Archives for category: Careers

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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

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  • 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 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 week: challenging low pay, Women in Enterprise, Exeter’s high-earning graduates and the innovation agenda. Last week’s newsletter covered growth deals, science parks & STEM skills, the latest on Hinkley and responses to Vince Cable’s recent address.

Tens of thousands of people from across the UK met in London to take part in Britain Needs a Pay Rise – the TUC-organised march and rally calling for an economic recovery for all, not just the wealthy. 20 percent of workers in Devon and Cornwall are paid less than the living wage according to the TUC.

A new report from the CIPD and John Lewis Partnership, suggests that women and part-time workers are most likely to become ‘stuck’ on low pay and aims to unpick the experiences of employees on the lowest rates of pay and identify factors contributing to an individual becoming ‘stuck’ on low pay.

Recent analysis from the UK Trade & Investment suggests  that, if small businesses led by women grew and exported at the same rate as the average of all small business employers, Britain could have up to 10,000 more exporters.

The textile industry has the lowest average weekly wage of any manufacturing sub-industries, at £371 in July 2014. Textiles contributed 3% of total GVA in UK manufacturing in 2013, however, between 1979 and 2013 output fell by 64.7% and employee jobs fell by 90.1%. In response to the latest figures, Creative SkillSet suggest it has been obvious for some time that the ‘creative industries are leading the march to create employment’ in the UK.

A recent survey by Unison found that two-thirds of National Health Service (NHS) workers have considered leaving the health service due to increased workloads, constant restructures and the pressures of the job. The Royal College of Nursing has responded, suggesting that low staffing levels are to blame for the £2.5 billion NHS shortfall. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt insisted that the NHS could afford to hire more nurses if health service staff made fewer costly errors.

On a more positive note, in 1995, at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, 189 governments including the UK pledged their commitment to improve the lives of women and girls by signing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. In the run up to the 20th anniversary of this framework a survey has been launched to collect views on progress.

New analysis by the Treasury shows growing female employment in highly skilled jobs across the economy. George Osborne has pledged to invest £2 million a year more in childcare to get more women back into work. A new webpage, Business is GREAT: Women in Enterprise, provides resources, advice and funding available for women looking to start or grow their businesses, covering topics from finance to childcare and mentoring to networking and setting out the government’s advice and resources alongside the organisations offering their support.

Closer to home, Jackie Longworth at Fair Play South West has been busy finalising the SW Women’s Manifesto, encouraging all women, and those who support them, to take up “calls for action” supporting economic growth through more hours and higher paid jobs for working women by challenging candidates.

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.

Greg Clark, Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities recently fed back to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee after his visit to the University of Exeter, speaking about growth deals, science parks, universities and links to local growth in the South West.

Looking at the innovation agenda, GrowthShowcase, a new online service, was launched this week, aiming to connect government-supported innovative businesses with potential investors. Innovate UK has widened the appeal of £5,000 vouchers for small businesses. Businesses and universities across the UK will also benefit from a share of £5 million of funding from government and industry for agricultural innovations. The statistical annex for data from the 2013 UK innovation survey has been published.

An international comparison of productivity across the G7 nations was also released this week, analysing productivity in terms of the level of and growth in GDP per hour and GDP per worker.

Nominations for NIACE’s 2015 Adult Learners’ Week Awards are now open – until 5pm on Wednesday 17 December 2014 – and NIACE is hoping for a record number of exceptional stories that illustrate the power of learning. Alan Tuckett, the man who ‘invented the adult learner’ spent decades arguing that education doesn’t end when you leave school, but is his legacy now under threat?

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Sector Skills:

Expanding our Industrial Strategy for a better future for Britain
Matthew Hancock speaks at the CBI industrial strategy conference.

Manufacturing Skills:

UK continues to be a manufacturing nation, says ONS
Perceptions that manufacturing is disappearing from the UK are wide of the mark, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Despite the number of workers employed falling significantly since the late 1970s, total manufacturing output is now actually slightly higher. It has declined in relative size, though, as other sectors have grown more quickly. Its share has fallen from 36 per cent of the economy in 1948 to around 10 per cent in 2013.

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.

Construction Skills:

Using work experience to make the right choices
Deborah Madden explains how CITB’s Experience Construction Programme is helping young people get started.

Construction industry clamour for more staff drives rush to training in Gloucestershire
A record number of students have signed up to study construction skills at Gloucestershire College with the clamour for demand driven by house-builders desperate to secure skilled staff.

Work experience essential to construction sector growth
Work Experience should be offered to young people wanting to enter the construction industry, according to Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force (CCATF) Joint Chairman, Martyn Pryce MBE.

Public Sector Skills:

New support for public sector workers
Nick Clegg sets out new measures to help support public sector workers, including new initiatives for teachers and emergency staff.

Public sector finances bulletin
This bulletin contains third estimates of outturn for the 2013 to 2014 public sector finances.

Public Sector Finances, September 2014
Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks (PSNB ex) from April to September 2014 was £58.0 billion, an increase of £5.4 billion compared with the same period in 2013/14.

Semta response to Employment Ownership Fund for the Automotive Supply Chain announcement
Ann Watson, Semta’s chief operating officer, responds to today’s announcement by Vince Cable that six businesses will get £5.4m of government-industry investment to help them win and keep work with big automotive manufacturers.

Creative & Technical Skills:

Creative SkillSet – Micro-Budget Mentor
With 48% of all films made in the UK in 2013 costing under £500k, there’s a boom in low to micro-budget filmmaking. With this in mind, Creative Skillset recently partnered with producers James Cotton and Stephen Follows to assist the launch of Micro-Budget Mentor: a 4-month part-time educational program running from November this year.

Have your say on the Shortage Occupation List for the UK
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is seeking evidence from the tech industry following a call from government to review the Shortage Occupation List (SOL).

The Tech Partnership’s training fund launched
Following a successful bid into the government’s Employer Ownership of Skills Pilot, the Tech Partnership has launched the Tech Partnership Training Fund.

Health / Care Skills:

NHS workforce statistics, provisional – July 2014
Provisional monthly figures for headcount, full-time equivalent, role count and turnover of NHS Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) staff groups working in England (excluding primary care staff).

Skills for Care and National Skills Academy welcome CQC report
Skills for Care and the National Skills Academy for Social Care have welcomed the CQC’s annual report on the state of health care and adult social care services.

Growth & Trade:

Innovation vouchers for all
Innovate UK widens the appeal of £5,000 vouchers for small businesses.

£5 million for agricultural innovation
Businesses and universities across the UK will benefit from a share of £5 million of funding from government and industry.

GrowthShowcase connects investors and businesses
A new online service launched today will connect government-supported innovative businesses with potential investors.

UK innovation survey 2013 – statistical annex
Statistical annex for data from the 2013 UK innovation survey. It includes an overview of the methodology, details of response rates.

International comparisons of productivity, first estimates – 2013
An international comparison of productivity across the G7 nations, in terms of the level of and growth in GDP per hour and GDP per worker.

Expanding our Industrial Strategy for a better future for Britain
Matthew Hancock speaks at the CBI industrial strategy conference.

Skills

Vacancies on the AGCAS Board of Directors
Are you interested in the strategic management of AGCAS? AGCAS are seeking motivated and enthusiastic volunteers to join the AGCAS Board of Directors to get involved in making key decisions about the organisation’s future development for the benefit of its members, staff and key stakeholders.

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.

Invest in more good quality and innovative jobs – Cedefop Director
‘Europe’s true problem is not one of a deficit of skills, but primarily a deficit of creation of good quality jobs,’ Cedefop Director James Calleja told the European Parliament of Enterprises on Thursday in Brussels.

Encouraging greater diversity in governing bodies
HEFCE’s January 2013 grant letter from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills highlighted the lack of diversity among institutional governing bodies, and the relatively low proportions of women, people from a black or minority ethnic group and disabled people in senior management positions in the higher education sector.

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.

Apprenticeship recruitment research report – the match factor
The CIPD have published a report highlighting good practice for providers and employers to take forward in their recruitment processes.

Call to give South West graduates incentive to stay in region
Graduates should be offered “golden handcuff” deals to stay and work in places like the Westcountry after their studies, according to a report from the Royal Society of Arts City Growth Commission.

AoC responds to FE Commissioner letter
Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of the Colleges responds to the latest letter from the FE Commissioner.

75 percent pass rate for college higher education provision
Nick Davy, Higher Education Policy Manager for the Association of Colleges responds to reports of colleges ‘failing’ in the new Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) higher education review system.

CIPD calls for ‘youth-friendly’ recruitment practices to fill unmatched apprenticeships
Less popular apprenticeship programmes would attract far more candidates if employers provided clearer information and were more transparent about the hiring process, according to a report by the CIPD in conjunction with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS).

More details needed on ‘super prisons’ for young people, say teaching unions
UCU and the National Union of Teachers express concerns about plans to house hundreds of young offenders in secure colleges, dubbed ‘super prisons’, in England.

Employment

Local Government Association launches tool to track the impact of welfare reform in the UK
The Local Government Association, with assistance from Inclusion, has launched an online tool to track welfare reform across the UK.

Universal Credit – transforming the welfare state
People are doing more to find work as Universal Credit begins to help people move into work more quickly.

Comparison of Universal Credit and Jobseeker’s Allowance outcomes
Analysis of Universal Credit claims to estimate the proportion that would be in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance at 30 day intervals.

Access to Work – individuals helped to end of Jun 2014
Quarterly statistics on the number of disabled people being helped and continuing to benefit from Access to Work up to the end of June 2014.

Lloyds expected to cut 9,000 jobs
Lloyds Banking Group is planning to cut around 9,000 jobs – around a tenth of its entire workforce – over the next three years, the BBC understands.

Vibixa closes Cheltenham packaging factory
More than 100 people are to lose their jobs at a factory which makes cardboard cartons in Cheltenham.

Swindon and Wiltshire LEP Seeking Business Engagement Manager and Executive Assistant
The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise is looking to recruit both an Executive Assistant and a Business Engagement Manager within the coming weeks.

Taunton ‘high quality’ business park plan unveiled
Ambitions to create 4,000 jobs on a “high quality” business park in Taunton have been unveiled by Taunton Deane Borough Council.

Trade Unions

TUC – Warnings of a ‘permanently divided society’ must not be ignored
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady comments on Monday’s report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission which warns that the UK’s poorest are being left behind.

More pressure on employers and universities are key to end polarisation caused by poverty
New report shows Britain is on the brink of becoming a permanently divided nation.

UK 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).

Policy handbook – access to and participation in continuous vocational education and training (CVET) in Europe
Aims to strengthen CVET by providing policy guidance illustrated with concrete examples of effective practices. Highlights the importance of CVET for smart and inclusive growth and shows the benefits of investing in CVET. Gives an overview of the current position in Europe and describes success factors and good practices for widening access and participation and for promoting high-quality CVET provision for all.

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.

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.

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.

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. – See more at: http://www.iema.net/skills-sustainable-economy-preparing-perfect-storm#sthash.djstVWPh.dpuf

The match factor – good practice in Apprenticeship recruitment
Highlighting good practice for providers and employers to take forward in their recruitment processes.

European Programmes – Latest

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.

Sector Skills Publications

Reimagining the rural – what’s missing in UK rural policy?
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.

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.

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?

Events

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
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.

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

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

 

WordCloud

This week: devolution, cold-spots in HE provision, latest on LEPs, Apprenticeships and sector skills. Last week’s newsletter reported on responses to Ed Miliband’s address to the Labour Party Conference, devolution, UKCES Forging Futures programme, the latest on Hinkley, Dawn French and the Best University in the South West.

On devolution: local leaders say that millions of pounds in training do not produce the right skills because it is all controlled from London. It defies logic, says Mike Emmerich of New Economy, a Manchester think-tank, to believe such things are best micromanaged from the capital. Westminster has already begun giving more power to English cities. HEFCE has published new data exploring the link between economic growth and higher education provision. The interactive data toolkit identifies ‘cold spots’ in higher education provision and participation across England. There are warnings that a lack of higher education in some parts of England could hamper the growth of local economies.

On LEPs: the Heart of the South West LEP is offering an opportunity to become a Member of the Strategic ESIF Area Committee; the closing date for applications is 9th October. Across Swindon and Wiltshire, The Enterprise Network (TEN) has announced major grants to help existing Rural Business Centres expand to support start-ups.

On Apprenticeships: Association of Colleges president Richard Atkins responded to the Conservative Party’s promise on apprenticeships, saying “we doubt that the target of three million apprentices in the next five years is possible on the reported figures of £300 million a year”. Instructus Skills (Skills CFA) and its range of supporters are taking the time this week, to promote recruitment apprenticeships to employers and learners. The latest information on the number of apprenticeship starts and achievements can be found here.

On Creative Skills: the UK’s leading visual effects (VFX), animation and games employers – including Double Negative, Framestore, Moving Picture Company, Pinewood Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Ubisoft Reflections – have joined forces to create a new Next Gen Skills Academy, it was announced recently. The creative industries and government have pledged cash to fill a skills gap and train “work ready” games designers, animators and visual effects artists. The Next Gen Skills Academy will provide “cutting edge training” in a sector worth at least £71bn a year to the UK economy. Creative Skillset is also offering young producers the chance to travel to the Netherlands and take part in CineMart’s Rotterdam Producer’s Lab, a five day festival and training workshop.

On Hospitality & Tourism: the hospitality industry has 300,000 jobs that need to be filled by 2020 to cope with rapid expansion and market demand, according to the British Hospitality Association. Employment in UK tourism industries increased at nearly double the rate of the rest of the UK labour market between 2009 and 2013 (5.4% increase, rising 143,000 from 2.66 million to 2.81 million). The association also said 60,000 of these jobs have been earmarked for young people aged between 16 and 24, although the industry still faces the challenge of combating “out-of-date” views about the types of careers it can offer.

…and finally, check out SLIM’s new product for LEPs – an Infographic profiling the Heart of South West LEP against England – this is still very much in the draft stages, so please feel free to send us any comments! …and if you have not yet completed the survey, we would appreciate your views

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Economic Growth

UK economy bigger and growing faster than thought, says ONS
Interest rate debate reignites after new European standard of GDP measurement revises up growth to 0.9 percent.

Move to make UK global centre for sharing economy
Government launches an independent review of the sharing economy.

Experts call for long-term strategy to ‘fix hourglass economy’
Fundamental structural weaknesses in the UK economy are wiping out the “middle rungs” of the employment ladder and halting career progression, delegates at a CIPD fringe event at the Labour Party conference heard this week.

Adult skills revolution crucial to Britain’s economic future
David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, responds to the Prime Minister’s speech in which he reaffirmed the pledge for three million new Apprenticeships and his dual aims to abolish youth unemployment and achieve full employment.

UK businesses turn to overqualified EU staff to support growth
Organisations that employ EU migrant workers are more likely to report business growth, according to the latest report from the CIPD.

Annual estimates of employees from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) 2013
70% of all local authority districts have shown an increase in the number of employees between 2012 and 2013, with the number of employees increasing for all regions of the UK over this period.

The GREAT Festival of Creativity will promote the best of British business
The GREAT Festival of Creativity events run by UKTI in Hong Kong and Shanghai will demonstrate the best of British creativity.

Employment

Above inflation rise for National Minimum Wage
More than 1 million of Britain’s lowest-paid workers are set to benefit as new National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates come into force.

David Cameron unveils welfare changes in drive to end youth unemployment
Plan to bar 18- to 21-year-olds from housing benefit and remove entitlement to jobseeker’s allowance after six months out of work.

Higher Education

Why does Switzerland do so well in university rankings?
Investing heavily in research and science has helped Switzerland move up the rankings. But as Kim Thomas explains, rankings don’t tell the whole story.

Top universities battling for students
Members of the Russell Group have offered free flights, film passes and even bedding to woo high-achievers.

Fast Stream Roadshow travels to universities across UK to recruit brightest and best
Foreign Office diplomats and civil servants from across Government will visit universities around the UK on a Civil Service Fast Stream Roadshow.

Funding for ‘anchor institutions’, technical skills and small and specialist institutions
HEFCE is announcing three dedicated calls for bids to the Catalyst Fund, in line with its own and government priorities. The Catalyst Fund enables HEFCE to deliver its strategic aims for higher education in research, teaching and knowledge exchange. These calls for expressions of interest cover three specific areas.

What makes a global top 10 university?
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is in first place in the latest league table of the world’s best universities.

Bursaries and scholarships for top graduates who train to teach
Financial incentives worth £25,000 for academic year 2015 to 2016 announced.

Vocational Education

NIACE sets out priorities to tackle Skills Commission’s ‘strategic alerts’
NIACE has responded to the interim findings of the Skills Commission’s latest inquiry into Skills & the Changing Structures of Work which has identified four key ‘strategic alerts’ that the Commission believes ‘require urgent attention from all players in the skills system’.

Academies funding – training videos and webinars launched
An online resource aimed at academies and free schools to help them understand the impact of the funding changes for 2015 to 2016.

24+ advanced learning loans application information – September 2014
Number of applications for 24+ advanced learning loans for the 2013 to 2014 academic year.

South West Headlines

Further Education

Apprentice schemes helping more than 6,000 young people in the West of England
More than 6,000 16-24 year olds were employed in apprenticeship schemes in the West of England last year and national figures show that 96 per cent of firms that take on an apprentice reported a benefit to their business.

Bridgwater College puts its success down to offering agricultural courses
A Westcountry college which is in the top 10% of educational establishments in England and Wales puts a large part of its success down to its teaching of agricultural disciplines.

Notes from the party conference
With the party conference season in full swing, both Labour and the Conservatives have made significant commitments to apprenticeships as part of their pre-election pledges.

Industry Skills

Labour Productivity, Q2 2014
UK Labour Productivity as measured by output per hour was unchanged in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the previous quarter, and 0.3% lower than a year earlier.

CBI comments on GDP revisions
“This confirms that the recession was less deep and the recovery stronger than previously thought, which is good news for the UK economy.” – Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director of Economics

Health Skills

Giving the health care sector the skills to transform
Thought-piece from Hugh McCaughey, Chief Executive, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and Board Member of Skills for Health.

Defence Skills

Ministry of Defence naval base deals secure 7,500 UK jobs
The Ministry of Defence has awarded £3.2bn of contracts to support the management of UK naval bases.

£3.2 billion naval base investment sustains thousands of UK jobs
MOD has awarded £3.2 billion of contracts to support the management of the UK’s naval bases

On target – defence career guide for graduate engineers
The UK defence sector sits at the cutting edge of technology and needs high-calibre engineers from a myriad of disciplines to help uphold operations in-theatre (that’s military speak for on the battlefield) manufacture and maintain new and existing platforms, and design the weapons for tomorrow’s battlespace.

Nuclear

Bristol Uni to house new nuclear hub
Bristol University will create a new hub for nuclear energy research and education for the south of England after securing £2.4m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Construction Skills

New £1m centre to test building materials
A new centre that will allow construction companies and academics to ‘plug and play’ with new materials and test them in real world conditions has been opened by the Earl of Wessex.

Building firms in line for Rent to Buy stimulus
A major new stimulus scheme looks set to provide house-builders with a fresh cash injection, while expanding the country’s rental sector.

Academic qualifications ‘failing to deliver’ key skills
Employers have raised doubts about the ability of academic qualifications to properly equip young people with key vocational skills.

Tech Skills

Help improve the recruitment pool for Big Data Analytics – feedback on the new standards now
Employers of Big Data Analytics professionals are invited to feedback on the development of new National Occupational Standards (NOS) in Big Data Analytics.

IBM achieves success at National Apprenticeship Awards
IBM was named Macro Employer of the Year at the London Regional Finals of the National Apprenticeship Awards, held during September 2014.

Tech skills news – Weekly Digest
The latest issue of e-Skills online 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.

Tech skills news – Weekly Digest
The latest issue of our online 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.

Youth Unemployment

Careers advice, the poor cousin of education
Pledges to get young people into jobs or training are rudderless without solid career guidance, says Hayley Kirton.

CIPD – Six-month limit proposed for young on benefits to ‘earn or learn’
Unemployed 18 to 21 year olds will be given six months to find work or training before their jobseekers allowance (JSA) is withdrawn, under plans unveiled by the Conservative party at its annual conference.

Older Workers

Older People’s Day, 1 million in work over 65 – 3 years since end of default retirement age
Three years on from an historic government move to outlaw enforced retirement, more than 1 million over 65s now choose to stay in work.

Ros Altmann to speak at NIACE’s Mid-life Career Review conference
The UK Government’s Older Workers Business Champion, Dr. Ros Altmann CBE, will be speaking at a NIACE conference highlighting the full findings of the Mid-life Career Review pilots and their impact on both clients and providers.

Trade Unions

TUC – Further substantial increases needed to national minimum wage
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady commenting on the new national minimum wage (NMW) rates that come into force today (Wednesday).

Full-time government trade union representatives – number falls to single figures
Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude announced there are now fewer than 10 full-time trade union representatives in government departments.

TUC – Pay settlements data suggests future still bleak for earnings
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady responds to the latest data published today (Friday) by pay analysts XpertHR on pay settlements for the 12 months to the end of August 2014.

Proskills – Commercial Skills Development Contract Signed
Proskills UK Group has signed a significant long-term commercial skills development contract with Vietnamese construction materials giant, The Viglacera Corporation.

Misc.

A better deal for reservists and employers
Radical reforms bringing a raft of new benefits for reservists and their employers come into effect today, 1 October.

Plymouth conference for business and schools on skills gap
A major conference will be held in Plymouth next month aimed at helping plug the skills gap affecting city businesses.

UK Research Publications

Manifesto for a numerate UK
A series of radical measures aimed at improving the maths skills and understanding of both adults and children is proposed.

Mobility manifesto
Presents recommendations for changes in the education system to improve social mobility in England.

International students and the UK immigration debate
A report published by Higher Education Wales’ parent organisation, Universities UK, in conjunction with British Future, has measured the public’s views towards international students and immigration policy more generally.

Edge manifesto
Sets out policies which will tackle youth unemployment, rebalance our education and training system and create profound partnerships between education and employment.

Ready for work – the capabilities young people need to find and keep work – and the programmes proven to develop these
Practical answers to the question: how can we help young people be ready for work? Aimed at those who fund, invest in or provide services to improve the employability of young people – including our main concern, young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Welfare sanctions and conditionality in the UK
Considers how effective welfare conditionality is, what the impacts are, how different groups fare, and to what extent it can be morally justified.

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

Infographic

A detailed snapshot of the demographics of South West England with respect to: Resident population, Employment and unemployment, Economic inactivity, Employment by occupation, Qualifications, Out-of-work benefits, Jobs (total jobs / employee jobs) and Businesses from ONS.

Download Spreadsheet – [108KB]  –  Updated: 25/09/2014

Labour Market Profile, South West England, September 2014
A detailed snapshot of the demographics of the Heart of the South West LEP benchmarked against the South West and England with respect to: Resident population, Employment and unemployment, Economic inactivity, Employment by occupation, Qualifications, Out-of-work benefits, Jobs (total jobs / employee jobs) and Businesses from ONS.

UK Labour Market, September 2014

Key Points for May to July 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Comparing the estimates for May to July 2014 with those for February to April 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 30.61 million people in work. This was 74,000 more than for February to April 2014, the smallest quarterly increase since April to June 2013. Comparing May to July 2014 with a year earlier, there were 774,000 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 February to April 2014 (72.9%) and higher than for a year earlier (71.6%).
  • There were 2.02 million unemployed people, 146,000 fewer than for February to April 2014 and 468,000 fewer than a year earlier. This is the largest annual fall in unemployment since 1988.
  • The unemployment rate continued to fall, reaching 6.2% for May to July 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 8.93 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 114,000 more than for February to April 2014 but 31,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate was 22.1%, higher than for February to April 2014 (21.8%) but lower than for a year earlier (22.3%).
  • Pay including bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 0.6% higher than a year earlier. Pay excluding bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 0.7% higher than a year earlier.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .

Regional Labour Market, September 2014

  • Download PDF
  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the South East and the East of England (76.7%) and lowest in Wales and the North East (68.8%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (9.9%) and lowest in the South East (4.4%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (26.1%) and lowest in the East of England (19.2%).
  • The Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (4.9%) and lowest in the South East (1.6%).
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Forging futures – building higher level skills through university and employer collaboration
A joint publication from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and Universities UK (UUK) examining the ways in which universities and employers can work together to improve higher level skills.

Taking action – achieving a culture change in careers provision
The second report of the National Careers Council. Argues that progress in enhancing current careers IAG since last year has been too slow and that stimulating the marketplace is not enough. Highlights numerous reports that have criticised the government’s stance towards careers guidance for young people and points to the evidence of the benefits of effective careers guidance. Urges the government to provide stronger leadership and funding to build relevant national and local infrastructures to help more individuals to achieve good employment.

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.

Charter for devolution
Drawn up by Key Cities, a group representing 23 mid-sized cities including Southampton, Hull, Wolverhampton and Milton Keynes. Argues that England’s cities should have pooled budgets and freedom to allocate funds as they see fit. Calls for ‘single city budgets’ pooling public funds into one block for a fixed five-year period so that city leaders are ‘free to allocate funds without interference from Whitehall red tape’.

Sector Skills Publications

The real face of construction – a socio-economic analysis of the true value of the built environment
Analyses each economic region of Great Britain, highlighting how the construction sector has performed relative to its peak before the recession. Additionally, the report picks out areas of major upcoming investment that will provide regions with vital employment opportunities.

What is the contribution of rail to the UK economy?
Despite the importance of the rail sector to the UK economy, its economic impact has not been analysed at a national level, although some studies have considered parts of the sector or parts of Great Britain. To fill this gap, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) commissioned Oxera to provide an independent assessment of the contribution of the GB rail industry to the UK economy.

Events

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?

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.

Open consultation – Skills for Logistics, National Occupational Standards
6 October 2014, contact Paul Barefoot at
skills@skillsforlogistics.org

06/10/2014 – These projects involve consulting with industry to write new or review current National Occupational Standards for specific occupations in the logistics sector. Steering group meetings have already been held for most of these projects and we will be consulting electronically on the draft NOS over the next few months.

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.

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.

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.

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.

International IP Protection
6 October 2014, British Library, London

09/10/2014 – In this one off series of events, senior representatives from WIPO will lead discussions on the international protection of IP rights. The half day events will provide an introduction to WIPO services and initiatives.To register your interest, email wiposeminars@ipo.gov.uk with the subject heading ‘WIPO seminar registration.

MAS Workshop – Using Design for Competitive Advantage
9 October 2014, Royal Wootton Bassett

09/10/2014 – The workshop for SMEs will summarise different expressions of design best practice and will include practical exercises to investigate how a products manufacturing cost can be reduced by design. It will guide delegates towards improvement opportunities relating to their own product.

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.

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.

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
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
11 October 2014, 14:00-16:00, Unite, Tony Benn House, Victoria Street, Bristol

11/10/2014 – This session will focus on the green economy.

OECD LEED Programme Expert Seminar – What works, and what doesn’t? Evidence-based approaches to tackling disadvantage
October 2014, OECD Conference Centre, Paris

15/10/2014 – This expert seminar will focus on how countries can establish a policy framework to enable effective local action using an evidence-based approach, choosing between different measures at a time of limited resources. The latest evidence from OECD countries on ‘what works’ and ‘what doesn’t’ will be considered, with participants sharing their own experiences from their perspectives as policy makers, researchers, practitioners and social entrepreneurs.

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.

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.

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.

HEFCE Annual Meeting 2014
16 October 2014, 09:30-13:00, Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

16/10/2014 – The meeting offers an opportunity to learn more about current developments, HEFCE’s role and the challenges facing higher education. Booking for the event will open in August.

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.

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.

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 and

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.

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.

Grow Gloucestershire – The Skills Show Experience
7 – 8 October 2014, The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse

07/10/2014 – Highlight the exciting career opportunities you have available and get face to face with potential apprentices, trainees and staff. Bring skills to life through inspirational ‘HAVE A GO’ activities.Talk to Gloucestershire’s young people about what it is really like to work in your sector. Raise your profile and promote your brand, products and services.

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.

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.

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.

MAS supports The Manufacturing and Engineering Expo
8 October 2014, 09:00 – 16:30, Kent Event Centre, Maidstone

08/10/2014 – This year’s event promises to be an inspirational business-to-business show designed to support and showcase everything that is great about the engineering and manufacturing sector and what’s more, it’s free to attend.

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.

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.

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
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.

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

Seminar – Free Ticket to Economic Growth
16 October 2014, 17:30-20:00, Imperial Hotel, Torquay

16/10/2014 – South Devon College is offering a free seminar focusing on key ingredients for economic growth. Hear from our expert speakers how Technology, Innovation, Collaboration, Knowledge, eCommerce and Talent can take your business to new levels. The programme includes speakers from Innovate UK, UKTI and Barclays Bank who will share opportunities for innovation, export and investment.

 

 

20140926_labour_conference_devolution_ukces_forging_futures_hinkley

This week: responses to Ed Miliband’s address to the Labour Party Conference, devolution, UKCES Forging Futures programme, the latest on Hinkley, Dawn French and the Best University in the South West. Last week’s newsletter reported on access to education, skills gaps and gender, devolution and the latest from LEPs and industry.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady responded to Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour Party Annual Conference in Manchester this week saying “This was a speech that spoke to the real problems and worries of working people – jobs, living standards, homes and a secure future for the NHS. Its policy agenda, genuinely ambitious but believable, is exactly the way to reconnect politics to voters”. NIACE responded, calling for an adult skills revolution. Richard Atkins, President of the Association of Colleges commented “To achieve the target of getting as many school/college leavers to take up an apprenticeship as going to university will involve creating around 100,000 advanced or higher apprenticeships a year”. UCU also welcomed the emphasis on apprenticeships, but called on all political parties to go further with improvements to vocational education.

TheTUC also welcomed Labour’s national minimum wage pledge. The minimum wage would rise to £8 an hour over the course of the next parliament if Labour wins the general election, the party has pledged, with leader Ed Miliband saying it was “not good enough” that one in five people in the UK were on low pay.

In the wake of the Scottish referendum, Prof. Patrick McGhee, assistant vice-chancellor at Bolton, argues that “if there is to be meaningful devolution within England” [et al] “then all higher education leaders need to ensure they raise the level of the debate and secure recognition that UK universities are an immense economic and intellectual asset with a key role to play in any democratic settlement.”

A joint publication from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and Universities UK (UUK) – examining the ways in which universities and employers can work together to improve higher level skills – has been hailed a ‘quiet revolution’, creating a new generation of highly skilled workers, according to a new report from UKCES. Local level data from the 2011 and 2013 Employer Skills Surveys has also been published by UKCES.

UKTI is looking for contractors to provide trade services and any associated European funded international trade projects in the 9 English regions.

Closer to home, plans to build a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset have been recommended for approval following a European Commission investigation. In a dramatic u-turn, Mr Almunia has now decided the project should be allowed to go ahead, subject to conditions which have not yet been disclosed. Business Secretary Vince Cable announces £8 million of funding to train the next generation of nuclear technicians and engineers.

It was announced this week that Dawn French is to become the new chancellor of Falmouth University. Dawn is a qualified teacher, passionate about education and all things Cornish and with her celebrity status, has been deemed by many to be an excellent appointment to the post.

The University of Exeter has been named the top university in the South West according to The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015 after reaching a new high of 7th place in the national rankings. A prestigious new specialist school, designed to act as a regional centre of excellence for gifted young mathematicians, jointly sponsored by the University of Exeter and Exeter College, was officially opened last week.

The Fourth edition of the ComTal Newsletter was puiblished recently, looking at activities and products developed by the project over the past two years.

In response to our user testing survey – which calls for more on Hinkley, skills and LMI: for LEPs, for industry; and by gender – our sister organisation, SLIM, have kindly produced an Infographic of the labour market in the Heart of the South West LEP. If you have not yet completed the survey, it really is very short

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Higher Education

REF impact case studies to be analysed
A new project will analyse the wider impact of the research undertaken by UK universities.

HECSU – Graduate unemployment in steep drop, new data suggests
There has been a big fall in graduate unemployment in the UK, the latest figures suggest.

HEPI – The Haldane Principle and the 2015 election
The Director of HEPI, Nick Hillman, has an article published today on the Guardian’s Higher Education Network website about Liam Byrne’s claim that the Coalition Government are subverting the Haldane Principle.

UCU – Education is the key to breaking out of poverty trap, says ONS
A lack of education is the factor most likely to hold poor people back, says a new report from the Office for National Statistics.

UCU responds to HEPI report on student number controls
The government must clearly set out where funding for extra student places will come from as the number controls are lifted, UCU said recently.

 Vocational Education

More high skilled routes into work needed for future economy, warns UKCES
Employers and universities need to build more partnerships to help cater for the additional two million jobs that will require higher-level skills by 2022, a report has said.

New report on state of careers advice welcomed by UKCES
UK Commission for Employment and Skills welcomes new findings from National Careers Council.

Vocational education and training – a road to excellence
The issue of permeability between different sections of education was the subject of two speeches Cedefop Director James Calleja gave at international conferences in September.

Education Funding Agency Information Exchange calendar now live
The new calendar function is now available on the Education Funding Agency Information Exchange.

Rooting for further education
Mark Brickley, CEO and Principal of Kensington and Chelsea College, believes that further education is vital. He explains why and discusses how his college is helping to shape a new generation of creatives.

Further education and skills – statistical first release
Success rates for 2012 to 2013 and provisional further education and skills data for the first 9 months of 2013 to 2014 academic year.

Nearly 600,000 jobseekers find employment though the Work Programme, reports ESRA
The Employment Related Services Association, the representative body for the employment support sector, has released its latest Job Start statistics for the Work Programme to complement the latest labour market statistics.

South West Headlines

Business engagement in the Heart of the South West
Local businesses will soon be able to find out more about what HotSW is doing to help businesses throughout the area.

Merging Gloucestershire business group GFirst LEP with Bristol and Swindon would have economy
Merging the organisation responsible for boosting Gloucestershire’s economy with one of its neighbours in Bristol or Swindon would threaten the county’s future prosperity, top Tories have said.

A major year for major infrastructure projects
2014 has been a big year for major infrastructure projects in the UK.

£4.5m announced to help manufacturers take advantage of Offshore Wind growth
The GROW:OffshoreWind service has announced the opening of two fast-track funding calls worth a combined £4.5m to assist manufacturing companies in England to take a significant share of the opportunities presented by the UK’s offshore wind market.

Trade Unions

TUC welcomes business leaders’ call for a higher minimum wage
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady responds to a letter signed last week (Thursday) by a group of senior business leaders calling for the national minimum wage to rise at a faster rate.

Industry Skills

South West Manufacturers Looking at Home Markets to Drive Growth
Small to medium sized (SME) manufacturers in the South West identify sales into home markets as the most important way of achieving growth over the next five years, according to the latest Barometer survey from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS).

ProSkills UK – MakeIT! 2014-15 Ambitions and Report
Proskills has big plans in motion to celebrate its 10th birthday in 2015, with a new ambitious vision to help support the programme’s growth, reach and longevity in growing more budding talent.

The critical skill you now need for 70 percent of credit risk jobs in Hong Kong
Credit risk remains one of the most stable and sought-after banking jobs in Hong Kong, but this year banks in the city are determined to hire more candidates with Mandarin-language skills into credit-risk roles.

CITB – Green offices ‘boost employee wellbeing’
Employers can improve the productivity of their office workers by investing in sustainable construction measures, according to a new report.

Dairy Crest cuts 260 jobs at creamery and bottling plant
Dairy products firm Dairy Crest is to close a creamery in Somerset and bottling dairy in London, with the loss of 260 jobs.

UK Research Publications

Forging futures – building higher level skills through university and employer collaboration
A joint publication from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and Universities UK (UUK) examining the ways in which universities and employers can work together to improve higher level skills.

Perceptions of A levels and GCSEs – Wave 12, perceptions of heads of schools, teachers, the general public, parents and students
Each year Ofqual commissions a survey of public perceptions of A levels and GCSEs in England. The survey covers teachers, parents and students, and addresses confidence in the general examinations systems.

Apprenticeship reforms – equality impact assessment
Analysis of the potential equalities impacts of apprenticeship reforms.

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.

The percentage of referrals to the Work Programme that could achieve a job outcome
Data on the proportion of referrals with sufficient time on the Work Programme to have qualified for a job outcome payment and did so.

Mobility manifesto
Presents recommendations for changes in the education system to improve social mobility in England.

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. Download the full spreadsheet.

Labour Market Profile, South West England, September 2014
A detailed snapshot of the demographics of the Heart of the South West LEP benchmarked against the South West and England with respect to: Resident population, Employment and unemployment, Economic inactivity, Employment by occupation, Qualifications, Out-of-work benefits, Jobs (total jobs / employee jobs) and Businesses from ONS.

Investing in UK Infrastructure
A guide to investing in UK infrastructure.

Contacts for partnership opportunities – Jobcentre Plus District Managers
Partnership opportunities for public and voluntary organisations to help Jobcentre Plus move people off benefits and into employment.

Public sector finances – August 2014
Latest data on the Public Sector Net Borrowing, Net debt and the cash requirement.

Professional and career development loans 2013 to 2014
The number of people who applied for professional career development loans for the financial year 2013 to 2014.

Charter for devolution
Drawn up by Key Cities, a group representing 23 mid-sized cities including Southampton, Hull, Wolverhampton and Milton Keynes. Argues that England’s cities should have pooled budgets and freedom to allocate funds as they see fit. Calls for ‘single city budgets’ pooling public funds into one block for a fixed five-year period so that city leaders are ‘free to allocate funds without interference from Whitehall red tape’.

Sector Skills Publications

Shared parental leave and pay – employers’ technical guide
This is a technical guide for employers to consider when implementing policies on shared parental leave and pay.

NHS workforce statistics, provisional – June 2014
NHS Workforce Statistics.

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.

Turnover and orders in production and services industries – July 2014
Monthly turnover, exports, and orders data for production and services industries.

SFA innovation code
How the innovation code works, its purpose, and the criteria and funding rules which apply to it. This document sets out how colleges, training organisations and who receive a direct grant from the SFA can use funding for courses that meet particular local business and employment needs, whilst they are simultaneously developed for the accreditation.

SFA payments and data
Information on ILR data collections for colleges, training organisations, local authorities and employers.

BIS research strategy 2014 – 2015
This document concentrates on core Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) research priorities where we are keen to engage with the wider research community.

Further education and skills – statistical first release
Success rates for 2012 to 2013 and provisional further education and skills data for the first 9 months of 2013 to 2014 academic year.

Securing our digital future – the techUK manifesto for growth and jobs 2015-2020
Outlines how the next five years are crucial for the UK, not just to be a digital leader but to use digital technologies to tackle the fundamental long-term social and economic challenges for the next generation.

Events

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.

MAS supports The Manufacturing and Engineering Expo
8 October 2014, 09:00 – 16:30, Kent Event Centre, Maidstone

08/10/2014 – This year’s event promises to be an inspirational business-to-business show designed to support and showcase everything that is great about the engineering and manufacturing sector and what’s more, it’s free to attend.

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.

An evening dinner debate on local government digital capability
2 October 2014, 17.45 – 21.00, Bristol

02/10/2014 – Aimed at CEOs, councillors and senior local authority managers. The event will focus on the feasibility, utility and structure of a Local Digital Academy that would help to build digital capability within local government.

Hot Topic event on Building Digital Capability
2 October 2014, 10.30 – 16.00, Bristol

02/10/2014 – Highlighting the digital skills required to deliver local public services and present the work councils are already doing to improve them. Over the course of the day, local authority heads of service, change managers, CIOs, CTOs and heads of HR will improve their understanding of learning and development activities and learn how to share resources.

Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Local-Central Discovery Day
1 October 2014, 10.30 – 17.00, Bristol

01/10/2014 – Explore the impact of DVLA digital transformation on local authorities and their service users. The aim of the day will be to identify digital products that could be built nationally to save money and improve services. The event is aimed at local and central government heads of service, assistant directors and service managers, bailiffs, ICT and digital specialists and any public sector role that would benefit from better access to DVLA data.

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.

Grow Gloucestershire – The Skills Show Experience
7 – 8 October 2014, The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse

07/10/2014 – Highlight the exciting career opportunities you have available and get face to face with potential apprentices, trainees and staff. Bring skills to life through inspirational ‘HAVE A GO’ activities.Talk to Gloucestershire’s young people about what it is really like to work in your sector. Raise your profile and promote your brand, products and services.

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.

CIPD – Devon and Cornwall Branch Conference
1 October 2014, 09:45, Sandy Park Conference Centre, Sandy Park Way, Exeter, EX2 7NN

01/10/2014 – Delegates will be able to enjoy 2 fantastic Key note speakers and select from a menu of 12 mini seminars, workshops and master classes in Employment Law, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Health and Wellbeing and Learning and Development.

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 and

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.

HEFCE Annual Meeting 2014
16 October 2014, 09:30-13:00, Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

16/10/2014 – The meeting offers an opportunity to learn more about current developments, HEFCE’s role and the challenges facing higher education. Booking for the event will open in August.

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.

Skills, Employment and Growth Conference 2014 30th September, 2014, University of Salford
30/09/2014 – This one day conference will provide delegates a timely opportunity to debate whether Government proposals to reform skills and employment programmes will benefit learners, engage more employers and get more people back to work.

OECD LEED Programme Expert Seminar – What works, and what doesn’t? Evidence-based approaches to tackling disadvantage
October 2014, OECD Conference Centre, Paris

15/10/2014 – This expert seminar will focus on how countries can establish a policy framework to enable effective local action using an evidence-based approach, choosing between different measures at a time of limited resources. The latest evidence from OECD countries on ‘what works’ and ‘what doesn’t’ will be considered, with participants sharing their own experiences from their perspectives as policy makers, researchers, practitioners and social entrepreneurs.

SW TUC – A Vision for a South West That Works
1 October 2014, 16:00-18:00, PCS South West Regional Office Suite III, First Floor, Quintana Gate, Bartholomew Street, Exeter EX4 3BH

01/10/2014 – This session will focus on transport.

SW TUC – A Vision for a South West That Works
11 October 2014, 14:00-16:00, Unite, Tony Benn House, Victoria Street, Bristol

11/10/2014 – This session will focus on the green economy.

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.

MAS Workshop – Using Design for Competitive Advantage
9 October 2014, Royal Wootton Bassett

09/10/2014 – The workshop for SMEs will summarise different expressions of design best practice and will include practical exercises to investigate how a products manufacturing cost can be reduced by design. It will guide delegates towards improvement opportunities relating to their own product.

International IP Protection
6 October 2014, British Library, London

09/10/2014 – In this one off series of events, senior representatives from WIPO will lead discussions on the international protection of IP rights. The half day events will provide an introduction to WIPO services and initiatives.To register your interest, email wiposeminars@ipo.gov.uk with the subject heading ‘WIPO seminar registration.

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.

Open consultation – Skills for Logistics, National Occupational Standards
6 October 2014, contact Paul Barefoot at
skills@skillsforlogistics.org

06/10/2014 – These projects involve consulting with industry to write new or review current National Occupational Standards for specific occupations in the logistics sector. Steering group meetings have already been held for most of these projects and we will be consulting electronically on the draft NOS over the next few months.

Want to know more about entering the world of Facilities Management?
LIVE Twitter Q&A – 26 September 12:00-14:00

26/09/2014 – Join The Building Futures Group, The Sun newspaper and a number of successful Facilities Managers for a Twitter Q&A. Ensure you’re using the hashtag #sunsecretjobs and an expert will be in touch.

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?

 

Wordart

This week: OECD on access to education, UKCES on skills gaps and gender, Eric Pickles on devolution and the latest from LEPs and industry. Last week’s newsletter reported growth in construction v’s skills shortages, manufacturing wage growth, South Devon’s new University Technical College, the Civil Service Fast Stream and the search for an FE provider to take on A4e’s ailing £17m prison education contract.

Access to education continues to expand worldwide but the socio-economic divisions between tertiary-educated adults and the rest of society are growing according to a new report form the OECD. “This report from the OECD provides a wealth of data to help us understand the strengths and weaknesses of our learning and skills system and how we compare internationally. It deserves close consideration.” said David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE

Eric Pickles responded to a report by the IPPR think-tank, saying: “There may be some role for combined authorities on a strategic level to promote economic development and transport, but there is a real risk they will suck power upwards away from local councils and local taxpayers.” A new website Your Local Economy, allows people around the UK to get a snapshot view of what’s happening near them from jobs to big building projects.

Swindon and Wiltshire LEP are seeking an executive assistant to drive economic growth in the area, with Swindon having been ranked 7th in Grant Thornton’s High Growth Index of Places.  The Heart of the South West LEP has secured a £2.84m funding package from Government to improve transport links ahead of the construction of the Hinkley Point C power station. The funding is an addition to the recently agreed Growth Deal worth £270m. Heart of the South West LEP’s latest skills newsletter covers funding, projects and developments.  In Solent, Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt announced 900 young people will now be able to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing at a new dedicated campus at the Daedalus Enterprise Zone. The Solent LEP is also hosting a consultation session on the 6th October to discuss progress on delivering its £2.8bn Strategic Economic Plan.  Dorset LEP has produced a new newsletter covering topics such as: ESIF Events, Government Support for SMEs, Up-skilling your workforce, Silicon South Digital Start Ups, Local Growth Deal Update, Growth Support, Young Enterprise Route to Work and the Dorset Business Women Go Digital Campaign. The LEP has also launched a plan to improve the skills of people in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland.

Production output increased by 1.7 percent in the year to July 2014, 2.2 percent in manufacturing, (the largest component of production); and 3.4 per cent in electricity, gas, steam & air conditioning output. Contractor vacancy growth reached a 16-year high in August, with vacancies growing at their fastest rate since May 1998, ostensibly driven by regional demand. Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) have been encouraged by increases in headcount and turnover among established businesses, though attracting key talent is still a concern, although staff training is moving up the agenda for SMEs as the economy improves. The CBI has set out the choices political parties must make to ensure the benefits of growth are felt by all people during the next parliament, including a major push to get Britain building. The latest Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) Barometer showed that 67 per cent of respondents felt that increasing sales at home offered them the best chance to expand. Manufacturers across Devon and Cornwall have formed a new members body to strengthen their lobbying power.

New research by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) shows the skills gap between genders is continuing to widen, as women leave male counterparts behind. Women will take two-thirds of all new highly-skilled jobs created in the next six years because men are failing to keep pace, and could struggle to get highly skilled jobs because women are increasing skills and qualifications at higher rates, say researchers. In particular, the gap between skill-sets among construction workers should be addressed according to the report. The Government Equalities Office (GEO), is surveying employers across Great Britain to investigate gender workforce issues.

Health education managers in the South West have arranged a crisis summit to tackle acute problems in the GP workforce. A timely refresh of the Adult Social Care Workforce Recruitment and Retention Strategy has been launched by Skills for Care. On the 24th September, Skills for Health will be attending ‘Commissioning in Healthcare – Improving Outcomes for Patients’, at Olympia in London at a crucial time for Clinical Commissioning Groups, who are now responsible for £65 billion of NHS spend.

A new drive is seeing more young people enter the creative sector. Jobs are also expected to be created in Exeter by a fast-expanding international data science agency, Black Swan Data, which is opening a new regional office in the city. Founder and CEO Steve King, an Exeter graduate, termed the quayside “the true heart of innovation” adding “it’s our Silicon Quay”.  Further West, Cornwall’s fastest growing technology start-up company has won a cloud technology development contract creating 20 new technology jobs. The Tech Partnership is inviting organisations to tender for the delivery of the assessment services of the new Digital Industries Trailblazer apprenticeships.

Leaving the EU would put West farms at risk because they are ‘reliant’ on immigrants, according to a survey by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers. Some of the UK’s largest employers in the food and grocery industry attended a roundtable on 11 September to discuss what the sector is doing to help address the poor employability skills of young unemployed people.

You’ll be pleased to hear we’ve given up on the survey, opting instead for a free virtual foam party and chance to meet Russell Brand*

*warning elements of this promise may have been made up
I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

UK’s top apprentices to represent the UK at EuroSkills
The team that will represent the UK at EuroSkills Lille 2014 has now been announced.

UK government welcomes social impact investment report
The report recognises how social investment helps address society’s most difficult problems and calls for more action to grow the market.

OECD – Global growth continuing at a moderate pace
A moderate expansion is underway in most major advanced and emerging economies, but growth remains weak in the euro area, which runs the risk of prolonged stagnation if further steps are not taken to boost demand, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Assessment.

NIACE at the 2014 party conferences
NIACE’s bold proposals for a skills-led economic recovery outlined in its General Election manifesto – Skills for Prosperity –  will be taken forward at fringe events at the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat party conferences.

CIPD – Resist EU quotas for women on boards, says Lords committee
A House of Lords committee has urged the government to reject EU plans to introduce quotas for women on boards.

Money is the key to being a top university, says study
Money is key to being a top university, suggests analysis by Times Higher Education magazine, ahead of its 2014 world university rankings.

Too many science PhDs? Not if unis train them for careers outside academia
Only 3.5 percent of UK science PhDs stay in university research. It’s time universities recognised that, and trained them accordingly.

Marks and Spencer moves into online courses
Marks and Spencer is entering the online education market, launching a business course with Leeds University.

Why proposed funding changes will deter colleges from higher education
The government’s vision for a new loans system will reduce the financial support available to colleges and could put off potential students.

HEFCE response to written ministerial statement on changes to Disabled Students’ Allowance
HEFCE is committed to working with universities, colleges and others to ensure as far as possible that disabled students are properly supported to succeed in their studies and in future employment.

UKCES welcomes increase in those taking degrees, but calls for more work-based skills
UK Commission for Employment and Skills welcomes new OECD findings, but calls for more work to give graduates the work-based skills they need.

UK has more graduates but without skills and social mobility to match
Report by OECD notes UK’s ‘quantum leap’ in higher education access but highlights poor literacy and numeracy figures.

UK shifts to graduate economy, but worry over skills gap
The UK has passed a significant milestone towards becoming a graduate economy, with more people now likely to have a degree than to have only reached school-level qualifications.

Universities minister Greg Clark rules out increasing tuition fees
Universities minister says he is ‘not persuaded’ by the argument for raising fees to take into account increased costs.

Significant increase in students entering postgraduate research with prior PG qualifications
New HEFCE analysis shows that the proportion of students entering postgraduate (PG) research degrees with a prior PG qualification has increased from 33 per cent to 59 per cent over the last 12 years.

UK degree-level spending lags behind competitor countries – and social mobility remains a persistent problem
The UK is lagging behind competitor countries including the United States, Japan and France in terms of spending per student at degree-level, according to a major international education report released today.

UCU at TUC Congress
It has been a busy 24 hours for UCU delegates at the 146th annual TUC Congress in Liverpool.

Speech – Higher education, strength in diversity
Speech given at the annual gathering of university leaders at the Universities UK ‘Strength in Diversity’ conference.

Helping students with Asperger’s prepare for university life
As the number of autistic students soars, universities are trying hard to help them with their social and life skills.

Cedefop – Credit transfer systems – what will it take for them to work together?
Cedefop asks: how can credit transfer systems can open doors between vocational and higher education?

Register of higher education providers launched
HEFCE has today published its first register of higher education providers.

CBI responds to announcement of new Commission
The CBI responded to the announcement of the new European Commission senior posts.

Bank of England governor says skills are key to higher pay
Investment in skills is needed to deliver long-term productivity and better wages, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, told the annual Trades Union Congress in Liverpool yesterday.

BIS Select Committee report backs NIACE manifesto
Today’s report from the BIS Select Committee represents an important milestone in this country addressing low levels of adult literacy and numeracy.

Speech – The importance of teaching
Nick Gibb speaks to ResearchED about why the promotion of evidence-based approaches and freeing teachers to teach go hand in hand.

SFA grant success in supporting equality and diversity developments
Equality and diversity inclusion fund results in greater awareness and raises the profile of new equality strands.

Applicant shortage continues to push up salaries, says REC
Job vacancies increased at their fastest rate for 16 years in August as employer demand for staff has grown rapidly, according to the Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.

Teen apprenticeship numbers could be hit by making employers pay, National Audit Office warns
Government plans to make employers pay for up to a third of the training for 16 to 18 apprenticeships could hit the age group’s already-falling uptake, the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned.

The Centre for Youth Impact launches
The Centre for Youth Impact (CYI) will help measure and increase the impact of youth sector organisations.

£60 million of public and private investment for new leading-edge graphene research facility
Funding announced today by the Chancellor will support the construction of a Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at the University of Manchester.

Unemployed To Be Given ‘Attitude To Work’ Interviews
People claiming benefits will be expected to undergo attitude tests to assess if they have a psychological resistance to work under new plans revealed by the employment minister.

Chief Medical Officer’s annual report – employment is good for mental health
Chief Medical Officer’s report: the rising number of working days lost to mental illness creates personal suffering and costs the economy.

Breaking down the barriers to exciting new careers
Organisations and government are working together to bring more women and diversity into science and engineering.

Long-term shift towards low-paid work threatens stability of UK economy, says report
The future strength and stability of the UK economy is “under threat” as there has been a long-term shift towards insecure, low-paying employment in many cities across the country, according to thinktank the Centre for Cities.

UKTI – UK brands can sell while they sleep with UK government help
UK companies now have access to a global network of experts who can help them take their brand to the world through UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme, announced on Monday by Lord Livingston, Minister of State for Trade and Investment at Autumn Fair, Birmingham.

South West Headlines

Funding

£13 million to boost national school leaders network
One hundred talented leaders to be recruited to transform schools facing toughest challenges.

£1.8 million training boost for language teaching
A new fund of £1.8 million will pay for a series of teacher-led training programmes to help support the teaching of foreign languages.

Major new funding boost for small British charities
New UK Aid Direct fund will make the most of smaller charities’ ability to work at a grassroots level.

Further Education

NIACE webinars to help implement FELTAG recommendations
Providers planning to implement FELTAG recommendations to increase their use of learning technology will benefit from a series of regular NIACE webinars.

AoC – Maths teaching should be aimed at employment
Joy Mercer, Senior Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges responds to National Numeracy’s Manifesto for a Numerate UK.

Maintain standards says AoC
Joy Mercer, AoC’s Director of Education Policy responds to Ofqual’s announcement for setting standards for new GCSEs in 2017.

Association of Colleges – Improved careers education is ‘a matter of urgency’
Joy Mercer, Director of Education Policy at the Association of Colleges, responds to a report by the National Careers Council Taking Action: Achieving a culture change in careers provision.

Government failing to act over long-term NEETs, warns Ofsted
Reforms designed to cut the number of jobless school leavers are failing to prevent more than one million teenagers “falling through the cracks”, according to Ofsted.

16–19 study programmes – UKCES responds to Ofsted thematic review
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) today welcomed the publication of Ofsted’s thematic review of study programmes for 16 – 19 year olds.

First-of-its-kind sickle cell educational resource for science teachers
The NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening Programme has developed a set of genetic inheritance education resources for GCSE students.

Association of Colleges – Making students work-ready requires flexibility
Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges responds to the CBI’s new report People and Prosperity.

Helping shape future of education
In lesser hands it may have been too heavy a responsibility to shoulder, but for talented teenager Sanya Rajpal being the lone voice for her peers on a project which could transform the life chances of Bristol youngsters was an honour.

 

Business Intelligence

Acas – How to get your workplace dress code right
This time last year, television presenter Jeremy Paxman caused a social media storm when he suddenly appeared on Newsnight sporting a full facial beard. Stories of employees having been fired or overlooked for promotion owing to visible tattoos or piercings are not uncommon.

Protect your employees from fearing the unknown
A little bit of information can go a long way to support change, says Susanne Jacobs.

Connect Business Day grows with local economy
A business-boosting event featuring inspiring speakers, entrepreneurs and expert exhibitors is expanding by 50 per cent for 2014.

FSB announces record confidence among small businesses
Latest survey results from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reveal record confidence levels among UK small businesses. The Small Business Index – the FSB’s measure of confidence – reached +41 points in the third quarter.

Business report shows Bristol leads in potential for economic growth
Bristol’s position as a potential economic powerhouse of the future has been underlined in a new report.

Industry Intelligence

 

Output in the Construction Industry, July 2014 and New Orders Q2 2014
This statistical bulletin provides users with the latest estimates of output in the construction industry for July 2014 and for New Orders for Q2 2014. Output is defined as the amount charged by construction companies to customers for value of work (produced during the reporting period) excluding VAT and payments to sub-contractors.

Index of Labour Costs per Hour, Q2 2014 (experimental)
Private sector labour costs per hour increased by 0.5% in Q2 2014, while public sector labour costs per hour increased by 3.5%.

The Building Futures Group – First Newsletter – Summer 2014
The first newsletter of The Building Futures Group.

The Building Futures Group – career path in the facilities management sector
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in collaboration with The Building Futures Group, is launching a new initiative to open up a career path in the facilities management (FM) sector.

Water and waste management companies create new Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards
Leading employers from the water and waste management industries, collaborating through the Energy & Efficiency Industrial Partnership (the Partnership), have developed two exciting new Trailblazer Apprenticeships, which will meet the future needs of both employers and Apprentices.

New Wood & Timber and Furniture Apprenticeships
The Proskills Group are pleased to announce that the following apprenticeships are now available for the first time for the Wood & Timber Industry.

Creative Skillset – Be a Hiive pioneer
Creative Skillset is delighted to announce the imminent arrival of Hiive.

BT move to new Bodmin Cornwall Council offices set to create 50 jobs
Fifty new BT telehealth jobs are set to be created in Bodmin after the company finally announced it will be moving its services to the town.

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

John Lewis Distribution endorses Standard of Excellence DCPC
Tanith Dolan, Technical Training Co-ordinator for John Lewis Distribution attended the very first Skills for Logistics DCPC Employer Consultation in June 2014. Following extensive consultation, the Skills for Logistics Standard of Excellence DCPC started roll-out out to the UK Logistics Sector in September 2014.

William Connors, forced labour boss, told to pay £1.7m
The head of a traveller family who forced homeless men and drug addicts to work as labourers for as little as £5 a day has been ordered to pay more than £1.7m – or face six more years in jail.

MoD deal to secure skilled jobs
More than 1,000 skilled jobs will be secured by a new Ministry of Defence contract for scores of new high-tech armoured vehicles, Prime Minister David Cameron says.

Army veterans, charities and beekeepers join fight against unemployment
Army veterans, charities and beekeepers are helping jobseekers as part of a government initiative to allow Jobcentre Plus to provide more tailored support for those struggling to get work.

600 unemployed young people to be given training boost
A skills employment programme aimed at boosting the job prospects of hundreds of unemployed young people across the West of England has just been launched.

Surprising statistics reveal ESA is easier to claim than predecessor IB, reports Disability News Service
Disabled people are more likely to be successful in a claim for the much-criticised employment and support allowance (ESA) than the benefit it is replacing, incapacity benefit (IB), John Ping from the Disability News Service (DNS) reports.

Trade Unions

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

TUC welcomes MPs’ praise for unionlearn’s outstanding results and financial value
The TUC has welcomed the comments and recommendations on unionlearn – its learning and skills body – published today (Monday) by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee in its report Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

Unions in ‘Oliver Twist’ warning over Tory voting plans
Plans to make strikes illegal unless at least half of union members take part in ballots will leave them “with about as much power as Oliver Twist”, the leader of the TUC has warned.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady’s address to Congress 2014
“Trade unionism, at its heart, is about friendship between working people.” – Frances O’Grady, TUC

Bank of England governor Carney to address unions on wages
Bank of England governor Mark Carney will set out his plans for “real wages” when he addresses the annual conference of the Trades Union Congress on Tuesday.

International Research Publications

The future of the European Social Model – New perspectives for industrial relations, social and employment policy in Europe?
The 2014 annual IREC conference represented a very promising milestone for the field of Industrial relations research in Europe.

Education at a glance 2014 – OECD indicators
This annual publication is the authoritative source for accurate and relevant information on the state of education around the world. Featuring more than 150 charts, 300 tables, and over 100 000 figures, it provides data on the structure, finances, and performance of education systems in the OECD’s 34 member countries, as well as a number of partner countries.

UK Research Publications

Powers to grow – city finance and governance
A series of recommendations to enable this system of cities to build sustainable, productive economic growth: Devolution of finance away from central government to city-regions; Decentralisation of decision making responsibility; and, Implementation of flexible approaches to suit city’s needs.

JRF – A UK without poverty
Sets out the case for tackling poverty and outline policy options available to governments: Tackling the underlying causes of poverty; the nature of jobs at the bottom end of the labour market, the cost of essential goods and services, whether people are able to reach their potential, and the choices that individuals make, as well as the way the state responds; and, a long-term strategy to sustainably reduce poverty, rooted in cross-party consensus.

Decentralisation decade – a plan for economic prosperity, public service transformation and democratic renewal in England
Argues that England’s 80-year-long experiment with centralisation has failed, and it is time to embark on a new journey: a programme of decentralisation that will liberate the nation, drive prosperity and growth, and provide a new platform for more innovative and effective public service reform and a society which is more equal.

Nesta – Making sense of the UK collaborative economy
Explores the UK’s emerging collaborative economy, considering some of the challenges and opportunities presented by the collaborative economy.

Place-based policies
Asks which features of enterprise zone policies make them more, or less, effective, who gains and loses from these policies, and how we can reconcile the existing findings.

The economic impact of the Work Programme
This is the first study to look at the economic benefits of the Work Programme and the added financial value it delivers to employers, employees and the taxpayers. It shows how £18bn of value will be delivered to the economy by the Work Programme: £7bn will be delivered to workers; £7bn to the government; and, £4bn to employers.

UK skill levels and international competitiveness, 2013
Presents UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) projections of skills levels in the UK and OECD member states to 2020. Also presents historical trend data from 2002-2012.

Sector Skills Research Publications

Talent action plan – removing the barriers to success (Strategy)
Proposals to ensure the best people progress in the Civil Service, ensuring it remains one of the best and most progressive UK employers.

Local Enterprise Partnerships Latest

Unequal opportunity – how jobs are changing in cities
Shows how jobs in cities have polarised, with employment in middle-income professions falling and jow this has taken its toll on people’s wages, job security and career progression. Highlights the differences between cities, demonstrating the need for an appropriate mix of supply and demand-side interventions, which are specific to the local labour market.

The future of local enterprise partnerships – the small business perspective
Calls on Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to place small businesses at the heart of their plans for local economic growth. This is the first report of its kind and it stresses small businesses can’t be ignored as the economic recovery continues.

Where growth happens – the high growth index of places
As the UK emerges from recession, increasing attention is being given to the stimulation of growth. Yet growth does not occur evenly across the country and different types of growth – economic, demographic or otherwise – present different opportunities and implications for policy makers and local leaders in fostering that growth.

Events

Open consultation – Skills for Logistics, National Occupational Standards
6 October 2014, contact Paul Barefoot at
skills@skillsforlogistics.org

06/10/2014 – These projects involve consulting with industry to write new or review current National Occupational Standards for specific occupations in the logistics sector. Steering group meetings have already been held for most of these projects and we will be consulting electronically on the draft NOS over the next few months.

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.

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.

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.

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. To attend Get Your Next Job in TV Drama, Birmingham you must fulfil at least one of the following criteria:

International IP Protection
6 October 2014, British Library, London

09/10/2014 – In this one off series of events, senior representatives from WIPO will lead discussions on the international protection of IP rights. The half day events will provide an introduction to WIPO services and initiatives. To register email MAS Workshop – Using Design for Competitive Advantage
9 October 2014, Royal Wootton Bassett

09/10/2014 – The workshop for SMEs will summarise different expressions of design best practice and will include practical exercises to investigate how a products manufacturing cost can be reduced by design. It will guide delegates towards improvement opportunities re

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 awa

SkillsActive National Occupational Standards review in Spectator Safety, England
22 September 2014, Windsor, Royal Windsor Racecourse

22/09/2014 – Since the launch of a project to review the National Occupational Standards (NOS) in spectator safety in April 2014, SkillsActive have been busy working with the Sports Ground Safety Authority and other key stakeholders. The redrafted NOS was

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.

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
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
11 October 2014, 14:00-16:00, Unite, Tony Benn House, Victoria Street, Bristol

11/10/2014 – This session will focus on the green economy.

SW TUC – A Vision for a South West That Works
1 October 2014, 16:00-18:00, PCS South West Regional Office Suite III, First Floor, Quintana Gate, Bartholomew Street, Exeter EX4 3BH

01/10/2014 – This session will focus on transport.

OECD LEED Programme Expert Seminar – What works, and what doesn’t? Evidence-based approaches to tackling disadvantage
October 2014, OECD Conference Centre, Paris

15/10/2014 – This expert seminar will focus on how countries can establish a policy framework to enable effective local action using an evidence-based approach, choosing between different measures at a time of limited resources. The latest evidence from OECD countries

OECD LEED programme High-Level Capacity Building Seminar – Supporting youth in entrepreneurship
22-23 September 2014, Brussels, Belgium

22/09/2014 – The aim of this High-Level Capacity Building Seminar is have an international exchange of information on inclusive entrepreneurship actions across the European Union and on how the European Union Structural Funds can be used to support actions that combin

Skills, Employment and Growth Conference 2014 30th September, 2014, University of Salford
30/09/2014 – This one day conference will provide delegates a timely opportunity to debate whether Government proposals to reform skills and employment programmes will benefit learners, engage more employers and get more people back to work. This important conference

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

Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

19/09/2014 – Targeted at maths and english tutors and managers. The aim of the event is to provide participants with a range of tools, resources and best practice which they will be able to take back to their own organisations. Much of the day will be interactive so p

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.

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

HEFCE Annual Meeting 2014
16 October 2014, 09:30-13:00, Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

16/10/2014 – The meeting offers an opportunity to learn more about current developments, HEFCE’s role and the challenges facing higher education. Booking for the event will open in August.

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 implicati

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 fundi

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 and

CIPD – Devon and Cornwall Branch Conference
1 October 2014, 09:45, Sandy Park Conference Centre, Sandy Park Way, Exeter, EX2 7NN

01/10/2014 – Delegates will be able to enjoy 2 fantastic Key note speakers and select from a menu of 12 mini seminars, workshops and master classes in Employment Law, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Health and Wellbeing and Learning and Development.

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.

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.

Employer Ownership – Current Position and Future Prospects
with Michael Davis, Chief Executive of UKCES
23 September 2014, Campaign for Learning, 24 Greencoat Place, Westminster, London, SW1P 1RD

23/09/2014 – With the general election less than nine months away, this is an exciting moment discuss where the ’employer ownership of skills’ agenda has reached and what the prospects are for the future.

Grow Gloucestershire – The Skills Show Experience
7 – 8 October 2014, The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse

07/10/2014 – Highlight the exciting career opportunities you have available and get face to face with potential apprentices, trainees and staff. Bring skills to life through inspirational ‘HAVE A GO’ activities. Talk to Gloucestershire’s young people about what it is

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.

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 Bournemouth & Poole College Open Event
24 September 2014, 16:00-20:00, Bournemouth & Poole College Campuses

24/09/2014 – Find out about full-time courses, apprenticeships, A-levels, higher education and adult learning courses at Bournemouth and Poole college. Meet leading employers, speak to staff and enroll.

Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) Local-Central Discovery Day
1 October 2014, 10.30 – 17.00, Bristol

01/10/2014 – Explore the impact of DVLA digital transformation on local authorities and their service users. The aim of the day will be to identify digital products that could be built nationally to save money and improve services. The event is aimed at local and central government heads of service, assistant directors and service managers, bailiffs, ICT and digital specialists and any public sector role that would benefit from better access to DVLA data.

Hot Topic event on Building Digital Capability
2 October 2014, 10.30 – 16.00, Bristol

02/10/2014 – Highlighting the digital skills required to deliver local public services and present the work councils are already doing to improve them. Over the course of the day, local authority heads of service, change managers, CIOs, CTOs and heads of HR will improve their understanding of learning and development activities and learn how to share resources.

An evening dinner debate on local government digital capability
2 October 2014, 17.45 – 21.00, Bristol

02/10/2014 – Aimed at CEOs, councillors and senior local authority managers. The event will focus on the feasibility, utility and structure of a Local Digital Academy that would help to build digital capability within local government.

Developing Solutions for Clinical Commissioning Groups
24 September 2014, Olympia, London

24/09/2014 – Skills for Health will be attending Commissioning in Healthcare – Improving Outcomes for Patients. It is crucial time for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), who are now responsible for £65 billion of NHS spend, ensuring they contribute to help deliver better services and improved outcomes for patients.

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.

Graduation Ceremony for Advanced and Higher Apprentices
9 September 2014, Central Hall, Westminster

09/09/2014 – Skills CFA, in association with The Association of Colleges, the National Apprenticeship Service, The Association of Employment and Learning Providers and the Federation for Industry Skills and Standards will celebrate the success of advanced and higher apprenticeship achievements in business related skills. The event also aims to raise the profile of the apprenticeship route in comparison to academic pathways. More than this, the event will look to engage with unengaged employers and apprentices as well as celebrate with providers and employers engaged with exiting apprentices.

MAS supports The Manufacturing and Engineering Expo
8 October 2014, 09:00 – 16:30, Kent Event Centre, Maidstone

08/10/2014 – This year’s event promises to be an inspirational business-to-business show designed to support and showcase everything that is great about the engineering and manufacturing sector and what’s more, it’s free to attend.

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.

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.

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
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.

Wordart
This week the headlines focus on the OECD’s latest ‘Education at a Glance’ findings, Marchmont research in the spotlight, the National Student Satisfaction Survey 2014, University; applying, work & study and graduate recruitment, student finance.  Last week’s South West Skills newsletter reported on growth in construction and skills shortages, wage growth in manufacturing, South Devon’s new University Technical College, the Civil Service Fast Stream and the search for an FE provider to take on A4e’s ailing £17m prison education contract.

Access to education continues to expand worldwide but the socio-economic divisions between tertiary-educated adults and the rest of society are growing according to a new report form the OECD. “This report from the OECD provides a wealth of data to help us understand the strengths and weaknesses of our learning and skills system and how we compare internationally. It deserves close consideration.” said David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE.

Ron McQuaid, Professor of Work and Employment at the University of Stirling and Dr Valerie Egdell at the Employment Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University recently put Marchmont research in the spotlight, featuring our work ‘Good practice examples for labour market intelligence (LMI) tools in European regions and localities’ on Skills Development Scotland.

The satisfaction rate for students studying at UK universities and colleges has hit a 10-year high, with 86 per cent saying they are satisfied overall with their course, in this year’s National Student Survey (NSS). Students reported record levels of satisfaction in responses to the survey. Exeter students are the most satisfied of any of the Russell Group universities, with the universities of Belfast, St Andrews, Keele and Bath also among the top for student satisfaction. The University of Exeter has also been shortlisted for three Times Higher Education (THE) awards.

The UK has passed a significant milestone towards becoming a graduate economy, with more people now likely to have a degree than to have only reached school-level qualifications.  Record numbers of university places are on offer in the wake of A-level and AS-level results, announced this month. But just how important are GCSE grades when applying to university? For some courses and institutions they’re ‘very important’ but for others they might be meaningless. Some would argue that the hardest job for graduates is finding a job – we look at the problem graduates face when they try to find paid work. A recent survey of over 2,100 students carried out by the National Union of Students (NUS) suggests 13 percent of students now work full-time while at university. Grads for Growth have recently produced an excellent infographic illustrating the results of another NUS survey of 900 students looking at recent recruitment trends; the views & opinions of students & smaller businesses across the UK.

Amid calls to let universities underwrite student loans to reduce the burden on the taxpayer, David Willetts has suggested that students would benefit but opponents fear institutions would demand higher tuition fees to cover debts. A report by the Independent Commission on Fees, shows that 10 times more advantaged students get a place at a top university than their disadvantaged peers. In response to Shadow Universities Minister Liam Byrne’s comments on reshaping the higher education system, Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “We need the higher education system to refocus on technical and professional education, providing an alternative to academic study with features such as the flexibility to allow for part-time study alongside continuing in employment.” Labour is also calling for technical universities to be created as part of a blueprint for reshaping the higher education system to support a hi-tech, high-income economy. So, is it time to restructure our universities? Peter Scott, professor of higher education studies, Institute of Education argues that a federal approach could help tackle the divisive brand wars and class-bound hierarchies that dog our current system.

HEFCE has recently published its first register of higher education providers, launching this alongside an updated operating framework for higher education, which explains the arrangements for regulating higher education providers in England.

On the international stage, the University of Exeter’s first official visit to Brazil took place at the end of July, with Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Steve Smith leading a University delegation to the country to consolidate links with three leading research institutions: the University of São Paulo (USP), the Oswald Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and the National Institute of Space Research (INPE).

Looking at developments closer to home, a new initiative, due to launch in September, will allow anyone in the South West or anywhere in the world to study business for free at the top ten ranked University of Exeter Business School, thanks to a collaboration between global accountancy body, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and online learning platform FutureLearn.

Camborne School of Mines has announced the launch of a pioneering new Programme, designed to deliver key learning and professional development to employees and stakeholders within the mining industry. As for tomorrow’s scientists and engineers, they can now apply for places at the Devon’s newest school, the South Devon University Technical College in Engineering, Water and the Environment, which opens its doors to the first intake of students this time next year.

The Women in Higher Education @Exeter bi-annual report has recently been released, highlighting the University of Exeter’s activities relating to the Athena SWAN charter, which leads me to flag the fifth annual Women into Leadership Conference in London this September – see events for more details.

…and finally, we hope you have found the newsletter useful. To help us to continue to provide relevant and interesting content, please take 3 minutes to complete this extremely quick survey.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Data published on staff employed in the higher education sector
HEFCE has published interactive data on the trends in employment of staff in the higher education sector for the ten years, 2003-04 to 2012-13. 2012-13 is the first year in which detailed information on job types is available.

UCU comment on possible changes to student loans
UCU recently responded to reports about government proposals to reform the English student loan system which could lead to higher tuition fees for students and changes in loan terms.

UCU calls for an end to zero-hours contracts at meeting with industry leaders
UCU recently re-emphasised its opposition to zero-hours contracts at an industry briefing on atypical and zero-hours contracts hosted by conciliation experts Acas.

UK Research Partnership Investment Fund round 4
A further £100 million is being allocated across the UK to develop research facilities to encourage collaboration and support excellent research.

Invitation to apply for HEFCE Catalyst Fund monies
AoC is working with the HEA , QAA and NUS on a HEFCE catalyst fund bid (of around £3 million).

HEFCE welcomes streamlined TRAC Guidance
HEFCE welcomes the new streamlined guidance for the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) published by the TRAC Development Group (TDG). This will apply for reporting from the academic year 2014-15 onwards.

HEPI publishes detailed study of removing student number controls in Australia – and what it could mean for England
At the end of 2013, George Osborne announced the end of student number caps. In future, universities will be free to recruit as many students as they want. But it remains unclear how the change will be implemented, how it will be paid for and what it will mean in practice.

University of Gloucestershire shares student village plan
Plans to turn a former teaching campus of the University of Gloucestershire into a student village have been shared publicly for the first time.

Plymouth University board ‘united’ over CEO suspension
Plymouth University’s board of governors has said it is “united” behind a review process that led to the chief executive being suspended.

Record numbers have university places confirmed
A record number of students have had their university places confirmed, figures from admissions body Ucas show.

Grads for Growth – Budding graduates help businesses bloom this summer!
With an array of graduate placements being supported across the region, the Grads for Growth team are proud to see more and more placements coming to fruition and look forward to success stories yet to be written.

Universities and the 2015 election – gulf between big parties widens
Labour is committed to lowering fees, the Tories are eager to let them rise. Next year will be very significant for higher education, says Martin Hall.

Why computer science graduates can’t talk themselves into jobs
Maths and science graduates are victims of a dirigiste British education policy that fails both labour market and individual.

Attitude of young job candidates ‘more important’ than academic scores
Employers put greater value on attitude than academic results when it comes to recruiting young people, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has found.

Fast Stream offers route to civil service careers for future leaders
The Fast Stream programme offers talented graduates a quicker route to leadership and the opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives. Applications are open to join the Civil Service Fast Stream in 2015.

Lord Young interview – ‘We need to get young children believing in themselves’
The former Thatcher favourite, and now David Cameron’s Enterprise Adviser, is convinced the link between education and business has been eroded in the rush to go to university.

Lessons from America – why colleges must collaborate rather than compete
‘Collaboration is the key to world class education, not competition.’ Deputy principal Nick Isles reflects on what UK further education can learn from the US.

International Research Publications

Youth employment in an international context
Latest youth report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), examining youth employment in an international context.

ESF funding for the South West
Shows European Social Fund (ESF) funding for the south west for 2007 to 2013.

ESF funding for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
Shows European Social Fund (ESF) funding for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for 2007 to 2013.

ESF funding for national technical assistance projects
This document shows European Social Fund (ESF) funding for national technical assistance projects for 2007 to 2013. The list includes the: name of each project; ESF funding; national match funding; names of the providers and any sub-contractors or partners; and, contract start and end dates.

Cedefop – Briefing note – The hidden potential of level 5 qualifications
European qualifications framework (EQF) levels reveal what a learner knows, understands and can do at the end of a learning experience. Thanks to the comprehensive nature of the EQF, these learning outcomes can also provide policy-makers with a fine mesh of data about each particular level and every kind of qualification. Nowhere is this mesh more intricate than at level 5, where learning outcomes cut across several subsystems. Moreover, these qualifications serve to test the degree of permeability between subsectors of our education and training systems.

Cedefop – Briefing Note – Developing apprenticeships
To reduce high unemployment among their young people, countries are looking to others for help. During the economic downturn, some countries have performed better and youth unemployment has remained relatively low, for example in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. This has been attributed in part to their apprenticeships or ‘dual’ systems and, consequently, interest in them has increased.

Migration policy changes – employer responses
Findings from case study research into UK employers’ responses to changes in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 points based immigration system. Presents findings from a case study of 20 employers that have historically recruited migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Examines how changes to the points-based immigration system have affected employers and provides examples of initial employer responses to those changes.

Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2014 – An OECD Scoreboard
Now covering 31 countries, this book documents the financing difficulties of SMES and entrepreneurs and monitors trends in 31 countries, along with government policy responses to deal with these challenges.

OECD Employment Outlook 2014
The OECD Employment Outlook 2014 includes chapters on recent labour market developments with a special section on earnings, job quality, youth employment, and forms of employment and employment protection.

UK Research Publications

Should I stay or should I go? An investigation of graduate regional mobility in the UK and its impact upon early career earnings
Uses HESA data from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2003/04 to examine whether more mobile students in terms of choice of institution and location of employment earn more than those who are less mobile. The clear finding is that mobility is associated with superior earnings outcomes, but principally through mobility as it relates to students extending their horizon of job search.

Robbins rebooted – how we earn our way in the second machine age
Pamphlet setting out options for reforming Britain’s universities to boost the country’s knowledge economy and open high paying technical and professional jobs to all.

Participation rates in higher education – 2006 to 2013
Statistics for participation rates in higher education between the academic years 2006 to 2007 and 2012 to 2013.

The Crisis of Young Women’s Worklessness
A new report by the Young Women’s Trust finds that the impact of being NEET for a woman is more significant and can last longer, with evidence showing that young women are NEET for longer than men – three years on average, versus two. The report highlights an inadequacy of advice, training and support young women receive, meaning they do not gain employment or result in highly competitive, poorly paid jobs in a limited range of occupations.

Cedefop – Use of validation by enterprises for human resource and career development purposes
Based on a survey of 400 enterprises, 20 in-depth case studies and interviews with human resource experts in 10 countries, this report analyses the main purposes of competence assessment, the standards and methods applied, the employee groups targeted and the way results are documented and used.

Driving New Success Strategies in Graduate Recruitment
Argues that businesses looking to hire the most talented university leavers need to shift their approach to recruitment in order to improve retention. Suggests that there is a mismatch between employers’ recruitment strategies and graduates’ bid to secure their first role.

Remember the young ones – Improving career opportunities for Britain’s young people
Looks at five critical elements of the school-to-work transition for young people – the role of employers, vocational education, apprenticeships, careers guidance, and the benefits system – and at lessons the UK can learn from European economies with better youth employment records.

Alternative higher education providers – specific course designation – guidance for applicants
Guidance on the new specific course designation process, the criteria and conditions and the new application process for higher education.

Proportion of jobs which are highly skilled, by government office region
The most recent LFS release (from Janaury to March 2014) was used to calculate the proportion of jobs in each government office region which are classified as ‘highly skilled’.

Trends in undergraduate recruitment
Looks at recent trends in the recruitment of undergraduates in England, focussing on students from the UK and EU. Drawing on analysis of publicly available data, combined with evidence gathered from interviews and surveys of Universities UK members, the report provides an assessment of trends covering a period of significant change for universities. Including ongoing transition to a new funding system, reductions in public funding, and the impact of the economic downturn.

e-Appendix

Reducing poverty in the UK – a collection of evidence reviews
Reviews of existing policy and research on a wide range of social issues that are related to poverty. The reviews are split into five sections: The bigger picture, Welfare and work, Money and the cost of living, Education, family and community, Complex needs.

The estate we’re in – lessons from the front line
Argues that the condition of many of Britain’s social housing estates is nothing short of a national embarrassment. Suggests the results of decades of neglect and ghettoization have led to acute social problems that are entrenched and generational including: lone parents with low educational attainment and poor parenting skills; child neglect and domestic violence; low levels of employment; and the rise of gang warfare and knife crime.

Moving beyond the market – a new agenda for public services
Argues that, if we want to move beyond top-down, centralised services, we need to move beyond the market. Suggests a new direction of travel: shifting power away from private providers to the citizens and frontline staff.

Financing social ventures and the demand for social investment
Demonstrates that 15 percent of social enterprises are seeking loan finance, with most of these borrowing from high street banks. Allows a clear distinction to be made between social enterprises that are not interested in loan finance, those already receiving, and those that are interested but not able to source loans, or are discouraged.

Forced labour in the United Kingdom
Argues that forced labour is a serious crime that currently affects thousands of people across the UK – and the number of cases is growing. Presents research into the nature, scale and scope of forced labour in the UK since 2010. Draws together JRF’s programme of research, highlighting the most significant findings and key recommendations.

Events

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

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

Women into Leadership, Fifth Annual Conference
17 September 2014, Central London

For all those interested in seeing leadership opportunities for women enhanced. Women into Leadership 2014 will examine how female leaders, at whatever grade, can enhance their relevant skills to become the leader they aspire to be. This year’s conference

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.

Grow Gloucestershire – The Skills Show Experience
7 – 8 October 2014, The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse

Highlight the exciting career opportunities you have available and get face to face with potential apprentices, trainees and staff. Bring skills to life through inspirational ‘HAVE A GO’ activities. Talk to Gloucestershire’s young people about what it is

Employer Ownership – Current Position and Future Prospects
with Michael Davis, Chief Executive of UKCES
23 September 2014, Campaign for Learning, 24 Greencoat Place, Westminster, London, SW1P 1RD

With the general election less than nine months away, this is an exciting moment discuss where the ’employer ownership of skills’ agenda has reached and what the prospects are for the future.

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

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

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.

NIACE – FELTAG Session 1 – Meeting Learner’s Needs
9 September 2014, online – ref: BIS602A/0714

The government’s response to the FELTAG recommendations published on the 16 June confirmed the government’s commitment to the use of technology for learning.

CIPD – Devon and Cornwall Branch Conference
1 October 2014, 09:45, Sandy Park Conference Centre, Sandy Park Way, Exeter, EX2 7NN

Delegates will be able to enjoy 2 fantastic Key note speakers and select from a menu of 12 mini seminars, workshops and master classes in Employment Law, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Health and Wellbeing and Learning and Development.

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

Webinar – Engaging with NIACE’s general election manifesto
17 September 2014, online – ref: WEB002A2/0914

Webinar participants will hear from NIACE’s CEO, David Hughes, about the manifesto’s bold new proposals following recent reports confirming the urgent need for a skills-led economic recovery; including the 2013 OECD Survey of Adult Skills, the 2014 UKCES…

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 funding.

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 implications…

TUC Congress 2014
7-10 September 2014, BT Convention Centre, Kings Dock, Liverpool L3 4FP

Visitor application forms will be available from May.

HEFCE Annual Meeting 2014
16 October 2014, 09:30-13:00, Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

The meeting offers an opportunity to learn more about current developments, HEFCE’s role and the challenges facing higher education. Booking for the event will open in August.

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…

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

The IfL Fellowship Research Programme is designed to develop individuals’ research and publication skills.

Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

Targeted at maths and english tutors and managers. The aim of the event is to provide participants with a range of tools, resources and best practice which they will be able to take back to their own organisations.

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

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..

Skills, Employment and Growth Conference 2014 30th September, 2014, University of Salford
This one day conference will provide delegates a timely opportunity to debate whether Government proposals to reform skills and employment programmes will benefit learners, engage more employers and get more people back to work. This important conference

OECD LEED programme High-Level Capacity Building Seminar – Supporting youth in entrepreneurship
22-23 September 2014, Brussels, Belgium

The aim of this High-Level Capacity Building Seminar is have an international exchange of information on inclusive entrepreneurship actions across the European Union and on how the European Union Structural Funds can be used to support actions that combin

OECD LEED Programme Expert Seminar – What works, and what doesn’t? Evidence-based approaches to tackling disadvantage
October 2014, OECD Conference Centre, Paris

This expert seminar will focus on how countries can establish a policy framework to enable effective local action using an evidence-based approach, choosing between different measures at a time of limited resources. The latest evidence from OECD countries

SW TUC – A Vision for a South West That Works
13 September 2014, 14:30-16:00, Unity Hall, Central Road, Yeovil BA20 11JL

This session will focus on migration and population.

SW TUC – A Vision for a South West That Works
17 September 2014, 14:00-16:00, UNISON, Vintry House, Wine Street, Bristol

This session will focus on housing.

SW TUC – A Vision for a South West That Works
1 October 2014, 16:00-18:00, PCS South West Regional Office Suite III, First Floor, Quintana Gate, Bartholomew Street, Exeter EX4 3BH

This session will focus on transport.

SW TUC – A Vision for a South West That Works
11 October 2014, 14:00-16:00, Unite, Tony Benn House, Victoria Street, Bristol

This session will focus on the green economy.

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

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

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

This session will focus on tacking inequality.

SkillsActive National Occupational Standards review in Spectator Safety, England
22 September 2014, Windsor, Royal Windsor Racecourse

Since the launch of a project to review the National Occupational Standards (NOS) in spectator safety in April 2014, SkillsActive have been busy working with the Sports Ground Safety Authority and other key stakeholders.

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.

MAS Workshop – Using Design for Competitive Advantage
9 October 2014, Royal Wootton Bassett

The workshop for SMEs will summarise different expressions of design best practice and will include practical exercises to investigate how a products manufacturing cost can be reduced by design.

International IP Protection
6 October 2014, British Library, London

In this one off series of events, senior representatives from WIPO will lead discussions on the international protection of IP rights. The half day events will provide an introduction to WIPO services and initiatives.

Creative SkillSet – Get Your Next Job in TV Drama, Birmingham
20 October 2014, BBC Academy, Birmingham

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

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

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