ‘to stay local’
University leavers should be offered a “golden handcuff” to stay and work locally after graduation, a study says.

Is the Government failing to get enough Devon children into university? Labour says so.
Areas of the South West are among the worst parts of the country for getting young people into higher education, Labour activists say.

Why raising Devon’s graduate retention level is a key economic priority
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.

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.

Hefce – Pharmacy consultation outcomes published
HEFCE and Health Education England (HEE) have published the responses to a consultation on the supply of pharmacy graduates in England.

Vocational Education

Industrial Cadets creates talent pipeline for UK engineering and manufacturing industries
Employers have created a new industry standard for workplace experiences inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales, with funding from UKCES.

Calls grow for Royal Commission on future of learning and skills
The Liberal Democrats have today announced that they will be working with NIACE as part of their proposed strategy for an age ready Britain.

Skills for Life? The World’s Your Oyster
Think of famous UK universities and you might think ‘Dreaming Spires’ or imposing 1900s grandeur. But our great seats of learning aren’t all old stone or Victorian brick. We may well lead (and attract) the world in research, but we are also world class in skills: with 402 further education institutions supporting the learning and employability of around 4.8million people in 2011, twice as many as studied at university.

Find a Future to deliver The Skills Show and Skills Competitions over next 2 years
The Skills Show and Skills Competitions will be delivered by Find a Future in 2015 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017.

Thousands more school leavers staying in education or training
New figures reveal more young people are gaining knowledge and skills demanded by employers.

UKCES – Time has come to dispel the myth of feckless young people
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) responds to new research from the British Chamber of Commerce, calling for more work to be done to offer work experience and dispel the myth of unprepared young people.

NIACE’s key contribution to adult learning delivery across Europe
A report presenting the UK’s contribution to the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL) 2012-2014 was published today by NIACE, which has recently had its role as UK Co-ordinator for EAAL extended for a further 12 months. NIACE is the only non-government body to be leading on this work in Europe.

Proposals to raise apprenticeship pay ‘could undermine recruitment’
Lib Dem plans to boost the national minimum wage for apprentices by more than £1 an hour have been criticised by employer groups.

What good are three million more apprenticeships, if the quality of training suffers?
Labour and the Conservatives are promising more apprenticeship places, but a narrow focus on meeting targets will doom the scheme to failure.

Economy & the Labour Market

UK Labour Market, October 2014
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.

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

DWP – Largest fall in unemployment since records began
Unemployment has seen the largest annual fall since records began over 40 years ago.

Government announces major workforce relocation by 2020
Large numbers of civil servants will be relocated from their traditional central London offices into the suburbs by 2020 as part of a major relocation plan to save money.

Employment review launched to improve clarity and status of British workforce
Business Secretary launches a wide-ranging employment review to help clarify and potentially strengthen the employment status of workers.

Work Programme statistical summary – data to 30 June 2014
Official statistics to 30 June 2014 on Work Programme referrals, attachments, validated job outcome payments and sustainment payments.

Nicky Morgan speaks about women in business
Education Secretary and Minister for Equalities speaks at the Wealth Management Association’s annual conference.

South West Headlines

Nuclear Skills – Hinkley Point:

Hinkley Point C go-ahead – A powerful boost to Gloucestershire’s economy
A great boost for Gloucestershire economy is how key business figures in the county have described the news that the £16 billion nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point has been given the go-ahead.

MAS urges small manufacturers to get ‘Fit for Nuclear’
More than 300 small manufacturers are set to benefit from specialist support to access the UK’s rapidly developing £60bn civil nuclear new build programme.

Hinkley Point C subsidy scheme being investigated by National Audit Office
Watchdog checking whether guaranteed prices of £92 per MW/hour for planned nuclear plant represents ‘value for money’.

ICT Skills:

e-Skills – Taking the stress out of hiring an IT apprentice
Employing an apprentice is more popular than ever, with more than 100,000 employers in over 160,000 workplaces currently using apprenticeships to attract new talent to help satisfy their businesses’ skills demands.

BCS and the Tech Partnership unite to support the UK’s digital skills agenda
Research suggests that it could cost £2bn each year if the UK fails to find 750,000 skilled digital workers by 2017.

Accenture Expands UK Tech Apprenticeship Programme
Accenture UK has announced that it is expanding its Technology Apprenticeship programme to London, Warwick and Newbury, following its successful launch in Newcastle in 2012.

Tech skills news – Weekly Digest
The latest issue of e-skills News Digest is now available, bringing you a round-up of the IT & Telecoms labour market news from HR and technology trade press for the past week.


The Building Business Connections Forum
Local businesses will have the opportunity to network, learn about new business opportunities and attend a programme of workshops next month, at the Building Business Connections Forum in Swindon.

CITB – Parents show support for vocational skills
A growing number of British parents feel schools should do more to enhance the vocational skills of their pupils, according to a new poll.

Output in the Construction Industry, August 2014
This statistical bulletin includes the latest estimates of output in the construction industry for August 2014. Output is defined as the amount charged by construction companies to customers for the value of work (produced during the reporting period) excluding VAT and payments to sub-contractors.

Building Futures Group – We’re supporting Workplace Week…are you?
Workplace Week is a week-long celebration of work/place innovation designed to make money for Children in Need.

UK ‘needs more joined-up skills system’
The UK needs a more cohesive system when it comes to workplace skills, according to a new report.

Electrical Contractors’ Association wants apprenticeships to be left alone
The Electrical Contractors’ Association says the Government should leave alone industries that already have a strong working model when it comes to apprenticeships and training.

Report highlights need for construction competence framework
A major construction industry report has called for development and implementation of a wider and more inclusive competence framework to ensure that the workforce is safe, skilled and efficient.

CITB – Competence – the next steps
CITB-sponsored Competence in Construction research report (PDF, 2.0 MB) once again brings to the fore the challenging questions that industry has been asking around competence in the sector.

Offsite construction companies take a new approach to tackling skills shortages
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) is working with leading employers to deal with skills deficiencies in offsite construction.

Proskills Talks Training in Timber
Many young people might not consider the Wood and Timber industries as a suitable career option. If the Timber Expo held at the National Exhibition Centre on 7th and 8th October was anything to go by, that might be a mistake.

Proskills seminar at Timber Expo on new qualifications and apprenticeships
The charity Proskills UK will be presenting a seminar on qualifications in Timber at Timber Expo in the NEC Birmingham on October 8th, part of the Proskills Wood Industry Board seminar sessions.

Transport & Logistics:

New research shows skills shortages may create bumps in road for logistics
New research by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) shows logistics firms risk being left behind if they fail to tackle skills shortages.

Bus and coach industries struggling to attract young workers
The latest research insight report from People 1st shows that the number of older workers in the bus and coach industries is disproportionally high in comparison to the wider economy with 58% of employees aged 50 or over.

Hospitality & Tourism:

DWP Press Release: £2 million boost to help low-paid retail and hospitality staff
Retail and hospitality firms can win a share of £2 million to come up with ways of supporting their lower paid staff to increase their earnings.

Hospitality industry faces workforce cliff
The latest research insight report from People 1st shows that the labour turnover for the hospitality industry is 20%. This means that approximately 365,675 people leave the sector each year, costing the industry approximately £2.7m.

Food and Drink Skills Academy to Boost Industry Career Opportunities for Women
The National Skill Academy for Food & Drink has launched a UK-wide drive to propel women up the industry career ladder.

Military Skills

Military Preparation College to train armed forces of the future in Gloucestershire
A new college that will train members of the Armed Forces has been created in Cheltenham.

Vacancies for lawyers in the Ministry of Defence
Information regarding vacancies for lawyers in the Ministry of Defence (MOD) commercial law team.

Skills for Justice:

Skills for Justice – Four reasons we do organisational development differently
Organisational development (OD) is a cost-effective way to better-understand what businesses do and the arena they operate in, and put positive plans in place for change.

Growth & Trade:

Index of Production, August 2014
Total production output increased by 2.5 percent in August 2014 compared with August 2013. There were increases in two of the main sectors, with manufacturing output being the largest contributor, increasing by 3.9 percent.

UK Trade, August 2014
UK Trade August 2014 now reflects new definitions and methods set out in the Balance of Payments Manual sixth edition (BPM6). Annual and quarterly estimates are consistent with the Quarterly Balance of Payments published on 30 September 2014.

Economic review – October 2014
Economic commentary on the latest GDP estimate and other ONS economic releases. 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.

ONS confirms introduction of new economic well-being release
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed at its Economic Forum in London today that it would introduce a new release bringing together a set of indicators of economic well-being for the UK.

Regional Labour Market, October 2014
The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (9.3%) and lowest in the South West (4.6%).

UK’s hot and cold labour market
So today’s labour market stats paint a seemingly contradictory and confusing picture of the economic health of the nation.

Annual Civil Service Employment Survey 2014
Civil Service employment on 31 March 2014 was 439,942, down 8,893 (2.0%) on 31 March 2013. On a full-time equivalent basis, Civil Service employment was 405,784, down by 8,139 (2.0%) over the same period.

Slow pay growth in the public sector to hit recruitment and retention, says IFS
Pay in the public sector will continue to grow at a slower rate than private sector wages over the duration of next parliament, according to research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS).

DWP statistical summaries 2014
Monthly and quarterly DWP statistical summaries for 2014.

UKTI – Distributor vs. data-led approach – UK retailers can decide
There is no doubt that retailer’s today benefit from information and resources that their predecessors did not have. They can identify online communities across the globe, count their total audience reach through social media and compare operational costs around a traditional brick and mortar approach versus an e-commerce approach.

Fast Track to Export Success
South West firms are being urged to get on the fast track to success by joining UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) as it brings the world to the region for its sixth Export Week.

Matthew Hancock speech on Industrial Strategy
Matthew Hancock outlines the government’s industrial strategy, and what this means for both advanced manufacturing and wider economy.

Structure of the agricultural industry in England and the UK at June
Detailed annual statistics on the structure of the agricultural industry at 1 June in England and the UK.

gFirst – Boosting business skills, ILM qualification opens doors for students
Twenty-four students have completed their Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 2 award in Leadership and Team Skills alongside studying for their Sports Business Management Honours and Foundation degrees, with some scoring more than 80%.

Entrepreneurs thrive at Cheltenham Connect Business Day
Entrepreneurs were inspired to “bake a bigger cake” as thousands of connections were made at a business-boosting event in Cheltenham.

We know that we need economic growth to create wealth and jobs
“This administration remains focused on economic growth. We confirm that Swindon is open for business and that our unique geographical position makes the gateway linking London, South Wales, the South West, the Midlands and more.” – David Renard, Leader of Swindon Council

Government Growth Minister visits Torbay
Local Growth Minister Greg Clark was in Torquay on Tuesday after being invited to the Bay by Conservative Candidate Kevin Foster to meet local business leaders to discuss the future of the Bay’s economy.

Torbay Council hopes to create 500 new jobs with Government Growth Deal bid
Torbay Council is hoping to bring further economic development and create more than 500 new jobs in the English Riviera with its latest Growth Deal bid to the Government.

£15m university ‘hub’ business plan to breathe new life into Weston-super-Mare
Tens of millions of pounds is to be invested in new educational facilities in Weston-super-Mare town centre in a bid to breathe new life into the seaside resort.

Skills & Jobs

Colleges working with employers on skills shortage
A new Association of College survey shows colleges are already on the case of tackling skills shortages in the UK.

Employee survey reveals large scale of attempted talent poaching
More than half of UK employees have been offered a job by an ex-colleague in an attempt to poach them, according to an employee survey.

Big Debate – Furness focuses on skills
The British Chambers of Commerce survey of 3,000 firms says young people lack workplace skills such as communication and team work.

Young people lack workplace skills, firms say in survey
Young people lack workplace skills such as communication and team working, a study among employers has suggested.

One million over 65s choose to stay in work, reports The Age and Employment Network
Three years on from the abolition of the default retirement age, more than one million over 65s now choose to stay in work. The figures are revealed in a new Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) analysis released to mark International Older People’s Day.

NIACE – Latest figures ‘damaging’ for individuals, employers and economy
NIACE is calling the latest figures on provisional further education and skills data for the full 2013/14 academic year ‘damaging’ for individuals, employers and economy.

SFA – qualification success rates 2012 to 2013 – archive
These success rates are a measure of the quality of programmes run by providers in a particular academic year.

Further education and skills – statistical first release
Success rates for 2012 to 2013 and provisional further education and skills data for the full 2013 to 2014 have recently been published.

24+ Advanced Learning Loans paid in England – academic year ending July 2014
Presents statistics on 24+ Advanced Learning Loans taken out by Further Education learners. The learners are UK or EU domiciles studying at a Learning Provider in England.

Employment minister calls on businesses to ‘inspire the next generation’
Minister for employment, Esther McVey, has called on businesses to offer young people more experience of the world of work through Apprentice-style challenges.

Hiive BETA is live – Come in!
The folks at Creative SkillSet have had a busy summer getting Hiive BETA ready for you and now it’s time for the big reveal…

Tailored curriculum to help women gain vital skills in prison
Education and training for female offenders is to be given a boost today as Justice Minister Simon Hughes set out plans for a tailored curriculum in women’s prisons that will better meet women’s needs.

New resource to ensure successful Mid-life Career Reviews
A wide range of resources from the Mid-life Career Review project are now available to help practitioners and providers offering career reviews to people in mid-life.

Trade Unions

TUC – Latest jobs figures show weak wages are the UK’s biggest concern
Commenting on the latest jobs figures published today (Wednesday) TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The real value of wages has fallen again this month. This is not only the longest and deepest pay cut on record but there is no end in sight.”

TUC – UK workers £50 a week worse off since 2008
Average wages have fallen by £50 a week in real terms since 2008, according to new analysis published by the TUC today (Thursday).

UK workers suffering the most severe squeeze in real earnings since Victorian times
UK workers are suffering the longest and most severe decline in real earnings since records began in Victorian times, according to a new analysis published recently (Sunday) by the TUC.

TUC – UK and EU should heed IMF on public investment for global growth
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady responds to the IMF World Economic Outlook published today (Tuesday) which draws on IMF research to recommend public investment for global growth.

UK Research Publications

Policy handbook – access to and participation in continuous vocational education and training (CVET) in Europe
Addresses policy-makers, enterprises, social partners and other stakeholders. It aims at strengthening CVET by providing policy guidance illustrated with concrete examples of effective practices. It highlights the importance of CVET for smart and inclusive growth and shows the benefits of investing in it.

Teaching, learning and assessment in further education and skills – what works and why
Summarises the most significant features of outstanding teaching, learning and assessment in the further education and skills sector and the factors that contribute to these. Also identifies several areas where more improvement is needed.

Skills for success – getting better use of your employees’ skills
Whilst skills utilisation is recognised as a key for success, less understood is what it is and how any business can apply it to their workplace. Service Skills Australia offers this contribution in an effort to support enterprises in maximising the contribution of their employees in the workplace.

Reimagining the rural – what’s missing in UK rural policy?
This paper looks at the past two decades’ of research from Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy, drawing on the insight generated through their work to provide a snapshot of the current situation in the countryside and how it could be helped to flourish.

The UK productivity puzzle – is employment relations the missing piece?
Discusses the UK’s poor productivity performance. Argues that there is much that can be done by adopting a bottom-up approach that focusses on the workplace. Suggests this is a good time for such reforms as the likelihood of above inflation increases in the National Minimum Wage over the next few years gives us the opportunity to make more of the link between work organisation and improved productivity.

Cities policy briefing – setting out coalition government policies across a common framework
Provides details on four flagship Coalition Government policies that have had an impact on the powers, resources and flexibilities available to UK cities to stimulate economic growth between 2010 and 2014. The details of the Localism Act, waves one and two of City Deals and Growth Deals are set out using a common framework.

The quality of work in Britain over the economic crisis, IN International Review of Sociology
Previous research on trends in the quality of work in Britain was carried out in a period marked by long-term growth and increasing prosperity. The prolonged economic crisis that followed the economic recession of 2008–2009, however, provides a more severe test of the implications of a relatively deregulated employment regime for employee welfare. It is precisely under conditions of high unemployment and weak bargaining power that it could be expected to facilitate a sharp reassertion of employer prerogatives both to shed labour and to restructure work processes. Did the economic crisis, then, lead to major changes in work and employment conditions in the UK?

Low pay and the cost of living – a supply-side approach
Discusses the ‘cost of living crisis’ as a substantial part of the UK’s political discourse. Highlights the politicisation of prices of essential goods and the widespread concern about low pay levels. Argues that lowering the cost of essentials, rather than seeking to artificially raise wage rates for those on low incomes, could help achieve the same aim as the ‘living wage’ campaign – an aspiration for working households to have the means of being able to live comfortably without significant state assistance.

The economic impact of a £1.50/hour increase in the national minimum wage
Shows that a national increase of £1.50 per hour in the national minimum wage in 2015 would benefit 4.6 million workers by an average of £1,400 per year while at the same time adding an extra £2.1 billion to the public finances and potentially generating at least 30,000 new jobs.

Annual estimates of employees from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) 2013
The Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) is the official source of employee and employment estimates by detailed geography and industry, with information on the structure of businesses in the UK. The survey collects employment information from businesses across the whole of the UK economy for each site that they operate. This allows the ONS to produce employee and employment estimates by detailed geography and industry split by full-time/part-time workers and whether the business is public or private sector.

A black paper on NEETs and apprenticeships – a personal view on the crisis in skills and employment facing the UK’s young people
Calls for a new approach to the development of the younger workforce in the United Kingdom through a range of measures, including: high quality vocational training (through apprenticeships) that lead to a valued qualification; a charter to protect young workers; a new framework for the delivery of job creation and welfare-to-work schemes; and statutory obligations for workforce development.

Outsourcing the cuts – pay and employment effects of contracting out
Presents the findings of research which examined the impact of contracting out on employee pay, terms and conditions in five case-study contracts in different sectors in different part of England and Wales.

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.

Young Solent entrepreneurs get £39,000 head start in business
Fitness clubs, mobile vet nursing and handwritten marketing letters…just some of the money spinning ideas that have resulted in young entrepreneurs in the Solent awarded a share of £39,000.

The Growth Hub, now open for business!
The doors of The Growth Hub open to Gloucestershire businesses today. An investment of £10 million, requested as part of GFirst LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, has given an additional boost to the single front door to business support in the county.

Heart of the South West (HotSW) Skills Newsletter – October
This edition contains news about the planned Employment and Skills Conference to be held next month.

Minister for Portsmouth Signs Solent Local Growth Deal
A deal that will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs and homes in the Solent was signed in Portsmouth yesterday (October 13) by Matthew Hancock MP, Minister for Portsmouth.

What do graduates do? 2014
Presents findings from the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE). It examines first degree graduate destinations six months after they graduated. Employment prospects for 2012/13 first degree graduates dramatically improved compared to 2011/12 graduates. The proportion of graduates working in professional and managerial jobs in the UK had increased and the unemployment rate decreased from 8.5% to 7.3%.

Growing businesses – Britain’s productivity challenge
Sets out the policy areas that are most important to address in order to fully exploit the potential of UK businesses. By providing an in-depth analysis of eight areas of public policy, along with detailed comparisons with our competitors internationally, it shows where the UK performs well and where there is room for improvement.

A business plan for Britain – business manifesto 2014/15
The BCC’s Business Manifesto reflects the expectations of any incoming government in 2015 from companies across the UK, so that Britain can fulfil its true economic potential. The Manifesto identifies seven core areas the British Chambers think should be at the heart of any government plan to ensure Britain becomes a more confident, enterprising and more skilled trading nation.

The evolving economic performance of UK cities – city growth patterns 1981-2011
Report analysing the economic performance of the UK’s main cities over recent decades.

European Programmes – Latest

Valuing diversity – guidance for labour market integration of migrants
Analyses guidance strategies to support labour market integration of immigrants. Suggests that the need for greater engagement by employers, trade unions and immigrant communities, as well assurance of appropriate practitioner training and improved marketing and communication strategies.

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
Shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market.

Mapping and analysing bottleneck vacancies in EU labour markets
Finds that bottleneck vacancies do not only occur in high skilled occupations, such as health, IT, scientific and engineering professionals, but are also found in skilled and low-skilled manual occupations, in manufacturing, construction or tourism.

Sector Skills Publications

Employment in tourism industries, 2009-2013
Examines changes in employment in tourism industries over the period 2009-2013 based on infromation from the Annual Population Survey. Focuses on change in employment characteristics of the tourism industries including part-time and full-time employment, underemployment, self employment, and temporary employment.

A map of the UK games industry
Experimental ‘big data’ approach to measure the games sector, identifying games companies through their digital footprint in product directories, wikis and games reviews sites instead of using official industrial (SIC) codes or surveys.

£8 million to train the next generation of the nuclear workforce
Business Secretary Vince Cable announces £8 million of funding to train the next generation of nuclear technicians and engineers.

UK visual effects, animation and games industries get multi-million pound skills boost
Ed Vaizey, Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, announces Next Generation Skills Academy.


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.

Dorset LEP ESIF Update
27 October 2014, 14:00 – 17:00, Dorchester, venue tbc

27/10/2014 – 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.

Dorset LEP ESIF Update
22 October 2014, 14:00 – 17:00, Bournemouth, venue tbc.

22/10/2014 – 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.

Motivated or Mandated – engaging adults in learning and supporting them to succeed
20 October 2014, London, UCU Office, Old Bakery, Carlow Street, London NW1 7LH

20/10/2014 – This conference will encourage dialogue between practitioners and researchers in order to explore the ways to motivate adults to engage and succeed in literacy and numeracy learning.

Cedefop – Skills needs anticipation and matching course
Turin, Italy, 20 – 24 October 2014
Deadline for applications – 15 September 2014

20/10/2014 – Cedefop co-organises a training and knowledge-sharing course on skills needs anticipation and matching with the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation (ITC-ILO), the Skills Development and Employability Unit of the ILO.

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.

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

17/10/2014 – The IfL Fellowship Research Programme is designed to develop individuals’ research and publication skills.

The Skills Show Experience – Have a Go Exeter
22 October 2014, WestPoint Centre (Devon) Ltd, Clyst St Mary, Exeter, EX5 1DH

22/10/2014 – The SW Employment and Skills Partnership and partners are very excited to formally invite you to The Skills Show Experience Exeter 2014! The Employment and Skills Partnership are organising an event in Exeter in partnership with Devon County Council on 22 October.

SW TUC – A Vision for a South West That Works
29 October 2014, 16:00-18:00, Unite, No. 1 Pullman Court, Great Western Road, Gloucester GL1 3ND

29/10/2014 – This session will focus on skills for the future.

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, Birmingham
20 October 2014, BBC Academy, Birmingham

20/10/2014 – This day is a Creative Skillset funded initiative for TV freelancers in the UK creative industries, and is supported by the Skills Investment Fund.

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.

CITB Business Awareness Workshop
23 October 2014, Gloucester

23/10/2014 – Free Business Advice from CITB in a one day workshop. Developed with support from HMRC, HSE and professional bodies to help you survive and thrive in today’s economic climate.

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?