Archives for category: Creative Skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

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

John Naisbitt

Headlines

Further Education

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growth & Trade

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

 

UK Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points for September to November 2014

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

 

 

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

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

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

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Word Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

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

Sector Skills – Headlines

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

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

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

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

Maritime and shipping statistics
Maritime and shipping statistics information.

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

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

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

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

Further Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growth & Trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

UK Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points for September to November 2014

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

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wordcloud

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

 

20141017_growth_deals_science_parks_and_STEM_skills

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

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

The Government is committed to producing a Science and Innovation Strategy to coincide with the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2014. The objective of the strategy is to secure economic growth and high quality jobs for the UK through investment in science and innovation.  Leading science industry employers celebrated this month following the successful enrolment of the first apprentice cohort on revolutionary new Apprenticeship Standards.  Employers and educators are joining forces with Semta to improve the quality of teaching and training in STEM subjects essential to engineering and the future of the UK economy.  Also, an innovative new Modular Masters Training in Formulation Science and Technology has been introduced – a multidisciplinary course and instead of being studied across a full academic year offers greater flexibility for businesses and learners.  In relation to this, a new forecast centre dedicated to space weather is due to officially open in Exeter, it was announced recently. The Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre is designed to protect the UK’s economy and infrastructure from severe events caused by space weather. A new science park in Wiltshire has also been awarded £2m of local authority funding on top of £4m from the government’s growth fund.

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why raising Devon’s graduate retention level is a key economic priority
Creating more opportunities for graduates to find jobs in Devon is vital to the county’s future prosperity, argues Andrew Leadbetter, councillor for economy and growth at Devon County Council.

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

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

Vocational Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Economy & the Labour Market

UK Labour Market, October 2014
Comparing the estimates for June to August 2014 with those for March to May 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes continue the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.

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

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

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

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

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

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

South West Headlines

Nuclear Skills – Hinkley Point:

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

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

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

ICT Skills:

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

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

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

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

Construction:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transport & Logistics:

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

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

Hospitality & Tourism:

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

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

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

Military Skills

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

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

Skills for Justice:

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

Growth & Trade:

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

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

Economic review – October 2014
Economic commentary on the latest GDP estimate and other ONS economic releases. The key economic stories from National Statistics produced over the latest month, painting a coherent picture of the UK economic performance using recent economic data.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skills & Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

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

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

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

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

Regional Labour Market, October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

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

The Erasmus Impact Study – effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and the internationalisation of higher education students
Shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market.

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

27/10/2014 – This unique event is being held to raise awareness of and provide a breakdown of how you can benefit from the EU funding as a business, and use the fund to help your local community. ESIF formulates part of the Dorset LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, and will help to increase the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises, improve the skills and employability of the county’s workforce and strengthen the Dorset economy through growth and enterprise.

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

22/10/2014 – This unique event is being held to raise awareness of and provide a breakdown of how you can benefit from the EU funding as a business, and use the fund to help your local community. ESIF formulates part of the Dorset LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan, and will help to increase the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises, improve the skills and employability of the county’s workforce and strengthen the Dorset economy through growth and enterprise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CITB Business Awareness Workshop
23 October 2014, Gloucester

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

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

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

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

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

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.