Archives for category: Europe

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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Higher Education Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Research Publications

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

News Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

e-Appendix

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wordart

This week the headlines focus on Marchmont research in the spotlight, growth in construction and skills shortages, wage growth in manufacturing, South Devon’s new University Technical College, the Civil Service Fast Stream and the search for an FE provider to take on A4e’s ailing £17m prison education contract. Last week’s newsletter reported on manufacturing growth, new training centres in composites and textiles, Hinkley’s innovation centre, apprenticeships in the hospitality, logistics and creative sectors, opportunities in construction and the chemical industry’s national skills conference.

Thanks again to all those who have responded to our user testing survey. If you have not yet responded, why not make all your dreams come true with our FREE INTERACTIVE LASER DISCO CIRCUS …WITH BEER*…*note: may not actually lead to either of these things.

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

UKCES has recently published a suite of five interesting reports entitled, ‘The labour market story’ – an overview, skills for the future, skills use at work, the state of UK skills and the UK following recession.

The latest National Careers Service Job Confidence Index shows the nation’s job confidence has been steadily increasing since the Index was first released in August 2013. Indeed, the latest economic forecast from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has indicated that the UK’s construction industry is expected to continue its recovery over the next two years. Construction remains one of the UK’s top performing sectors with respect to job creation, apparent by the volume of vacancies advertised on agency websites. Calls for enhancements to infrastructure has fuelled demand for construction workers, however skills shortages are causing headaches for the sector.

The economic recovery is also feeding through into the pay packets of manufacturing employees, according to the latest data from the sector organisation formerly known as the Engineering Employers’ Federation. Manufacturing businesses in Wiltshire can learn how to use design for competitive advantage, at a MAS Workshop on 9th October 2014. Meanwhile, the hunt is on to find the very Best of British Engineering, to be celebrated at the second Semta Skills Awards.  As for tomorrow’s scientists and engineers, they can apply for places at South Devon’s new University Technical College in Engineering, Water and the Environment, which opens its doors to the first intake of students this time next year.

Applications are also open to join the Civil Service Fast Stream in 2015, which offers talented graduates a quicker route to leadership and the opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives. Grads for Growth have produced a fantastic infographic depicting the results of a recent survey of 900 students on recent recruitment trends and the views and opinions of students & smaller businesses across the UK.

…and finally, a round-up of titbits of sector intelligence: the Skills Funding Agency is looking for a general FE college to step in after Action 4 Employment (A4e) pulled out early from London’s £17m prison education contract. Skills for Care has launched a new animation for employers who want to know more about signing up to the I Care…Ambassadors programme. SkillsActive invites views towards a review of National Occupational Standards in spectator safety, and a resource for key stages 1 to 4 has been launched to educate children about the work of the UK armed forces.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Early Conciliation data suggests employees want to avoid tribunals
The majority of employees are open to settling disputes via the Acas Early Conciliation (EC) scheme rather than going through costly employment tribunals, according to official figures.

Great British Brands – Rolls-Royce and Teach First to train 75 new STEM teachers
Chancellor welcomes new Rolls-Royce and Teach First partnership to train 75 new STEM teachers on his tour of Great British Brands.

New curriculum will make education system ‘envy of the world’
As a new school term begins, millions of children will be taught a new ‘world-class’ curriculum to prepare them for life in modern Britain.

Is it time to restructure our universities?
A federal approach could help tackle the divisive brand wars and class-bound hierarchies that dog our current system.

HEFCE funding for Jisc national data centre
A new data centre, funded with £900,000 from HEFCE, will open up high-performance computing at a reasonable price to a consortium of universities and research institutes under a five-year agreement.

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

Grads for Growth – Infographic – Smaller businesses, A positive career choice for graduates?
A recent survey by Step, GTI Media and the NUS of 900 students of recent recruitment trends; the views & opinions of students & smaller businesses across the UK.

The hardest job for graduates? Finding a job
In the final part of our series, we look at the problem graduates face when they try to find paid work.

Employee skill assessments lack links to national validation systems
Cedefop report finds that to best serve individuals, validation of non-formal and informal learning must take experience of companies into account.

UKTI – 20 billion reasons to export
Recent visits to companies have confirmed to me that the North East has a lot to be proud about.

World Economic Forum – UK moves up global economic list
The UK has edged up the global rankings in a major annual survey by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

UK to host interactive seminars on international IP protection
Experts from WIPO are teaming up with the IPO to deliver a series of free seminars.

Exporting to India – Surviving a Trade Mission
Brian Payne, Director of International Development at Skills for Health outlines the highlights of his recent trade trip to India…

NIACE evidence to Lords Select Committee
Lifelong learning is the key to the UK’s digital growth, giving everyone regardless of their age, stage or background, the opportunity to participate in a digital society, as digital citizens, workers or makers.

New Report from the Young Women’s Trust – ‘The Crisis of Young Women’s Worklessness’
More than 90,000 more young women than men are out of education, employment and training. According to the latest figures, 418,000 women aged 18-24 compared with 325,000 men are considered NEET.

Employment and Support Allowance assessment result wait time ‘unacceptable’
Official figures show that one in four disabled people have been made to wait an “unacceptable” length of time for the outcome of ESA claims to be decided.

£18bn of value will be delivered to the economy by the Work Programme, report estimates
A new report, ‘The Economic Impact of the Work Programme’, by Europe Economics is the first study to look at the economic benefits of the Work Programme and the added financial value it delivers to employers, employees and the taxpayers.

Almost a third of young workers on low pay
One-in-three young people in work are now classed as being on ‘low pay’, according to a report due to be published later this month by the Resolution Foundation.

Why hot-desking needs careful management
Employers must not ignore their health and safety responsibilities over flexible work station arrangements.

285,000 working couples eligible for shared parental leave
Couples finding out now that they are expecting a child will be among the first eligible to take advantage of new shared parental leave.

South West Headlines

University shortlisted for three Times Higher Education awards
It was announced yesterday (4 September) that the University of Exeter had been shortlisted for three Times Higher Education (THE) awards.

CBI comments on MPC announcement
The CBI commented on the announcement from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) that it will keep interest rates on hold.

More than 160 job losses at Bristol farm equipment firm
More than 160 people have been made redundant after an agricultural equipment manufacturer went into administration.

Low-paid job creation has pushed earnings growth to record low
The shift in employment from higher to lower paying industries, combined with rising levels of under-employment have helped push earnings growth to a record low, according to a new report published today (Thursday) by the TUC.

Skills for Care and National Skills Academy welcome Demos report
Skills for Care and National Skills Academy have welcomed the Demos’ Commission on Residential Care report published today.

FSB says Local Enterprise Partnerships must engage more with small businesses
£17 billion of public money spent by LEPS needs to be accounted for, says FSB.

South West A-level students urged to consider benefits of construction apprenticeships
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is urging students in the South West to consider the benefits of apprenticeships in construction as a serious alternative to going to university.

Government needs to make tough decisions on 16-18 funding
Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, responds to the latest report from the National Audit Office about the participation of 16 to 18-year-olds in education.

Improving lives through adult education needs budget to match demand
MPs in Parliament challenged ministers on the significant cuts to adult learning in a debate yesterday afternoon.

Government supports UK’s next generation of cyber security professionals
The first government supported MOOC to inspire and educate the next generation of cyber security professionals in the UK launches today.

TUC – A record number of people are looking for extra hours to top up their wages
The number of people who are under-employed has increased by nearly 100,000 over the last two years, according to new analysis published by the TUC today (Wednesday).

Professional Mining Programme launched by Camborne School of Mines
Camborne School of Mines has announced the launch of a pioneering new Programme, designed to deliver key learning and professional development to employees and stakeholders within the mining industry.

The future of Apprenticeships discussed at House of Lords eventAn audience of nearly 100 people gathered at the
House of Lords on 29th July, to hear the outcome of research into Apprenticeships and Professional Recognition in the plumbing and heating industry.

Nine out of ten jobs advertised on Universal Jobmatch placed by agencies, says report
New research carried out for London Voluntary Service Council shows that nine in every ten jobs advertised in London on Universal Jobmatch were placed there by job warehouses, CV listings sites, and recruitment agencies.

Unique event helps freelancers develop skills in TV drama production
If you are a freelancer looking to embark on or further develop your career in TV drama production, we are delighted to confirm two special training days that we are running with The BBC Academy in Birmingham (20 October 2014) and MediaCity, Salford (21 November 2014).

Tech and Cyber Security Internships opportunities
Private and public sector employers agree that recruiting Tech and Cyber Security professionals with the right skills is difficult. Meanwhile, students who want to work in these exciting fields are struggling to find jobs, because they lack real-world experience.

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

High street could be boosted by £212 billion ‘purple pound’ by attracting disabled people and their families
Thousands of high street businesses could be turning away the custom of 1 in 5 people by not attracting disabled people.

Young Vets – is working with animals a dog’s life?
A new BBC documentary follows final-year vets taking on challenges inside and outside the classroom.

International Research Publications

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

Evidence for success – the guide to getting evidence and using it
Offers easy to follow, step-by-step guidance and resources to support organisations to use evidence to influence policy and practice. It also provides guidance on the use of evidence to influence funding and commissioning decisions and highlights other key resources.

Delivering change – cities and the youth unemployment challenge
Aims to build understanding amongst local and national policy makers on the most effective ways to improve employment outcomes for young people in the UK.

Staying power – making the raising of the participation age a policy success
argues that the RPA reform is unlikely to fully realise its aims of full participation without addressing emerging issues. Its recommendations focus on four key areas: The quality of options available post-16; Improvements in careers advice and guidance; Increased financial support options for learners aged 16-19; and, A focus on better tracking and monitoring.

Tackling poverty across all ethnicities in the UK
Summarises the main findings from research commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation into the links between poverty and ethnicity, suggesting how poverty may be tackled across all ethnicities in the UK.

Totally wasted? The crisis of young women’s worklessness
Highlights the stark reality for women who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET); 418,000 women aged 18-24 compared with 325,000 men. The number of women in this position has barely changed in a decade, they are NEET for longer than men and – as this paper lays bare – the impact is deeper and can last a lifetime.

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

Volunteering to learn – employee development through community action
Considers the impact of volunteering on the employee. Previous work identified a connection between volunteering and employee development. This paper aims to improve our understanding of this link and how employees develop through participating in volunteering schemes.

Representing an ageing workforce – challenges and opportunities for trade unions
The nature of work in later life has changed and many people either want or are being pushed to work longer. Based on interviews with officials, activists and ordinary union members in eight unions, as well as previous CROW research, this report discusses the main challenges facing unions.

Policy paper – Improving the quality of teaching and leadership
Details of policy aimed at improving standards in schools, raising the quality of teaching and school leadership.

Policy paper – Improving the quality of further education and skills training
Policy paper aimed at improving the quality and efficiency in FE and skills training.

Policy paper – Helping people to find and stay in work
Policy paper on a number of welfare to work reforms, aimed at fighting poverty, supporting the most vulnerable and helping people break the cycle of benefit dependency.

Local Entreprise Partnerships – Latest

Labour Market Profile, Heart of the South West LEP, August 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, August 2014

Key Points for April to June 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Comparing the estimates for April to June 2014 with those for January to March 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes continue the general direction of movement over the past two years.
  • There were 30.60 million people in work, 167,000 more than for January to March 2014 and 820,000 more than a year earlier.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%. This was higher than for January to March 2014 and for a year earlier.
  • There were 2.08 million unemployed people, 132,000 fewer than for January to March 2014 and 437,000 fewer than a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate continued to fall, reaching 6.4% for April to June 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 8.86 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 15,000 more than for January to March 2014 but 130,000 fewer than a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate was 21.9%. While this was unchanged compared with January to March 2014, the inactivity rate has shown a generally downward path since late 2011.
  • Pay including bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 0.2% lower than a year earlier. This was mainly due to an unusually high growth rate for April 2013 as some employers who usually paid bonuses in March paid them in April last year. Pay excluding bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 0.6% higher than a year earlier.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Regional Labour Market, August 2014

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  • The employment rate in Great Britain was highest in the South East (76.7%) and lowest in Wales (69.1%).
  • The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (9.4%) and lowest in the South East (4.4%).
  • The inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (25.7%) and lowest in the East of England (19.3%).
  • The Claimant Count rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (5.0%) and lowest in the South East (1.7%).
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .

Guidance – Qualifications, simplified funding rates, 2014 to 2015
The 2014 to 2015 simplified funding rates catalogue lists all provision which the Skills Funding Agency has approved for public funding in 2014 to 2015 and their funding rates. Information regarding availability of qualifications for 24+ advanced learning loans is included in this document.

Education Funding Agency e-bulletin – 28 August 2014
Latest information and actions from Education Funding Agency (EFA) for academies, schools, colleges and other post-16 providers.

SFA update – issue 224, 3 September 2014
A weekly round-up of business-critical information to Skills Funding Agency providers.

Guidance – Employer access – a guide for users
User guide for a service that allows schools and local authorities in England to view the record of teachers with qualified teacher status.

Guidance – Individualised Learner Record (ILR), check that data is accurate
Information about the Funding Information System (FIS), to help further education (FE) providers validate ILR data.

Statutory guidance – Participation of young people, education, employment and training
Statutory guidance for local authorities on their duties relating to the participation of young people in education, employment or training.

IP Insight – August 2014
Monthly newsletter from the Intellectual Property Office, bringing you the latest developments in the world of Intellectual Property.

Connecting people with jobs – activation policies in the United Kingdom
Examines recent activation policies in the United Kingdom aimed at moving people back into work. Offers insight into how countries can improve the effectiveness of their employment services and also control spending on benefits.

Silicon cities – supporting the development of tech clusters outside London and the South East of England
argues that ‘clusters’ – geographic concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field – are the most effective way of boosting the technology sector across the country. It highlights a number of challenges facing northern towns and cities.

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

Delivering change – cities and the youth unemployment challenge
Aims to build understanding amongst local and national policy makers on the most effective ways to improve employment outcomes for young people in the UK.

FSB says Local Enterprise Partnerships must engage more with small businesses
£17 billion of public money spent by LEPS needs to be accounted for, says the Federation of Small Businesses.

Sector Skills Publications

Age diversity in SMEs – reaping the benefits
Looks at SME attitudes to mature employees and an age-diverse workforce, focusing on benefits and challenges, recruitment practices and support for the extension of working lives.

Productivity in the public sector – what makes a good job?
Explores what can be done to lift productivity and how the public sector can play its part. Examines the issue of low productivity and the challenges ahead for the public sector, consider the role of the workforce as a partner in solving these dilemmas and draw together discussions over a series of three roundtables on ‘good jobs’, to present some potential responses.

Capital of culture? An econometric analysis of the relationship between arts and cultural clusters, wages and the creative economy in English cities
Considers interactions between cultural clustering and salaries in creative industries and occupations. Finds some evidence that creative workers in cities with high levels of cultural clustering enjoy a wage premium, which suggests that not-for-profit arts and cultural sectors may be generating knowledge spillovers into the commercial creative economy.

Coming clean – the experience of cleaning operatives
Recommendations focus on the most significant findings, and address the need to improve working conditions for cleaning operatives, raise awareness of employment rights and establish more responsible procurement practices.

Invest in the UK – your springboard for global growth
Reasons why international companies set up business operations in the UK and how it compares with other countries as an investment location.

UK regional trade statistics – second quarter 2014
International trade in goods data at summary product and country level, by UK regions and devolved administrations.

Construction statistics – No. 15, 2014 edition
This report brings together under one cover a wide range of statistics that are currently available on the construction industry. It gives a broad perspective of statistical trends in the construction industry in Great Britain through the last decade together with some international comparisons and features on leading initiatives that may influence the future.

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

Events

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.

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

17/09/2014 – For all those interested in seeing leadership opportunities for women enhanced. Women into Leadership 2014 will examine how female leaders, at whatever grade, can enhance their relevant skills to become the leader they aspire to be. This year’s conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

09/09/2014 – The government’s response to the FELTAG recommendations published on the 16 June confirmed the government’s commitment to the use of technology for learning. However, there are unanswered questions to how the FE and skills sector can meet the FELTAG chall

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

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

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

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

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

17/09/2014 – Webinar participants will hear from NIACE’s CEO, David Hughes, about the manifesto’s bold new proposals following recent reports confirming the urgent need for a skills-led economic recovery; including the 2013 OECD Survey of Adult Skills, the 2014 UKCES

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

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

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

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

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

07/09/2014 – Visitor application forms will be available from May.

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

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

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

20/12/2014 – This one day conference will provide an early opportunity to consider the updated Local Support Services Framework and will feature examples of best practice in the planning and delivery of services sharing learning from the Local Authority led pilots as

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.

Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13/09/2014 – This session will focus on migration and population.

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

17/09/2014 – This session will focus on housing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24/02/2015 – Turn on the spotlights, dust off the red carpet – the hunt is on to find the very Best of British Engineering – which is to be celebrated at the second Semta Skills Awards. The backing of some of the biggest engineering brands in Britain have made the awa

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

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

International IP Protection
6 October 2014, British Library, London

09/10/2014 – In this one off series of events, senior representatives from WIPO will lead discussions on the international protection of IP rights. The half day events will provide an introduction to WIPO services and initiatives. To register email Creative SkillSet – Get Your Next Job in TV Drama, Birmingham
20 October 2014, BBC Academy, Birmingham

20/10/2014 – This day is a Creative Skillset funded initiative for TV freelancers in the UK creative industries, and is supported by the Skills Investment Fund. To attend Get Your Next Job in TV Drama, Birmingham you must fulfil at least one of the following criteria:

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

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

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

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

CITB Business Awareness Workshop
23 October 2014, Gloucester

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

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

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

Wordcloud

This week the headlines focus on changes in government, graduates; applications and vacancies, the Regional Growth Fund and regional impact. A recent South West Skills Newsletter reported on Local Growth Deals and the impact of the recent Government reshuffle on the skills, employment and growth agenda.

The latest Government reshuffle saw Nicky Morgan replacing Michael Gove as Education Secretary and Nick Boles appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education. NIACE welcomed the appointment: “We are pleased that he will retain briefs in both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education. This will lead to closer working relationships between the two departments, something we have called for in our manifesto”, said Tom Stannard, Deputy Chief Executive. Greg Clark could prove important for the Witty agenda as he retains his job as Minister for the Constitution and Cities and has been given additional responsibilities as Minister for Science and Universities.

A recent survey suggests graduate-level job vacancies have returned to their pre-recession high in the UK, growing by 17 percent in the past year but many employers are struggling to fill skilled posts, which is unsurprising as for university applications are up by just 4 percent on last year, with 659,030 submitted by the end of June, according to the admissions service Ucas.

The University of Exeter is working with local schools to explore issues around teacher retention. Teacher drop-out in the first few years of teaching is higher in the UK than almost any other country. The project aims to develop a new course for school managers to help them build more inclusive school environments, and has already been working with five Devon schools to identify the reasons for teacher drop-out. In particular the University is researching methods of peer support between teacher generations. The new material will be trialled in 2015. The project is led by the award winning Graduate School of Education at the University of Exeter. Visit the project webpage.

Marchmont is nearing the end of a three-year international research project, which has identified the skills needed both to operate in, and to coach, high-performance teams. The final phase of this work has seen the University collaborating with Business West to test innovative new tools for competence assessment and training materials to build these competencies. The new coach and team competency tools will be available for use in 2015. Visit the project webpage. For more information about either of these projects, email Dr Andrew Dean or call 01392 264950.

…and finally, congratulations to our Director, Chris Evans, who is now also the Head of the Regional Impact Team at the University of Exeter. Chris has had significant experience consulting on the employment and skills aspects of a number of Strategic Economic Plans in the region. Chris has also overseen team collaborations on international projects relating to Higher Education impact including the EU Skills Panorama ‘Achieving Regional and Local Impact’ (ARLI) and DESCRIBE, which seeks to establish a more nuanced appreciation of the impact of Higher Education research.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Bridging the divide between academic and vocational education
By linking the education system more closely to the world of work, we’re aiming to ensure all young people have the chance to fulfil their potential.

Industry and academia engagement day
An engagement day is being held to help shape how the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory contracts for analysis in the future.

University applications in UK up 4 percent
Education administrators hail ‘excellent news’.

Graduate jobs in the UK ‘grow 17 percent’
A survey suggests graduate jobs in the UK have recovered but many employers are struggling to fill skilled posts.

Major HEFCE study shows UK university students have become more satisfied over time
The first large-scale analysis of the National Student Survey (NSS) looks at trends in the responses of more than 2 million final-year students over nine years. Overall student satisfaction has increased, but there is considerable variation between subjects of study, and between different student characteristics such as ethnicity.

Investing for future success of students – HEFCE response to OFFA report
The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) published a report on 2015-16 access agreements today.

Report reveals positive impact of HEFCE funding on student success
A report published today by HEFCE and OFFA shows that in 2012-13 universities and colleges in England significantly increased their investment in measures to widen access and improve success among students from low income and other under-represented groups.

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

International Research on Teacher Retention – RETAIN Project
The University of Exeter is working with local schools to explore issues around teacher retention.

Inter-institutional agreement for mobility of students and staff with partner countries now available
As from the second Erasmus+ call (planned publication: September 2014), student and staff mobility in higher education will be possible not only within Europe, but also with partner countries from the rest of the world.

International Research Project on Competencies and Talents – ComTal
The University of Exeter’s Marchmont Observatory is nearing the end of a three-year international research project, which has identified the skills needed to operate in a high-performance team.

UCU responds to cabinet reshuffle
UCU today welcomed the new further and higher education ministers and said it was looking forward to discussing the important issues that face them in their new roles.

Universities woo poorer students with mentoring not cash
Fewer universities in England will offer bursaries to students, diverting their access money to outreach and employability.

 

Higher Education Research Publications

Performance indicators in higher education in the UK 2012 to 2013 – second tranche
Data on employment and further study outcomes of graduates at UK higher education institutions.

Higher education – destinations of UK and other EU domiciled leavers from HE 2012 to 2013
Details of the destinations of UK and other EU domiciled leavers from higher education.

Climbing the ladder – skills for a sustainable recovery
A new report published today highlights the need for urgent action to improve the UK’s jobs and skills to build on the economic upturn and maximise growth.

Conditions of flexibility – securing a more responsive higher education system
The culmination of the Flexible Pedagogies: preparing for the future series of reports which have considered flexible learning from a range of perspectives. Proposes fifteen conditions of flexibility to inject new thinking and new practices into an emerging new age. Flexible provision has the potential to enhance student learning, widen opportunities for participation in higher education, and develop graduates who are well-equipped to contribute to a fast-changing world.

The Graduate Market in 2014

Finds two thirds of employers now provide paid vacation internships for penultimate year students; three-fifths offer industrial placements for undergraduates, and increasing numbers of employers offer work experience places for first year undergraduates.

Small employer recruitment practices
This qualitative research looks at how small and medium-sized employers select candidates for employment.

Growth dashboard
The growth dashboard summarises important facts and figures on UK growth and industrial policy.

 

International Research Publications

TTIP and the Fifty States – Jobs and Growth from Coast to Coast
Reports on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and its potential impact on the 50 states and 14 key sectors.

Social and employment policy – review of the balance of competences
Examines the balance of competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union in the area of social and employment policy.

Work-based learning handbook
The European Training Foundation (EFT) has developed a handbook to help policy makers and social partners understand some of the ways in which learning in the workplace can be encouraged and how its quality can be improved in ETF partner countries.

Do business tendency surveys help in forecasting employment? A real-time evidence for Switzerland
Investigates the usefulness of business tendency surveys collected at the KOF Swiss Economic Institute and aggregated in the form of the KOF Employment Indicator for short-term forecasting of employment in Switzerland.

The Contribution of Regions to Aggregate Growth in the OECD
Investigates the contribution of regions to aggregate growth in the OECD, finding a great degree of heterogeneity in the performance of OECD TL3 regions and among the OECD regional typology (urban, intermediate and rural).

 

Events

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 of what has been successful on the ground.

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

22/09/2014 – The aim of this High-Level Capacity Building Seminar is have an international exchange of information on inclusive entrepreneurship actions across the European Union and on how the European Union Structural Funds can be used to support actions that combine entrepreneurship promotion and social inclusion. It will examine the how strategies for youth entrepreneurship can be designed and implemented including consideration of the connections with wider strategies for entrepreneurship and youth employment.

Does working-class education have a future?
2 August 2014, 11:00 – 16:00, GWRSA/Railway Club, Wellington Rd, Bridgwater, TA6 5HA

02/08/2014 – The last few generations have seen, overall, both a crisis and decline in the general field of what used to be called working-class education. Despite substantial government Union Learn funding, now of course under severe pressure, and some impressive internal trade union shop steward programmes, the subsidised and ‘liberal’ ‘adult education sector where many of us learned the theory and practice of socialism has almost disappeared. This conference is a ground-breaking attempt to address this crisis, asking these questions amongst many others: would the internet have destroyed adult ‘liberal’ education without any government cuts? Do any trade unions educate their members for socialism or merely effective trades unionism? Can a volunteer/community-led strategy restore cuts to Union Learn and adult evening courses? Cost is £5 per person which includes buffet lunch. Places are limited: please register in advance if possible, make cheques out to “Bridgwater Trades Union Council” and send to Dave Chapple, Conference Organiser, 1 Blake Place, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5AU. Further details phone 07707 869 144 or e-mail Dave Chapple

Skills, Employment and Growth Conference 2014 30th September, 2014, University of Salford
30/09/2014 – This one day conference will provide delegates a timely opportunity to debate whether Government proposals to reform skills and employment programmes will benefit learners, engage more employers and get more people back to work. This important conference will bring together key players from across the employment and skills spectrum, and with its unparalleled networking opportunities and key speakers, this event is one not be missed. Contact Elanor e.leach@salford.ac.uk

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 22nd October. We are currently working on a steering group in conjunction with Devon County Council, Careers South West and others regarding this World Skills UK Exeter event, and would be delighted if you could please complete the booking form and register your interest via the following link http://tsse-findafuture-devon.eventbrite.co.uk.

Skills for Life Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

19/09/2014 – Targeted at Skills for Life delivery tutors and managers. The aim of the event is to provide participants with a range of tools, resources and best practice which they will be able to take back to their own organisations. Much of the day will be interactive so participants will be expected to do some work! Contact Julia Falaki for further details.

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.

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

07/09/2014 – Visitor application forms will be available from May.

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 for public funding for universities’ research, for benchmarking, and for academic reputation.

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.


Regional impact and growth, 20140725

This week the headlines focus on the latest Gross Domestic Product figures, graduates; applications and vacancies, the third round of the Regional Growth Fund and the Regional Impact Team at the University of Exeter. The last edition reported on Local Growth Deals and the impact of the recent Government reshuffle on the skills, employment and growth agenda.

Gross Domestic Product increased by 0.8% percent in Q2 2014, the second consecutive quarter on quarter increase of 0.8%. The Confederation for British Industry director general John Cridland commented: “Our surveys have indicated that growth has been broad-based across sectors. The latest GDP figures show that the service sector performed strongly and manufacturing output continued to rise. While it has been a disappointing quarter for the construction sector, we expect this to pick up, with demand for new housing still high”. Business West welcomed the latest figures as “a shot in the arm for business” but warned more work needed to be done to ensure a sustainable economic recovery. Torbay has the lowest rate of employment in the South West, the latest figures reveal.

A recent survey suggests graduate jobs in the UK have recovered, growing by 17 percent in the past year but many employers are struggling to fill skilled posts, which is unsurprising as applications for university places are up by only 4 percent on last year, with 659,030 submitted by the end of June, according to the admissions service Ucas.

The number of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) supported through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has trebled over the past year to 5,100. The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is encouraging Devon businesses applying to the Regional Growth Fund to make an early start. The West of England LEP also recently announced a third round of its Growth Fund.

The Policy Exchange has released a report; Joined up welfare – the next steps for personalisation, which makes recommendations for strstegic changes to Jobcentre plus delivery model. They suggest separating off the employment arm of Jobcentre Plus which would compete with private providers, leaving a newly branded ‘Citizen Support’ as a one-point access for benefit services, to avoid duplication and inefficiency.

Marchmont is nearing the end of a three-year international research project, which has identified the skills needed both to operate in, and to coach, high-performance teams. The final phase of this work has seen the University collaborating with Business West to test innovative new tools for competence assessment and training materials to build these competencies. The new coach and team competency tools will be available for use in 2015. Visit the project webpage.

The University of Exeter is also working with local schools to explore issues around teacher retention. Teacher drop-out in the first few years of teaching is higher in the UK than almost any other country. The project aims to develop a new course for school managers to help them build more inclusive school environments, and has already been working with five Devon schools to identify the reasons for teacher drop-out. In particular the University is researching methods of peer support between teacher generations. The new material will be trialled in 2015. The project is led by the award winning Graduate School of Education at the University of Exeter. Visit the project webpage

For more information about either of these projects, email Dr Andrew Dean or call 01392 264950.

…and finally, congratulations to our Director, Chris Evans, who is now also Head of the Regional Impact Team at the University of Exeter. Chris has had significant experience consulting on the employment and skills aspects of a number of Strategic Economic Plans in the region. Chris has also overseen team collaborations on international projects relating to Higher Education impact including the EU Skills Panorama ‘Achieving Regional and Local Impact’ (ARLI) and DESCRIBE, which seeks to establish a more nuanced appreciation of the impact of Higher Education research.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Innovation and the UK’s knowledge economy
Vince Cable talks about creating a successful knowledge-based economy.

School funding
Schools Minister David Laws’ written ministerial statement on school funding.

National Apprenticeship Week 2015
Next year’s National Apprenticeship Week will run from Monday, 9 March to Friday, 13 March 2015.

CIPD – Employers increase level of support for young jobseekers
Employers are beginning to adjust their recruitment practices to make them more youth-friendly a report from the CIPD has said.

Investing for future success of students: HEFCE response to OFFA report
The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) published a report on 2015-16 access agreements today.

‘Flex appeal’ – the benefits of flexible working explored in new report
Working on a temporary basis is part of many people’s career paths. More than one in three people (36%) in Great Britain have worked as a contractor, freelancer or agency worker at some point in their career, and 41% are considering working that way in the future, reports the REC.

TUC – Sanctions regime is failing
“While this report identifies some important areas for improvement, its limited remit means the worst excesses of the current sanctions regime look set to remain in place.” – Frances O’Grady, TUC

Consultation to ensure effective implementation of new GCSEs
BIS and DfE have commissioned NIACE, in partnership with the NRDC, to lead the implementation consultation of the new GCSEs, announced earlier this month by the Government.

Third set of Balance of Competences reports published
The Government has published 11 new reports in its Review of the Balance of EU Competences.

Boost for Remploy Employment Services
Remploy Employment Services will become independent of government so it can expand its business to help even more disabled people into work.

150 job or training placements for disabled people every working day
The Prime Minister hails new figures on the first anniversary of Disability Confident campaign, as over 1,000 British businesses sign up to the campaign.

Government pledges funding to stretch brightest state students
Students on 4 or more A levels or equivalent will continue to receive funding after 2016.

Cedefop – Skills needs anticipation and matching course announced
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 the European Training Foundation (ETF).

Technology in FE – Tracking Student Progress A Priority
City & Guilds are on a mission to encourage a greater use of technology in the Further Education (FE) sector. Here at Macleod Associates we love technology and have to agree with them. We believe that technology can really help institutions to make the most of their provision.

UCU responds to cabinet reshuffle
UCU today welcomed the new further and higher education ministers and said it was looking forward to discussing the important issues that face them in their new roles.

South West Headlines

Employment & Skills Support Service for SME’s in Swindon
We are pleased to announce that Swindon Borough Council is commissioning an Employment & Skills Support Service for SME’s in Swindon, on behalf of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

JobCrowd’s Top 100 Companies for Graduates to Work for 2014-15 – Gloucestershire companies best for graduates
Gloucestershire is a great county for graduate recruitment, according to a new survey, The JobCrowd’s Top 100 Companies for Graduates to Work for 2014/15.

UK attracts highest levels of inward investment on record
Foreign investment projects create highest number of new UK jobs since 2001 with 1,627 new jobs in the South West.

Remploy beginning to seek private investment
Remploy Employment Services is now able to seek private investment enabling it to expand.

New Jobcentre plus model proposed by thinktank Policy Exchange
Policy Exchange has released a report outlining suggested changes to Jobcentre plus delivery model.

Solent schoolchildren get hands on at high-flying career day
Hundreds of Solent youngsters learnt about career opportunities in aviation and aerospace at the Farnborough International Airshow today (18 July).

Funding for larger A Level and land-based programmes announced by DfE
“DfE has acknowledged what we’ve known for a while that funding levels for large academic programmes are insufficient. This problem was identified just last week by Professor Nigel Thrift in his letter to DfE about changes to maths and language A Levels and AoC is pleased to see this response from Government” – Julian Gravatt, Assistant Chief Executive, Association of Colleges

Agri-tech winners – PM announces multi-million pound boost for British food industry
Central government will commit to buying fresh, locally sourced and seasonal food to benefit British farmers and small businesses.

International Research Publications

TTIP and the Fifty States – Jobs and Growth from Coast to Coast
Reports on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and its potential impact on the 50 states and 14 key sectors.

Social and employment policy – review of the balance of competences
Examines the balance of competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union in the area of social and employment policy.

Work-based learning handbook
The European Training Foundation (EFT) has developed a handbook to help policy makers and social partners understand some of the ways in which learning in the workplace can be encouraged and how its quality can be improved in ETF partner countries.

Do business tendency surveys help in forecasting employment? A real-time evidence for Switzerland
Investigates the usefulness of business tendency surveys collected at the KOF Swiss Economic Institute and aggregated in the form of the KOF Employment Indicator for short-term forecasting of employment in Switzerland.

The Contribution of Regions to Aggregate Growth in the OECD
Investigates the contribution of regions to aggregate growth in the OECD, finding a great degree of heterogeneity in the performance of OECD TL3 regions and among the OECD regional typology (urban, intermediate and rural).

UK Research Publications

Performance indicators in higher education in the UK 2012 to 2013 – second tranche
Data on employment and further study outcomes of graduates at UK higher education institutions.

Higher education – destinations of UK and other EU domiciled leavers from HE 2012 to 2013
Details of the destinations of UK and other EU domiciled leavers from higher education.

Barriers to learning – serious case reviews
Issues that prevent findings from serious case reviews being used as part of policy and practice.

Evaluating the impact of Universal Credit on the labour market
A research report examining the impact of Universal Credit (UC) on the labour market in live service and the North West expansion.

Work Capability Assessment – evidence based review
Evidence based review examining the performance of the Work Capability Assessment and an alternative assessment for ESA claims.

Youth Unemployment Innovation Fund Pilot – Starts and outcomes
Statistics on the total number of young people that started on the Innovation Fund and the total number of outcomes achieved up to March 2014.

Children’s and Young People’s Reading in 2013
Outlines findings about children’s and young people’s reading from our fourth annual literacy survey, which we conducted in November/December 2013. 29,422 young people aged eight to 16 participated.

Tackling the barriers to leadership – overview and case studies
Explores systemic barriers to leadership with a series of case studies which illustrate the different approaches organisations have taken to understand what leadership their organisation needs and how to align their organisational context to support leaders.

Enterprise for All – The relevance of enterprise in education
The relevance of enterprise in education is Lord Young’s third and final report on enterprise.

DWP employer engagement and experience survey 2013
The research looks at employers’ experiences of working with DWP to help inform changes to policy and improvements to services

Access to Work official statistics – July 2014
Numbers of disabled people helped and numbers continuing to benefit from Access to Work from April 2013 to March 2014.

CANparent trial evaluation – final report
An evaluation of CANparent, a trial of the market potential for high-quality universal parenting classes.

Climbing the ladder – skills for a sustainable recovery
Highlights the need for urgent action to improve the UK’s jobs and skills to build on the economic upturn and maximise growth. Examines the skills challenges facing the UK economy and calls on businesses and organisations which provide education and training to work together to confront these issues.

Higher ambitions – background report
Asks how business leaders perceive the situation, exploring attitudes towards work-based learning and apprenticeships, the current state of both vocational education and apprenticeships. Makes recommendations and proposals for changes to policy and sets out the role of business in shaping and delivering vocational education.

CIPD manifesto for work – a policy programme to champion better work and working lives
With the general election less than a year away, the CIPD has published a ‘Manifesto for Work’ to urge politicians to focus on new ways to future proof UK employment.

Addressing economic inequality at root – 5 goals to a fairer UK
Calls on Government to start addressing economic inequality with two key steps; 1) to set a tangible target to reduce economic inequality, as they have for child poverty, and 2) to establish a high-level commission on economic inequality tasked with devising a broad policy agenda to tackle the drivers of inequality.

Sector Skills Publications

Recruiting and developing talented people for SME growth
Examines different aspects of people management issues in SMEs through 13 case study organisations and how recruitment and talent management challenges and opportunities have been addressed.

Small employer recruitment practices
This qualitative research looks at how small and medium-sized employers select candidates for employment.

Growth dashboard
The growth dashboard summarises important facts and figures on UK growth and industrial policy.

Economic impact of industrial plant closure in the UK – feasibility study
Examining the economic impact of plant closures in the UK. Reviews the available evidence on the short and long term economic impacts of industrial plant closure in the UK with a specific focus on energy intensive industries.

Strategic approaches to employment – Responding to change in the sector
Throughout 2013 the Action Learning Network brought together housing providers to share their experience, knowledge and good practice examples of how they deliver employment support and deal with the impacts of welfare reform.

Rethinking industrial policy design in the UK – foreign ideas and lessons, home-grown programmes and initiatives
Argues that new efforts to design effective industrial policies in the UK need to be informed, not just by foreign examples, but by past experience of what has worked well and what has worked badly in terms of previous industrial policy endeavours in the UK.

The principles of workforce integration
Argues that better use of resources and better outcomes for people who need care and support are predicated upon nurturing the workforce, so that all workers have the confidence, knowledge, capability, motivation and enthusiasm to deliver the very best care and support.

Determinants of the composition of the workforce in low skilled sectors of the UK economy – social care and retail sectors
Develops further understanding of the supply and demand side factors that affect the composition of the low-skilled labour market, with particular reference to the social care and retail sectors.

Green employment initiative – tapping into the job creation potential of the green economy
Outlines the employment challenges and opportunities of the current transition towards a green, low carbon, energy and resource-efficient economy. The Green Employment Initiative Communication presents an integrated framework to allow labour market and skill policies to play an active role to support this transition.

Create UK – creative industries strategy
Outlines the context, recommendations and success measures to ensure the UK’s creative industries remain a success story.

Food and beverage sector – Working conditions and job quality
An overview of working conditions, job quality, workers’ health and job sustainability in the food and beverage service activities sector (NACE 56). It is based mostly on the fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), which gathers data on working conditions and the quality of work across 34 European countries.

Events

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 of what has been successful on the ground.

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

22/09/2014 – The aim of this High-Level Capacity Building Seminar is have an international exchange of information on inclusive entrepreneurship actions across the European Union and on how the European Union Structural Funds can be used to support actions that combine entrepreneurship promotion and social inclusion. It will examine the how strategies for youth entrepreneurship can be designed and implemented including consideration of the connections with wider strategies for entrepreneurship and youth employment.

Does working-class education have a future?
2 August 2014, 11:00 – 16:00, GWRSA/Railway Club, Wellington Rd, Bridgwater, TA6 5HA

02/08/2014 – The last few generations have seen, overall, both a crisis and decline in the general field of what used to be called working-class education. Despite substantial government Union Learn funding, now of course under severe pressure, and some impressive internal trade union shop steward programmes, the subsidised and ‘liberal’ ‘adult education sector where many of us learned the theory and practice of socialism has almost disappeared. This conference is a ground-breaking attempt to address this crisis, asking these questions amongst many others: would the internet have destroyed adult ‘liberal’ education without any government cuts? Do any trade unions educate their members for socialism or merely effective trades unionism? Can a volunteer/community-led strategy restore cuts to Union Learn and adult evening courses? Cost is £5 per person which includes buffet lunch. Places are limited: please register in advance if possible, make cheques out to “Bridgwater Trades Union Council” and send to Dave Chapple, Conference Organiser, 1 Blake Place, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5AU. Further details phone 07707 869 144 or e-mail Dave Chapple

Skills, Employment and Growth Conference 2014 30th September, 2014, University of Salford
30/09/2014 – This one day conference will provide delegates a timely opportunity to debate whether Government proposals to reform skills and employment programmes will benefit learners, engage more employers and get more people back to work. This important conference will bring together key players from across the employment and skills spectrum, and with its unparalleled networking opportunities and key speakers, this event is one not be missed. Contact Elanor e.leach@salford.ac.uk

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 22nd October. We are currently working on a steering group in conjunction with Devon County Council, Careers South West and others regarding this World Skills UK Exeter event, and would be delighted if you could please complete the booking form and register your interest via the following link http://tsse-findafuture-devon.eventbrite.co.uk.

Skills for Life Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

19/09/2014 – Targeted at Skills for Life delivery tutors and managers. The aim of the event is to provide participants with a range of tools, resources and best practice which they will be able to take back to their own organisations. Much of the day will be interactive so participants will be expected to do some work! Contact Julia Falaki for further details.

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.

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

07/09/2014 – Visitor application forms will be available from May.

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 for public funding for universities’ research, for benchmarking, and for academic reputation.

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.


Wordart

The last edition reported on Lord Adonis Growth Review, STEM skills and growth in the creative industries. This week the headlines focus on Local Growth Deals and the impact of the recent Government reshuffle on the skills, employment and growth agenda.

In terms of its impact on the skills, employment and growth agenda, the recent Government reshuffle saw Nicky Morgan replacing Michael Gove as Education Secretary. The Association of Colleges welcomed the appointment of Nicky Morgan “I know from meeting her over the last few years that she understands the significant contribution colleges make in educating over 800,000 16 to 18-year-olds”, said Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the AoC. Nick Boles has been appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education. NIACE welcomed the appointment of Nick Boles: “We are pleased that he will retain briefs in both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education. This will lead to closer working relationships between the two departments, something we have called for in our manifesto”, said Tom Stannard, Deputy Chief Executive. Greg Clark could prove important for the universities, cities and growth agenda as he retains his job as Minister for the Constitution and Cities and has been given additional responsibilities as Minister for Science and Universities.

On Friday, 11th of July 2014, the 5th meeting of the COMTAL (COMpetence and TALent assessment in SME’s) project took place in Protaras – Cyprus. The participants, coming from all partner countries (Poland, Cyprus, Czech Republic and United Kingdom) presented and discussed the activities done so far regarding the dissemination and management issues in each country, but more importantly regarding the pilot testing of the tools elaborated, which is in its final stage. What is needed in order to successfully complete the pilot testing phase as well as the final activities of the project were discussed thoroughly and all the deadlines were discussed and agreed. The last meeting of the project will be held in Lublin – Poland, in November 2014, where the Final Conference of the project will take place as well.

In the region, the first Heart of the South West (HotSW) Skills Newsletter has been published by the LEP. The Exeter Science Park Company has strengthened its links with the University of Exeter through an agreement which will see the University’s innovation arm manage the new Science Park Centre which is due to open in April 2015. The University of Exeter, University of Exeter Students’ Guild and Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union (FXU) have been awarded the 2014 Students’ Union and Institution Partnership Award by the Higher Education Academy and National Union of Students.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Call for a network of experts on the social dimension of education and training
On 04/07/2014 the European Commission launched an open call for tenders to establish a network of experts on the social dimension of education and training.

Wage gap between the sexes becomes yawning chasm as employees age
The gender pay gap has decreased since the 1970s but the disparity between what men and women take home today still differs dramatically after the age of 30, Office for National Statistics data has revealed.

CBI/Pearson survey highlights skills crisis
The education and skills survey published today by the CBI and Pearson supports many of the priority areas for action detailed in the NIACE manifesto – Prosperity for All: Building Sustainable Recovery for All.

CBI – too many school leavers ‘underequipped for life’
The British economy is being put at risk because large numbers of teenagers are leaving school and college “underequipped for life”, according to the UK’s biggest business group.

Thousands more school leavers choosing apprenticeships
New statistics show thousands more 16- and 17-year-olds embarking on apprenticeships than last year.

UK ‘to become Europe’s second largest economy by 2020’
The UK’s economy is set to overtake that of France by 2020 to become the second largest in Europe, according to forecasts by consultancy firm PwC.

Graduate vacancies return to pre-recession high
The number of graduate vacancies has increased by 11.6 per cent this year, returning the graduate jobs market to its pre-recession peak, according to a report.

CIPD Manifesto for Work calls for shift in employment policy
With the general election less than a year away, the CIPD has published a ‘Manifesto for Work’ to urge politicians to focus on new ways to future proof UK employment.

Industry and academia engagement day
An engagement day is being held to help shape how the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory contracts for analysis in the future.

£52 million boost for skills and training in UK science sectors
David Willetts announces a £52 million investment in new and emerging science talent.

Matthew Hancock’s speech on a skills revolution
Speech at the Sutton Trust international summit on professional, technical and vocational education for young people: “We’re encouraging employers to work with training providers to design high quality courses that will deliver the skills they want: a new social contract, with the taxpayer, employers and apprentices working in partnership to secure Britain’s economic future.”

ONS produces interactive map showing economic activity across UK
New website allows users to see how much their region contributes to the economy compared with the rest of the UK.

Millions face unemployment ‘twilight zone’, says LGA
In the next 10 years, more than eight million people could be without a job or in work they are over-qualified for, the Local Government Association has warned.

TUC – Public sector workers lose out on £2,245 under this government
Since the government took office, ministers have either frozen public sector pay or limited pay increases to well below the cost of living, leaving local government workers, NHS staff, teachers, firefighters, civil servants and other public servants on average £2,245 worse off in real terms, says the TUC today (Wednesday).

Prioritise adult skills to avoid future unemployment ‘twilight zone’

NIACE has responded to a report launched by the Local Government Association at its annual conference, calling for radical new powers to be given to councils to help transform the lives of millions of people who could be trapped in a future unemployment ‘twilight zone’.

Bridging the divide between academic and vocational education
By linking the education system more closely to the world of work, we’re aiming to ensure all young people have the chance to fulfil their potential.

Another record-breaking year for Erasmus
The latest Erasmus statistics released by the European Commission today reveal that nearly 270 000 students – a new record – benefitted from EU grants to study or train abroad in 2012-2013.

University applications in UK up 4 percent
Education administrators hail ‘excellent news’.

Work-life balance initiatives ‘won’t have significant impact’
The new flexible working rules will have little practical impact, according to law experts at the CIPD’s recent Employment Law Conference.

Michael Gove speaks about the future of education reform
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, speaks to the first Education Reform Summit in London.

Speech by David Willetts to the UK Science Park Association
Embracing innovation in the UK.

Help shape the future development of FE loans
NIACE is inviting contributions to its response to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ consultation on the future development of loans in further education, which closes on 21 August.

Resolution Foundation – wages have dropped further than official data shows
The decline in average pay for all British workers since 2008 could be as much as 20 to 30 per cent worse than existing estimates show, a think tank has said.

UKCES – lack of jobs and skills threaten economic recovery
Businesses need to act now to tackle ‘deep-rooted’ employment challenges in the UK economy, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has warned.

TUC – Unemployment is still higher than pre-recession levels in every part of the UK
Unemployment rates and levels of joblessness are higher today than before the recession in every region and nation of the UK and across all working age groups – suggesting that the economy is still less healthy than it was before the recession, the TUC warns today (Monday) ahead of the publication of the latest jobs figures later this week.

Troops-to-teachers scheme attracts 102 recruits
A £2m scheme to fast-track ex-service personnel into teaching has sent 41 trainees to England’s classrooms in its first year.

UK Government Expenditure on Science, Engineering and Technology, 2012
In 2012, £10.0 billion was spent on Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) by the UK Government. Allowing for inflation (in constant prices), this was a 1% decrease compared with 2011, and continued the downward trend in SET expenditure since 2009. These reductions were driven by Research Councils, Higher Education Funding Councils and the Ministry of Defence.

Government appoints older workers’ employment champion
The government has appointed the economist and policy expert Dr Ros Altmann CBE as business champion for older workers.

£16 million Youth Engagement Fund promoted around the country
The £16 million Youth Engagement Fund aims to improve young peoples’ educational achievement and employability.

Inter-institutional agreement for mobility of students and staff with partner countries now available
As from the second Erasmus+ call (planned publication: September 2014), student and staff mobility in higher education will be possible not only within Europe, but also with partner countries from the rest of the world.

Cedefop’s European Training Thesaurus – new descriptors – 2014 update
The European Training Thesaurus (ETT) is Cedefop’s controlled vocabulary used to index the VET-Bib bibliographic database. In 2014, just over 100 new descriptor terms were added, to keep track of VET development and to assist researchers in defining, narrowing, and broadening their search strategies.

Inclusion and Numbers4Good offering support to potential bidders for the Youth Engagement Fund
Inclusion and Numbers4Good have partnered to support potential bidders for the new 16 million Youth Engagement Fund.

OECD – Recent labour market reforms have yet to fulfil their promise
The UK labour market weathered the recent recession moderately well. After a relatively limited fall, total employment recovered and it recently reached 30 million for the first time, even if a number of the new jobs created are low productivity and low paid. The recent reforms to help more people into work will need full implementation and some fine tuning if they are to meet their ambitious goals, according to a new OECD report.

Record low in pay growth raises serious questions about quality of job creation
“If all the recovery can deliver is low-paid, low-productivity jobs – many of which don’t offer enough hours to get by – then it will pass most working people by and Britain’s long-term economic prospects will be seriously diminished.” – Frances O’Grady, TUC

How does the minimum wage impact you?
Low Pay Commission (LPC) is visiting the Isle of Wight and Southampton on 30,31 July.

UK Labour Market, July 2014
The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate) continued to rise, reaching 73.1 percent for March to May 2014. The employment rate last reached 73.1 percent in December 2004 to February 2005 and, since records began in 1971, it has never been higher.

Nick Clegg statement on employment statistics
The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg gave a statement on the employment statistics released today (16 July 2014).

Employment rate matches record high
Nearly a million more people are in work compared to a year ago, and the employment rate has never been higher, new official figures show.

Employment reaches highest levels since 2005, finds ONS
Employment in the UK is at its highest level since 2005 reaching a rate of 73.1 per cent, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Report reveals positive impact of HEFCE funding on student success
A report published today by HEFCE and OFFA [Note 1] shows that in 2012-13 universities and colleges in England significantly increased their investment in measures to widen access and improve success among students from low income and other under-represented groups.

Hundreds of schools failing to enter pupils for science and maths A-levels
Gender and regional divides revealed by Department for Education as it aims to encourage higher take-up of subjects.

Fairer school funding
Schools Minister David Laws’ written ministerial statement on additional funding for the least fairly funded local areas in England.

South West Headlines

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP backs Government campaign to help businesses sell to the public sector
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is backing a Government campaign to help small businesses provide services to the public sector.

£500M to create thousands of South West jobs
Regeneration spending in the Westcountry could reach almost £500 million after the region secured major investment from the Government’s flagship Local Growth Fund.

College Success at Big Bang South West
Prizes for Exmouth Community College, Southbrook, West Exe, Dawlish and Queen Elizabeth’s Academy teams at Big Bang South West.

Key role for colleges in creating and delivering technical degrees
Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, responds to Labour Party leader Ed Miliband’s pledge to put vocational and academic qualifications on an equal footing.

Defra awards £19 million to help rural businesses
2,500 rural businesses across England will benefit from a share of a £19 million fund, supporting 5,000 jobs.

Local support announced for jobseekers to help prepare for Universal Credit
Jobseekers to get extra help to get online and manage their finances on a monthly basis to prepare for the world of work under Universal Credit.

Chancellor visits South West businesses creating jobs and helping people into work
Figures show that 725,000 employers have benefitted from the Employment Allowance.

Why aerospace and defence are Britain’s engines of growth
Ahead of the Farnborough Airshow, the aviation town of Filton is preparing for the year’s main airline and defence exports event.

Dorset promotes it’s aerospace industry at Farnborough International Airshow
From major players to supply chain companies, the South West’s aerospace cluster is the largest in Europe.

Minister for skills and enterprise to visit Plymouth to see new City Deal business website in action
Matthew Hancock, the minister for skills and enterprise, will be visiting Plymouth this week to celebrate the official launch of the new GAIN Digital Exchange.

£500,000 investment energises renewable energy community groups
Over £500,000 has been assigned to help rural community energy projects across England.

Colleges should be allowed to award higher technical and vocational awards to close the skills gap
Giving colleges similar autonomy to universities to award higher technical and vocational awards could contribute to a stronger economy, according to the Association of Colleges (AoC).

Exeter crowdfunding firm Crowdcube doubles workforce
An Exeter crowdfunding firm is to double its workforce to 50 and open offices in London and Scotland.

Jobless Total in South West Falls Again
Nearly a million more people are in work compared to a year ago, and the employment rate has never been higher, new official figures show.

International Research Publications

Social protection during the economic crisis – how do changes to benefits systems affect children?
The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) presents a policy brief, which examines how changes to the benefits systems during the economic crisis have affected our children. The policy brief examines how the economic crisis and its widespread effects have acutely affected public policy areas with significant cuts in public spending and how these cuts have led to an under-investment in child focused policies.

Finland as a knowledge economy 2.0 – lessons on policies and governance
Finland is facing new types of challenges both domestically and internationally in efforts to maintain its societal sustainability and economic competitiveness. Finland Knowledge Economy 2.0 presents some of the key policies, elements, initiatives and decisions behind Finland’s path into the Knowledge Economy of today.

Eurofound yearbook 2013 – living and working in Europe
Eurofound’s fifth annual yearbook, Living and working in Europe, based on the Agency’s research from 2013, describes developments in the EU in the wake of the crisis, focusing on major topic areas including changes in labour markets and employment, efforts to tackle youth unemployment, innovation in workplaces and public trust in institutions.

UK Research Publications

Mass collaboration – how we can transform the impact of public funding
Sets out a course of action for a wholesale change of culture, decision-making and accountability in the contracting of public services, to take advantage of a ‘rare window of opportunity to transform how government works with others’.

Addressing economic inequality at the root – 5 goals to a fairer UK
Calls on Government to address economic inequality with two key steps: 1. to set a tangible target to reduce economic inequality, as for child poverty; and 2. to establish a high-level commission on economic inequality tasked with devising a broad policy agenda to tackle the drivers of inequality. Identifies five high-level goals to address some of the root drivers of economic inequality, accompanied with a set of policy area priorities.

Migrants in low-skilled work – the growth of EU and non-EU labour in low-skilled jobs and its impact on the UK
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.

Human capitals – driving UK metro growth through workforce investment
Second report from the City Growth Commission considers skills development and in-work progression as factors in raising productivity and contributing to city growth. Case studies in South Hampshire and South Yorkshire were undertaken by the Commission.

Gateway to growth – CBI/Pearson education and skills survey 2014
Discusses the upward trend in employers involved in apprenticeships. Looks at best practice around the world (Australia, Denmark, Germany, Singapore, and Switzerland) – all with well-developed national vocational systems. Argues that Apprenticeships, rather than a “last resort” are a strong potential choice from early secondary school – and part of a range of options that keep choices and opportunities open. Also underlines the demand for a much greater focus on improved vocational learning.

The Youth Contract for 16-17 year olds not in education, employment or training evaluation
The evaluation comprised multiple strands of research. The impact and economic assessments drew on and merged national datasets, such as the National Client Caseload System (NCCIS), the National Pupil Database (NPD) and the Individual Learner Record (ILR) in order to identify the participant group and a matched control group and then to track these over time to assess outcomes.

Create UK – creative industries strategy
Sets out the opportunities and challenges for the creative sector, our vision for the creative industries by 2020 and how we will achieve it, with recommendations for both industry and government. The CIC identified five priority areas for focus in this strategy: access to finance; education and skills; infrastructure; intellectual property; international (exports and inward investment).

Equitable full employment – delivering a jobs recovery for all
Latest in a series of papers commissioned by the TUC exploring what full employment should mean and how we can work to achieve it. Seeks to understand three related issues: 1. Which areas and groups benefited most from the UK’s period of prolonged growth before the recession? 2. What have been the impacts, for different areas and groups, both of the recession and the (tentative) recovery? And 3. What steps can we take to ensure that growth in employment can be shared equitably in the future?

Skills for sustainable employment – strategies to tackle youth unemployment
Research focusing on the role that trade unions can play in tackling youth unemployment in five key areas: 1. Trade union responses to youth unemployment; 2. Employer perspectives on the barriers to engaging with young people; 3. The perspectives of the young unemployed; 4. Using social clauses when procuring services to increase the use of high quality Apprenticeships; 5. A review of how more effective support schemes for entrepreneurial activity could reduce youth unemployment.

Precarious futures? Youth employment in an international context
Provides an overview of the current state of the labour market and young people, and presents statistics on UK youth unemployment with international comparisons. Demonstrates the importance of access to the workplace, either through work experience or through opportunities to earn and learn (including apprenticeships as well as combining part-time work with full-time study).

Women on the European labour market
According to Eurostat forecasts, the European Union’s working age population will shrink by a considerable 8 million people by 2025. As a consequence the labour force is to decrease, adversely affecting future GDP growth rates. However, there are groups of people whose labour potential is not yet fully utilised, meaning that the decrease in size of the future workforce can be avoided.

Sector Skills Publications

Barriers and opportunities to expand the low carbon bus market in the UK
Despite the recent uptake of low carbon emission buses (LCEBs) in the UK, significant barriers remain to sustained market growth, and there are risks of current progress being disrupted.

The women in IT scorecard 2014
Trends data on women’s participation in IT from school onwards, including international comparisons and an evaluation across other STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. Presents workforce gender balance, qualifications and earnings, uptake from GCSE to HE and international comparisons.

Climate change – implications for extractive and primary industries – key findings from the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report
Distills the key findings from the recently released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report for the primary industry and extractive sectors—including mining, cement, iron and steel, chemicals, aluminum, and pulp and paper.

Managing climate risks to wellbeing and the economy
Investigates the threats and opportunities for the country from climate change, focusing on the risks to infrastructure, business and public health. Provides an update on previous analysis on flooding, and considers the current capacity in the emergency response system to handle climate extremes.

The local state we’re in – PwC’s annual local government survey, 2014
Over the past few years, local government has demonstrated its ability to deliver ambitious and far reaching savings programmes. Tough choices are ahead as the cracks begin to show and decisions get closer to the frontline. Councils need to act urgently to transform themselves into agile organisations and shape a role for themselves through a future of continued austerity.

Climbing the ladder – skills for a sustainable recovery
A new report published today highlights the need for urgent action to improve the UK’s jobs and skills to build on the economic upturn and maximise growth.

Employment, pay and poverty – evidence and policy review
Focuses on the links between employment and poverty. Employment has a well-established relationship with poverty, and government policy over the past 15 years has emphasised paid work as the best route out of poverty. However, the relationship between poverty and employment is not straightforward, because a) poverty is most commonly measured at the household level; and b) characteristics of employment, such as pay, hours and security.

Mending the fractured economy – smarter state, better jobs (Final report of the Adonis Review)
Policy Network has published a major report on the economy by the former transport secretary, Lord Andrew Adonis.

Vision for science and mathematics education
Aims to raise the general level of mathematical and scientific knowledge and provide confidence in the population and the skills employers need. There is currently excellent practice in primary and secondary schools and colleges across the UK’s four nations. The Vision for science and mathematics education from 5–18 years of age offers a way to build on these foundations and to ensure that the UK’s education systems meet the needs of all in the 21st century.

Work that pays – the final report of the Living Wage Commission
Warns that the economic recovery could fail one in five people in paid employment. Provides a detailed analysis of the rise of low pay and working poverty. Shows that spiralling living costs and stagnating wages at the bottom create a “double squeeze” on the lowest paid. The five million people in low paid employment have the smallest budget elasticity, and are therefore hit hardest by rising living costs.

Events

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 for public funding for universities’ research, for benchmarking, and for academic reputation.

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

07/09/2014 – Visitor application forms will be available from May.

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

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

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

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

Skills for Life Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

19/09/2014 – Targeted at Skills for Life delivery tutors and managers. The aim of the event is to provide participants with a range of tools, resources and best practice which they will be able to take back to their own organisations. Much of the day will be interactive so participants will be expected to do some work! Contact Julia Falaki for further details.

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 22nd October. We are currently working on a steering group in conjunction with Devon County Council, Careers South West and others regarding this World Skills UK Exeter event, and would be delighted if you could please complete the booking form and register your interest via the following link http://tsse-findafuture-devon.eventbrite.co.uk.

International Manufacturing Symposium
11 – 12 September 2014, Moller Centre in Camridge, UK

07/07/2014 – The 18th Annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium will take place on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th of September 2014 at the Moller Centre in Camridge, UK. The conference presents an opportunity to hear from world-leading business figures and thinkers on the challenges facing modern manufacturing.

AMSCI Briefing Sessions
15 July, University of the West of England
31 July, Plymouth University
6 August, University of Portsmouth

07/07/2014 – A series of local briefing sessions will take place to support the latest round of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).

Skills, Employment and Growth Conference 2014 30th September, 2014, University of Salford
30/09/2014 – This one day conference will provide delegates a timely opportunity to debate whether Government proposals to reform skills and employment programmes will benefit learners, engage more employers and get more people back to work. This important conference will bring together key players from across the employment and skills spectrum, and with its unparalleled networking opportunities and key speakers, this event is one not be missed. Contact Elanor e.leach@salford.ac.uk

Does working-class education have a future?
2 August 2014, 11:00 – 16:00, GWRSA/Railway Club, Wellington Rd, Bridgwater, TA6 5HA

02/08/2014 – The last few generations have seen, overall, both a crisis and decline in the general field of what used to be called working-class education. Despite substantial government Union Learn funding, now of course under severe pressure, and some impressive internal trade union shop steward programmes, the subsidised and ‘liberal’ ‘adult education sector where many of us learned the theory and practice of socialism has almost disappeared. This conference is a ground-breaking attempt to address this crisis, asking these questions amongst many others: would the internet have destroyed adult ‘liberal’ education without any government cuts? Do any trade unions educate their members for socialism or merely effective trades unionism? Can a volunteer/community-led strategy restore cuts to Union Learn and adult evening courses? Cost is £5 per person which includes buffet lunch. Places are limited: please register in advance if possible, make cheques out to “Bridgwater Trades Union Council” and send to Dave Chapple, Conference Organiser, 1 Blake Place, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5AU. Further details phone 07707 869 144 or e-mail Dave Chapple

Industry and academia engagement day
17 July 2014, 09:00 – 14:30, Norton Park Hotel, Norton Park, Nr Winchester, SO21 3NB

17/07/2014 – An engagement day is being held to help shape how the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory contracts for analysis in the future.

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

22/09/2014 – The aim of this High-Level Capacity Building Seminar is have an international exchange of information on inclusive entrepreneurship actions across the European Union and on how the European Union Structural Funds can be used to support actions that combine entrepreneurship promotion and social inclusion. It will examine the how strategies for youth entrepreneurship can be designed and implemented including consideration of the connections with wider strategies for entrepreneurship and youth employment.

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 of what has been successful on the ground.

 

Wordart

Last week’s South West edition reported on Lord Adonis Growth Review, STEM skills and growth in the creative industries. This week, the headlines focus on UK universities driving growth, STEM skills and Unlocking Potential’s 10th Birthday!

British universities have long been world leaders in research and teaching and the last decade has seen them rise to the challenges and opportunities of the knowledge economy, driving growth across the UK. The UK has the most efficient and effective research base in the world, punching well above its weight, according to new research from HEFCE. UK business incubator SETsquared has been ranked as the top university business incubator in Europe and second best in the world. The number of graduate vacancies has increased by 11.6 per cent this year, returning the graduate jobs market to its pre-recession peak, according to a report from High Fliers Research.

The European Commission has adopted a series of economic policy recommendations – Building growth – Country-specific recommendations 2014 aimed at strengthening the economic recovery of individual Member States to that began a year ago. A cost sharing impact study from Cedefop explores how changes in cost-sharing have an impact on the behaviour of students and higher education institutions. A new Eurobarometer survey on the ‘European Area of Skills and Qualifications‘ shows that around a quarter (23%) of EU citizens feel that their education or training has not provided them with the skills to find a job in line with their qualifications.

On STEM –David Willetts announces a £52 million investment to boost for skills and training in UK science sectors. An Industry and Academia Engagement Day is being held to help shape how the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory contracts for analysis in the future. Big Bang South West was a great success for South West colleges, with prizes awarded to Exmouth Community College, Southbrook, West Exe, Dawlish and Queen Elizabeth’s Academy teams.

UCU recently welcomed a report from the Royal Society outlining a series of proposals for the future of teaching STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths). The Technology Strategy Board – the UK’s innovation agency – recently (1 July 2014) published its £400 million blueprint to fund growth of British innovation. The Government’s Your Life campaign, which brings together business, educators, civil society and government to show how science and maths leads to exciting, successful careers, helping to boost participation in STEM subjects, has been joined by the McLaren Group.  Science and small business has been given a voice inside government. Professor Timothy Dafforn and Simon Devonshire are to bring their expertise into the heart of Whitehall as entrepreneurs-in-residence.  Government also recently met with the toy industry to discuss how to get girls interested in science and engineering and to better understand customer attitudes around STEM toys. Exeter’s next generation of scientists, creators and technologists were rewarded for their ingenuity with a string of prizes at The Big Bang South West awards ceremony, which showcases STEM projects from schools and colleges across the West Country and offers winners the chance to compete for major national awards. The ceremony was held at the University of Exeter for the fourth year running. Construction firm BAM has been appointed to build the University of Exeter’s new £50 million research centre – BAM Western region is an accredited national skills academy for construction – the first such appointment in the South West – and will offer apprenticeships on the project. …and for those asking Why STEM? Stephen F. DeAngelis, President and CEO of the cognitive computing firm Enterra Solutions outlines how success starts with critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

On manufacturing –Secretary of State Vince Cable launched the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) on 9th June, announcing £100 million of funding to help UK companies strengthen their domestic supply chains, reshore work back to the UK and create thousands of new jobs. A series of local briefing sessions will take place to support the latest round of the AMSCI. The 18th Annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium presents an opportunity to hear from world-leading business figures on the challenges facing modern manufacturing. The conference will take place on the 11th and 12th of September 2014 at the Moller Centre in Cambridge.

On engineering – the Women with Bright Ideas Competition encourages budding female entrepreneurs to enter a Dragon’s Den style competition. Set up by Engineering Innovation Network – South West (EIN-SW), Wiltshire Enterprise and NT CADCAM to encourage female innovators to turn their ideas into products. Successful entrants will prepare their Bright Idea for a showcase event in October when they will present to a panel of experts and potential investors who could support the product to a commercial reality. Thanks to Jackie Longworth of Fair Play South West for this useful update on events and initiatives relating to Women in Engineering Day 2014, which was a great successwith over 80 events nationally and more than 200 schools celebrating in one way or another, with #NWED even trending on Twitter above the World Cup and Wimbledon!

…and finally, Jon Cook and the team at Grads for Growth have been busy – celebrating Unlocking Potential’s 10th Birthday! It is no mean feat that, by April 2014, Unlocking Potential had helped nearly 700 businesses recruit more than 1000 graduates – an achievement well worth celebrating.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

University applications in UK up 4 percent
Education administrators hail ‘excellent news’.

Graduate vacancies return to pre-recession high
The number of graduate vacancies has increased by 11.6 per cent this year, returning the graduate jobs market to its pre-recession peak, according to a report.

Matthew Hancock’s speech on a skills revolution
Speech at the Sutton Trust international summit on professional, technical and vocational education for young people: “We’re encouraging employers to work with training providers to design high quality courses that will deliver the skills they want: a new social contract, with the taxpayer, employers and apprentices working in partnership to secure Britain’s economic future.”

Michael Gove speaks about the future of education reform
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, speaks to the first Education Reform Summit in London.

CIPD Manifesto for Work calls for shift in employment policy
With the general election less than a year away, the CIPD has published a ‘Manifesto for Work’ to urge politicians to focus on new ways to future proof UK employment.

Work-life balance initiatives ‘won’t have significant impact’
The new flexible working rules will have little practical impact, according to law experts at the CIPD’s recent Employment Law Conference.

Millions face unemployment ‘twilight zone’, says LGA
In the next 10 years, more than eight million people could be without a job or in work they are over-qualified for, the Local Government Association has warned.

ONS produces interactive map showing economic activity across UK
New website allows users to see how much their region contributes to the economy compared with the rest of the UK.

Another record-breaking year for Erasmus
The latest Erasmus statistics released by the European Commission today reveal that nearly 270 000 students – a new record – benefitted from EU grants to study or train abroad in 2012-2013.

Speech by David Willetts to the UK Science Park Association
Embracing innovation in the UK.

TUC – Public sector workers lose out on £2,245 under this government
Since the government took office, ministers have either frozen public sector pay or limited pay increases to well below the cost of living, leaving local government workers, NHS staff, teachers, firefighters, civil servants and other public servants on average £2,245 worse off in real terms, says the TUC today (Wednesday).

Call for a network of experts on the social dimension of education and training
On 04/07/2014 the European Commission launched an open call for tenders to establish a network of experts on the social dimension of education and training.

Thousands more school leavers choosing apprenticeships
New statistics show thousands more 16- and 17-year-olds embarking on apprenticeships than last year.

Wage gap between the sexes becomes yawning chasm as employees age
The gender pay gap has decreased since the 1970s but the disparity between what men and women take home today still differs dramatically after the age of 30, Office for National Statistics data has revealed.

CBI/Pearson survey highlights skills crisis
The education and skills survey published today by the CBI and Pearson supports many of the priority areas for action detailed in the NIACE manifesto – Prosperity for All: Building Sustainable Recovery for All.

UK ‘to become Europe’s second largest economy by 2020’
The UK’s economy is set to overtake that of France by 2020 to become the second largest in Europe, according to forecasts by consultancy firm PwC.

CBI – too many school leavers ‘underequipped for life’
The British economy is being put at risk because large numbers of teenagers are leaving school and college “underequipped for life”, according to the UK’s biggest business group.

ESF learners clean up at the Adult Learners’ Week awards 2014
Success for learners who won a collection of ESF Project Regional Awards.

Be part of the biggest festival of learning in 2015
NIACE would like to thank the thousands of organisations and individuals who helped make Adult Learners’ Week 2014 in England and Wales so successful and ask them, and others, to get involved in Adult Learners’ Week 2015 from Saturday 13 June – Friday 19 June.

TUC – ONS research shows Britain needs living wages
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady comments on a new analysis of earnings growth over the last 40 years, published today (Thursday) by the Office for National Statistics.

DWP response to the National Audit Office report on the Work Programme
DWP response to the National Audit Office (NAO) report on the Work Programme.

‘Flawed’ Work Programme contracts costing millions, say government auditors
Tens of millions of pounds is being paid in bonuses to under-performing contractors responsible for the Government’s flagship back-to-work scheme, government auditors have warned.

Tighter visa rules limit international talent options
Fall in skilled migrant worker numbers damages UK business, says Cable.

DfE under fire over proposed cuts to councils’ education services grant
Local government leaders say cutting funds to cover school improvements will hit efforts to revive failing establishments.

Ofsted announces school sixth forms to get separate grades
“AoC would like to see school and academy sixth forms having the same inspection regime as colleges as this would inform the complicated choices students and their parents have to make at 16.” – Joy Mercer, Director of Policy at the Association of Colleges

South West Headlines

Local support announced for jobseekers to help prepare for Universal Credit
Jobseekers to get extra help to get online and manage their finances on a monthly basis to prepare for the world of work under Universal Credit.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP backs Government campaign to help businesses sell to the public sector
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is backing a Government campaign to help small businesses provide services to the public sector.

National award for university and students’ union partnership
The University of Exeter, University of Exeter Students’ Guild and Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union (FXU) have been awarded the 2014 Students’ Union and Institution Partnership Award by the Higher Education Academy and National Union of Students.

Questions over job creation despite rise in Exeter business confidence
Exeter businesses are reporting increased workloads and confidence but questions remain about how far their improving fortunes are reflected in recruitment intentions, a new poll suggests.

More than 160 Jobs go in Somerset as Woodberry Brothers and Haines enters administration
One of Highbridge’s biggest employers has gone into administration with the loss of more than 160 jobs.

85 Jobs Lost as Paignton Electronics Firm Syntech Closes
Eighty five people have lost their jobs after an electronics firm in Paignton ceased trading.

 

Education Round-Up - Jobs Growth, Manufacturing, Plugging the Utilities Skills Gap, Employer Engagement, the Growth of Home Working and Eurobarometer for Skills and Qualifications 20140627

Last week’s Higher Education policy blog reported on Universities Week, maximising opportunities using student population statistics, student volumes; graduate recruitment & employability and the Guardian University League table 2015. This week, the headlines focus on the Regional Growth Fund, jobs growth, manufacturing, plugging the utilities skills gap, employer engagement, the growth of home working and a new Eurobarometer for Skills and Qualifications.

Unemployment in the South West has decreased by 26,000 in the quarter to April, official figures revealed earlier this month.  According to a survey by recruitment firm Manpower, Bristol is driving much of the employment growth in the region.  Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is to open a new £125m research and development centre in Bristol. Indeed,job prospects are broadly thought to be on the rise, with prospects in Devon, Cornwall and the Westcountry being the best in the UK. The South West topped a league table of home workers, new figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown. Superfast broadband in rural parts of Devon and Cornwall is leading to rising numbers of urban dwellers choosing to relocate and seek self-employment in the countryside. Across 2013 as a whole, the South West region saw the highest home working rate, at 17 percent, compared with 13.9 percent nationally. Home workers tend to be self-employed, older and earn more than the rest of the population. Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said the figure could be even higher if management gave workers more freedom. Emma Jones, founder of small business network Enterprise Nation, who wrote the book Spare Room StartUp in 2008, said: “these people are not starting up out of necessity through lack of jobs, they are responding to new opportunities that technology brings and this will only increase as the number of satisfying, well-paid jobs begins to decline.”

South West businesses can bid for a share of £200 million, the Deputy Prime Minister announced this week, as he launched round six of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). The Minister spoke about British manufacturing and regional growth at the BIS Manufacturing Summit, part of the International Festival of Business in Liverpool.  Ministers set out the work the government is doing in partnership with business to help manufacturing strengthen the economic recovery. This includes the Automotive Investment Organisation – a new government funded body to attract inward investment to the UK – which smashed its targets in its first year and a £4 million boost for UK management skills. Although the manufacturing sector is expected to continue to decrease in size over the next decade, advanced manufacturing is expected to grow significantly, with the global market expected to double in size up to 2020, according to the EU Skills Panorama. Demand for UK-made goods rose strongly in June, the latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey showed. The Manufacturing Advisory Service has also released the Manufacturing Barometer Bulletin, which coincided with the UK’s first National Women in Engineering Day, held this week. “Girls can’t what?” was the question posed on the day, to which the answer from the organisers was never going to be “weld”! The National Apprenticeship Service took the opportunity to recognise the success of engineering apprenticeships and the benefits they bring to employers and individuals. Budding scientists from across the South West region experienced their very own ‘Big Bang’ moment at a special science and engineering fair hosted by the University of Exeter on Thursday.

Utilities company South West Water has joined a new Government and employer partnership to help strengthen the UK’s energy and utility workforce. South West Water chief executive Chris Loughlin said the Exeter-based company was already working closely with young people and had helped develop South Devon’s new University Technical College, which will specialise in engineering, water and the environment for 14-18 year olds.

Lord Livingston’s visit to Wiltshire on 2nd June encouraged exporters in the South West of England to grow their international customer base overseas. The South West is outperforming most other UK regions for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in a highly-competitive market, according to recent research.

Educators and employers have called for a more integrated approach to help schools and colleges prepare young people for work during a 90-minute forum, which kicked off with each panel member offering their views on the employability of graduates and school leavers in the South West. Representatives of industry identified new recruits’ lack of practical skills and basic understanding of the workplace as their biggest concerns.

A new Eurobarometer survey on the ‘European Area of Skills and Qualifications‘ shows that around a quarter (23%) of EU citizens feel that their education or training has not provided them with the skills to find a job in line with their qualifications.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

The Top 50 Jobs of the Future
Those of us who began life with plans of becoming a jet-pack-powered officer in the space police know that predicting future employment trends is a risky business.

Universities drive growth across the UK
British universities have long been world leaders in research and teaching and the last decade has seen them rise to the challenges and opportunities of the knowledge economy.

UK universities lead the world in research
The UK has the most efficient and effective research base in the world, punching well above its weight.

UCU raises concerns at governments proposal to widen student loan system in further education to 19-23 year olds
UCU recently raised concerns about the government’s latest consultation which proposes to expand the scope of loans in further education.

UCU calls for greater support in getting people qualified for work
UCU has said that more needs to be done to ensure that everyone has the chance to gain qualifications in order to improve their employment prospects.

Britain needs a skills rise
Speech by Matthew Hancock to the Unionlearn annual conference.

REC urges HR to reconnect with company ‘alumni’ to access skills
HR should engage with their organisation’s ‘alumni’ on a long-term basis to maximise access to talented former staff, said Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

Lowest rate of young people NEET for 20 years
New stats show more 16- to 18-year-olds in education, employment or training since comparable records began.

Equality and diversity projects share findings at free events
The first of three dissemination events looking at the impact of the Equality and Diversity Innovation Fund is taking place at the Cruddas Park shopping centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne tomorrow.

Government crackdown on zero hours contract abusers
Business Secretary Vince Cable announces plans to ban exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.

TUC – zero-hours workers need greater protection
Preventing employers from insisting that their zero-hours staff are only allowed to work for them will be good news for some employees, but the government needs to go much further if the widespread abuse of these kind of contracts is to be stamped out, says the TUC today (Wednesday).

Current apprentice wage too complicated, says Cable
The government has called for a simplified process for paying apprentices the minimum wage in its revised remit for the Low Pay Commission (LPC).

Employment report shows lower skilled workers face increasing difficulties to find a job
Low qualified workers encounter increasing difficulties to find a job, face lower job stability and are out-competed by medium-skilled workers even in elementary occupations. In contrast, job opportunities are growing in some high-skilled professions.

Movement to Work – work experience in the Civil Service for unemployed young people
The Civil Service offers work experience opportunities to unemployed young people aged 18 to 24 as part of Movement to Work.

CBI / Grant Thornton UK / LLP – medium-sized businesses get a raw deal from UK tax system
The medium-sized business (MSB) segment is already thriving and a key contributor to the UK economy. It also has the potential to further drive business growth and job creation but they are being held back by the UK tax system, a new CBI / Grant Thornton report reveals.

Unions prepare for ‘biggest strike’ under coalition
Some of the country’s largest unions, Unison, GMB and Unite will ballot council employees in England and Wales this week, amid growing anger over pay restraint in the public sector.

CEDEFOP – Analytical Highlights – short papers for policy makers and professionals
The Analytical highlights is a series of short papers published on the EU Skills Panorama website.

When the UK goes ‘digital by default’, who will be left behind?
UK government services are going digital, yet often the people who need them most are not able to access them. Elizabeth Rust reports on the 17 percent who are digitally excluded.

TUC’s Carl Roper – Ignoring unions is not a strategic approach
I’m sure mine weren’t the only eyebrows to be raised by Chris Syder’s article ‘Taking a strategic approach to union recognition’ on HR-inform and published on the People Management website.

Turkey latest country to join Erasmus+
The Republic of Turkey officially informed the European Commission that its internal legal requirements for the entry into force of the Erasmus+ Agreement had been fulfilled, in accordance with Article 5 of the said Agreement.

TUC – Job prospects for youngsters outside full-time education are deteriorating rapidly
Young people not in full-time education are now less likely to be in work than people of other ages and their prospects are declining, despite the recent recovery in the jobs market, the TUC warned on Sunday ahead of a new report on full employment to be published today.

Sickness benefit failing to get disabled into work
But, Grace Lewis asks, can we really keep blaming the government for the UK’s disability unemployment gap?

National Literacy Trust – 25 organisations launch landmark bid to end education inequality
The National Literacy Trust are proud to be part of The Fair Education Alliance – a coalition committed to closing the achievement gap between young people from our poorest communities and their wealthier peers.

Matthew Hancock speaks about reforms to vocational education
Matthew Hancock, Skills Minister, speaks to the Sunday Times Festival of Education about vocational education.

Secondary schools can opt in to progress 8 measures in 2015
Mainstream maintained schools, academies and free schools can now choose to adopt the new performance measures a year early in 2015.

AoC response to Labour Party plans for a new youth allowance
At the launch of the IPPR’s latest report on the condition of Britain, the Labour Leader Ed Miliband officially announced his party’s plan to replace Job Seeker’s Allowance with a new youth allowance for 18 to 21-year-olds.

Labour unveils benefits reform to incentivise training for young people
Young unemployed people could have their benefits stopped if they do not attend training to increase their chances of getting a job, under new Labour proposals for welfare reform.

Main parties endorse NIACE manifesto
Politicians from the three main Westminster parties have endorsed NIACE’s vision of how a skills-led recovery will ensure prosperity for all.

Around 300,000 people escape long-term unemployment thanks to the Work Programme
About 300,000 long-term unemployed people have found lasting work using the Work Programme – an increase of 44,000 people in jobs in the last 3 months.

AoC responds to Lord Young’s report on enterprise in education
“We’re pleased to see that some of the excellent practice in colleges is highlighted and recognised and that a number of the recommendations span all education sectors.” – Teresa Frith, Senior Skills Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges

Nearly 9 million full time workers want to work flexibly, research suggests
Nearly two in every five full time employees want to work part time or remotely right now, according to research from recruitment firm Timewise.

Education and training is not up to the job, say quarter of Europeans in survey
A new Eurobarometer survey on the ‘European Area of Skills and Qualifications’ (Special Eurobarometer 417) shows also that around a quarter (23%) of EU citizens feel that their education or training has not provided them with the skills to find a job in line with their qualifications.

Postdoc diaries – academic jobs are scarce but we’re optimistic
For six months, we’ve followed PhD graduates Mel and Dean in their hunt for a job. The final instalment sees them feeling positive about the future

Government outlines how technology can benefit further education
Matthew Hancock has announced government plans to boost technology in order to improve further education.

Institute for Learning comments on government’s response to Feltag recommendations
The Institute for Learning (IfL) has commented on the government’s response to the recommendations of the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (Feltag).

Tech Awards to boost vocational education for 14- to 16-year-olds
The government announces rigorous technical qualifications that can be studied for alongside GCSEs.

New Tech Awards should raise the profile and status of vocational education
The Association of Colleges response to the Department for Education’s announcement about the introduction of new Technical Awards and vocational education for 14 to 19-year-olds.

EEF finds sickness absence in manufacturing sector at record low
The number of working days lost to sickness absence has reached a record low of 2.1 per cent among manufacturing employers, which is equivalent to 4.9 days per employee, per year, EEF figures have shown.

DWP emphasises ‘fuller working lives’ in revisiting Extending Working Lives strategy
The Department for Work and Pensions has published the Government’s new action plan on how they intend to help people have fuller working lives.

Cuts may undermine work incentives in universal credit
A cross-party review of Universal Credit (UC) is being launched amid new evidence that funding for the project has been cut so severely that its original aim to provide incentives for people to get into work could be undermined.

Work Programme ‘failing those most in need and should be broken up’
The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), have proposed that the £1.2bn Work Programme, the government’s flagship welfare to work scheme, needs to be broken up in the face of figures showing that as little as 5 per cent of unemployed people on the main disability benefit are finding a job through it.

TUC welcomes new simpler minimum wage rules
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady comments on the government’s new minimum wage remit for the Low Pay Commission published yesterday (Wednesday).

National Literacy Trust partners RM Books to study Impact of eBooks
Yesterday the National Literacy Trust and RM Books embarked on a joint study over 16 months and across 100 schools to explore eBooks’ impact on student’s reading motivation and reading attainment.

TUC – Qualifications becoming essential to find any job, not just well-paid ones
Figures published yesterday (Wednesday) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which found that the unemployment rate for men (12.9 per cent) and women (10.8 per cent) with no qualifications was more than twice that of people with at least one qualification (5.2 per cent for men, 4.3 per cent for women).

Successful investment in carbon reduction with more to come
Following an evaluation of the first three rounds of the HEFCE Revolving Green Fund, which confirmed the effectiveness of the scheme, a further £34 million will be invested.

UKCES unveils funding to tackle UK’s poor management problem
Employers can apply for a share of a £4 million fund to develop new methods to improve the skills of management in their sector, it has been announced.

Government launches action plan to maximise potential of older workers
As people in the UK live longer, the government has launched an action plan to help employers make the most of older workers’ potential.

Helping business to wake up to older workers’ untapped potential
Minister for Pensions Steve Webb launches a new action plan to help older workers stay in the workplace.

Erasmus+ Delay in issuing grant agreements
Due to a number of technical difficulties some National Agencies may not be in a position to sign grant agreements before the starting dates for the respective Key Actions.

Lib Dem pledge on widening of education budget protection ‘very significant’
Responding to the announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg about the Liberal Democrat pledge to ringfence the education budget up to the age of 19, Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “We welcome this very significant announcement from the Lib Dems, which reflects AoC lobbying over the last few months.

NIACE’s Mid-life Career Review part of new Government strategy
The Government will be incorporating lessons learned from NIACE’s Mid-life Career Review Pilots and integrate the ‘50+ delivery model’ into existing partner practice, to ensure older workers can access an in-depth career review for the first time.

TUC – Tribunal fees are stopping wronged workers from seeking justice
Employers who bully, harass or cheat their workers out of their wages are increasingly likely to escape punishment as people wronged at work are prevented from seeking justice by the high cost of taking a tribunal case, says the TUC.

Taking a strategic approach to union recognition
Private sector trade union membership globally has begun to creep up, as trade unions look to offset job losses in the public sector.

 

South West Headlines

Round Six of Regional Growth Fund Launched
South West businesses can bid for a share of £200 million, the Deputy Prime Minister announced yesterday, as he launched round six of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

£400,000 awarded to LEP’s creative employment bid makes it the largest programme in the UK
The West of England is celebrating becoming the largest group of creative and arts organisations in the UK to deliver a creative employment programme, thanks to a second successful bid to the Creative Employment Programme grant scheme.

Support package to kick-start Hinkley plans – HotSW LEP
The government’s confirmation of a Hinkley Point C support package will help kick-start plans to exploit the construction phase of the nuclear power plant development, according to the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP).

Hinkley Programme agreed with Government to boost local economy
The Government’s confirmation of a ‘Hinkley Programme for 2014/15’ to stimulate economic growth in the area by preparing for the opportunities that will arise from the construction of the Hinkley power station, has been warmly welcomed by the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which recently agreed the package of support with Whitehall.

Six-figure grant to support creative careers
A project to help young people across the South West embark on careers in the creative industries has received a six-figure funding boost.

Zero Carbon Hub and Training Centre receives support from West of England Growth fund
Renewable energy specialists Solarsense have been awarded a grant of £59,000 from the West of England Growth Fund to support the development of a Zero Carbon Hub and Training Centre.

Solent LEP seeking potential Solent sites for National Large Structures Composites Centre
Following the publication of the Stevens’ Report ‘Transforming Solent’, the National Composites Centre, working with the University of Southampton and University of Bristol, have been tasked by the Department of Business Innovation & Skills to undertake a feasibility study for a Solent Large Structures Composites Centre.

GFirst LEP flying high for Gloucestershire
Today, at their biggest Annual Review yet, Dr Diane Savory OBE, Chair of Gfirst LEP and David Owen, Chief Executive, address over 250 business leaders with an overview of record achievements in the last twelve months and plans for strengthening the Gloucestershire economy by £0.5bn with the creation of 34,000 new jobs and 5,000 apprenticeships.

Gfirst – Top up your engineering skills on brand new course
The University of Gloucestershire has launched a new, employer-led Engineering course.

Swindon and Wiltshire LEP Develops Vision for High Value Manufacturing
A common vision for manufacturing in Swindon and Wiltshire has been set out in a new research report released by the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Labour’s Darren Jones calls on Local Enterprise Partnership to ‘use its muscle’
Labour’s Darren Jones, who is running to the be the Labour MP for Bristol North West at the next General Election, has called on the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to use its muscle in the Avonmouth/Severnside Enterprise Area.

Why STEM? Success Starts With Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving Skills
Our educational system is tasked with preparing the next-generation to succeed in life. That’s a tall order and it will substantially fail if it doesn’t teach children how to think critically and solve problems.

UK business incubator named number one in Europe
SETsquared has been ranked as the top university business incubator in Europe and second best in the world.

Bicton College in merger talks
An agricultural college is discussing plans to merge with a partner after a government report suggested it could not survive by itself.

NHS – 2gether Offers Opportunities for Apprentices
Apprenticeships in Business and Administration are being offered by 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

Inner-city schools outperforming rural peers, ONS data shows
‘Immigration deficit’ could be one factor in why swaths of Suffolk, Norfolk, Kent and Cornwall lag behind capital in getting above-average exam results.

Government pledges to invest further £200m in high-growth and innovative businesses
Ambitious Swindon and Wiltshire businesses were today urged to bid for a share of a £200m investment pot – the latest phase of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

Young Gloucestershire is delivering a new mentoring programme
Young Gloucestershire are looking for professionals willing to mentor young people who are starting out in the world of work.
As a mentor you will meet with a young person to help them take their next steps by developing pathways into employment, work experience, traineeships or further education.

Employers must become aware of dementia in the workplace
Recent figures suggest there are around 800,000 people in the UK with dementia. People usually associate the condition with later life, but around 17,000 of people with the condition are under the age of 65.

£15 million Craneworks project could support 250 jobs in Bath
They have stood empty for years at the heart of the city but ambitious £15-million plans have emerged to transform the derelict Stothert and Pitt factories.

Employability Is Our Job
Universities, as seats of learning and powerhouses of research, are stepping up to assume a new role.

Cornwall businesses give College’s £250million vision the thumbs up
Business leaders in Cornwall have given a new vision for further education, training and skills development in the Duchy their full support.

Cruise Industry Economic Contribution Passes £2.5 Billion As Bristol Port Sails Ahead
The cruise industry’s contribution to the British economy grew substantially in 2013, as did the number of UK jobs it supports, according to a report released today by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Gloucestershire councils plan ‘includes job cuts’
Posts will be lost if four councils join forces to provide their services, a deputy leader has confirmed.

Wordcloud
In last week’s South West Skills Newsletter, I reported onvocational qualifications, NIACE’s Manifesto, measuring university-business cooperation, the provision of – and quality assurance in – Higher Education, and Local Enterprise Partnership funding. This week, the headlines are around Universities Week,maximising opportunities using student population statistics, student volumes;graduate recruitment& employability and the Guardian University League table 2015.

University of Exeter celebrated Universities Week with range of activities, featuring in a UK-wide campaign to highlight the value and importance of universities to our everyday lives. David Willetts marked the week, speaking at Bournemouth University, announcing £48 million of new investment in biomedical research. At the start of Universities Week, the vice-chancellor of the University of Surrey criticised those who promoted higher education as a way of earning more money in future. “Trying to measure everything by the X number of pounds it’s going to get you, that’s not the right way of doing it,” he said.

According to a Eurydice report published recently, not enough countries are using the information they collect on Higher Education (HE)to improve their universities and the opportunities they offer for students. ‘Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe: Access, Retention and Employability’ investigates what governments and Higher Education Institutions are doing to widen access to HE, increase the number of students that complete HE (retention), and give guidance to students on entering the labour market (employability).This comes as businesses across the UK are planning a rise in graduate recruitment this year, indicating growing confidence and an improving economy, employment experts suggest. High Fliers research finds that a growing number of students are applying for jobs nearly a year before their graduation.  Dr Anthony Mann at the Education and Employers Taskforce, working withcolleagues from University of Warwick and King’s College London, published a literature review entitled Understanding Employer Engagement in Education: theories and evidence.

A report from the University and College Union (UCU) has highlighted the effect that devolution is having on outcomes for post-compulsory education in different parts of the UK.The number of part-time students in English universities now stands at 139,000 – nearly half the 2010 total of 259,000 students, a separate report, from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which itself was released in response to a University Alliance report entitled ‘How do we ensure quality in an expanding higher education system?‘.  Professor Madeleine Atkins, HEFCE’s Chief Executive, said: “The Government has asked us to develop mechanisms to assure the quality of the student experience when student number controls are removed. We have also started work to examine how students might be better protected in the event of untoward disruption to their studies”. Matthew Hancock recently addressed the Association of Colleges International Conference, speaking on the International Education Strategy.

The four UK HE funding bodies and Research Councils UK (RCUK) have written to the heads of all UK HE institutions inviting input into the science and innovation strategy, as non-Russell Group universities rise in theGuardian University League Table 2015, knocking former favourites out of top slots. The University of Exeter has enjoyed significant success in the latest league table, strengthening its position as one of the best universities in the country. One of Exeter’s latest ventures is looking to train the business leaders of tomorrow with a new £5.5 million purpose built business school, the first of its kind in Cornwall. Dr Garry Tregidga recently reflected on the impact of the European Union, suggesting that a ‘Cornish solution’ will ensure economic regeneration.Measuring the impact of university-business cooperation is a new study from the EU’s DG Education and Culture, which highlights numerous benefits of university-business cooperation in the field of education, such as: Strengthening levels of human capital; Stimulating entrepreneurship; Knowledge exchange; and Raising the profile of an organisation.

I hope you find this information useful.

Ciao!

Kevin

National Headlines

Guardian University League Table 2015
Non-Russell Group universities rise, knocking former favourites out of top slots.

University league tables 2015 – by subject
Subject areas available at UK universities.

UK Employers Plan Graduate Hiring Boom, IDS Data Shows
Businesses across the UK are planning a rise in graduate recruitment this year, indicating growing confidence and an improving economy, employment experts suggest.

Extra 30,000 students funded by higher earnings and tax
An expansion in student numbers – which will see an extra 30,000 places this autumn – will be self-financing in the long term, says Universities Minister David Willetts.

Universities’ Key Role in Real Economy
There are some that still consider universities to be ivory towers that are largely out of touch with the world of business and industry. Yet, the reality is that higher education institutions are an active participant and contributor in driving forward local, regional and national economies around the World.

Funding boost for skills training in the South West
Businesses in the south-west of England will benefit from a new boost in funding for skills training. A total of £400,000 has been secured to help local firms ensure that their staff are equipped with the necessary training and encourage a greater take-up of apprenticeships in the area.

David Willetts welcomes Universities Week with £48 million investment in biomedical research
David Willetts recently used his speech at Bournemouth University to announce £48 million of new investment in biomedical research.

Jobs in the future will require skills and investment in education
Many of the jobs expected to drive economic growth in the future will require vocational qualifications, says a report released today from the Institute for Public Policy and Research.

New initial teacher training inspection framework needs to recognise the differences in colleges
Joy Mercer, Director of Education Policy at the Association of Colleges, said “It is disappointing that the Ofsted consultation focused so much on school-based initial teacher education (ITE). It did not recognise the difference in further education (FE) where trainees come from a college’s own staff and external agencies like the police.”

VQ Day – vocational qualifications a route to future success
To mark VQ Day 2014, a new report from the Institute of Public Policy Research has investigated the changing landscape of the workforce.

10 Things You Need to Know about e-Learning
Internet-based education offers everything from a free maths lecture to a full course on ancient Roman history. But it has its critics…

Priorities of the Next European Commission – A British Perspective
Foreign Office Minister David Lidington outlined five priorities for the next European Commission in a speech at the European Policy Centre.

UK ‘Second Best Education in Europe’
The UK is in second place among European countries and sixth overall in a global education league table.

UK students trailing EU peers on take up of Erasmus exchanges
The Erasmus+ programme, which aims to boost the number of students and staff studying and working abroad across the European Union, started on January 1 2014.

Erasmus Exchanges get Down to Business
For a generation of European students, the Erasmus programme has been synonymous with having a good time while studying in another country.

Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support – Update
The European Commission plans to introduce the on-line linguistic support for English, French, German, Italian and Spanish as of 1st October 2014 at the earliest.

Building world-leading research communities
The first GW4 Alliance projects to receive funding to build research communities focused on tackling some of the world’s grand challenges, have been unveiled. The GW4 Alliance – an alliance between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter – has released the results of its first GW4 Building Communities programme.

The University of Exeter Sets Up Duchy’s First Business School
The University of Exeter is looking to train Cornwall business leaders of tomorrow with a new £5.5 million purpose built business school.

GFirst LEP and the University of Gloucestershire Growth Hub Business Venture Creates 18 New Jobs
The Growth Hub, a partnership between GFirst LEP and the University of Gloucestershire, has launched a recruitment drive for 18 professionals to join the team.

UK Research Publications

How place influences employment outcomes for ethnic minorities
Looks at the influence of location on employment for ethnic minorities, asking why ethnic minority people fare disproportionately worse in the labour market in areas of high deprivation. Examines the roles of culture, racism and class, and of familial, community and state support in affecting employment outcomes. Finds that, whilst social segregation may provide support, it can also reduce employment performance, limiting social networks and inhibiting labour market knowledge.

Moving up the ladder? Labour market outcomes in the United Kingdom amid rising immigration
Analyses the labour market integration of recent immigrants to the United Kingdom, based on UK Labour Force Survey data. Distinguishes between different cohorts based on the year of their arrival in the country. Finds that, in 2012, new arrivals from within the European Union were almost three times more likely to be in low-skilled work than natives. Over time all groups showed some progress in moving out of the lowest-skilled jobs.

Selective schooling systems increase inequality
Investigates the impact on earnings inequality of a selective education system in which school assignment is based on initial test scores. Uses a large, representative household panel survey to compare adult earnings inequality of those growing up under a selective education system with those educated under a comprehensive system. Finds the wage distribution for individuals who grew up in selective schooling areas is quantitatively and statistically significantly more unequal.

The funding of further and higher education
This paper summarises current UCU policy and discusses the overall picture of funding, resources and student contribution within F/HE in the four nations before looking at the main political currents and potential for change. It also includes recommendations for six key tests against which UCU might judge new policy on funding either within the UK itself or the devolved nations.

IPPR – Winning the global race? Jobs, skills and the importance of vocational education
Analyses the latest projections on the changing shape of the jobs market in the UK to presents a more complex picture of the skills needs of our economy. Concludes that Britain needs stronger and better-quality vocational education, coupled with new business models that make better use of workforce skills and enable companies to move up the value chain to take advantage. This will require employers to engage in a more meaningful way in vocational education and skills development than they do currently.

How do we ensure quality in an expanding higher education system?
Considers what kind of quality assurance system is going to be fit for this more complex new world of expanding higher education. Suggests quality assurance does, and should, sit within a broader framework for regulation of providers. Primarily focuses on quality assurance rather than the wider regulatory system, setting out nine recommendations for the future of the quality assurance system in England.

Understanding Employer Engagement in Education: theories and evidence
A review of the associated literature compiled by the Education and Employers Taskforce, working with colleagues from University of Warwick and King’s College London.

Exploring the impacts of the UK government’s welfare reforms on lone parents moving into work
Explores the experiences of lone parents in a context of increasing benefit conditionality and welfare reform. Looks at the challenges and opportunities facing lone parents who wish to return to work, or are being compelled to do so because their youngest child has turned five. It sought to understand: the issues facing a lone parent seeking work; what it is like being a lone parent on Jobseeker’s Allowance; and how the expectations placed upon them as Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants relate to the realities of seeking, entering into and sustaining paid work as a lone parent.

Technology manifesto
Sets out three principal goals: to build the world’s most connected and digitally skilled society; to make Britain the most attractive place outside of Silicon Valley for technology entrepreneurs to start and grow a business; and to make our government the smartest in the world.

Qualifications at level 5 – progressing in a career or to higher education
This study of EQF level 5 qualifications on the basis of learning outcomes reveals much greater complexity, diversity and dynamism than previously assumed. But where they fit within the spectrum of education and training is not always clear. Typical level 5 qualifications are provided by short-cycle higher education programmes; yet the study finds that half of learning outcomes at this level are vocational education and training or outside the formal system.

Navigating difficult waters – learning for career and labour market transitions
Cedefop has shown that participation in training has a positive effect on the probability of finding a job. This study adds to such results by showing that learning can support labour market transitions of adult workers by increasing their adaptability to a changing environment.

Intervention in further education – the strengthened intervention process

Details how the Further Education (FE) Commissioner process helps deal with underperformance in FE corporations and institutions. This document explains:
– the role and purpose of the FE Commissioner
– details how the FE Commissioner process operates
– when and how BIS will communicate FE Commissioner intervention
– lessons BIS has learned from those interventions

International Research Publications

Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe: Access, Retention and Employability
Investigates what governments and Higher Education Institutions are doing to widen access to HE, increase the number of students that complete HE (retention), and give guidance to students on entering the labour market (employability).

Measuring the impact of university-business cooperation
Study from the EU’s DG Education and Culture, which highlights numerous benefits of university-business cooperation in the field of education, such as: Strengthening levels of human capital; Stimulating entrepreneurship; Knowledge exchange; and Raising the profile of an organisation.

Developing apprenticeships (CEDEFOP briefing note)
Briefing note from CEDEFOP, which finds that, despite their advantages as a way of aligning vocational education and training to labour market needs, apprenticeships are underused.

The effects of the EU equal-treatment legislation directive for fixed-term workers – evidence from the UK
Uses eleven years of data from the Labour Force Survey to assess whether new legislation has led to a decrease in the average wage gap between fixed-term andpermanent workers. For women, there is no evidence of that. For men, the wage gap appears to have closed after 2002. However, this gap was falling even before 2002 and some evidence of changes in the selection of workers after the implementation of the Directive cast doubts on the extent to which the closing of the gap can be ascribed to the new legislation.

Links

Young adult carers and employment
Highlights that young people providing unpaid care for friends and family have many fewer opportunities in education and the workplace as a result. Shows that nearly 50% have physical health that is ‘just okay’ or ‘poor’, and over half reported currently experiencing a mental health problem.

Looking forward to later life – taking an early action approach to our ageing society
Argues that unprecedented increases in life expectancy over the last century have not been matched with a clear understanding, across society, of what we expect from our newfound older age. Discusses what it would be like if public services, businesses, civil society and all of us as individuals were ready, both to take advantage of the opportunities and to successfully navigate the challenges of later life, we would experience a triple dividend – increased wellbeing, reduced costs, and increased contribution. This requires a new vision for later life.

Gender and the quality of work – from boom to recession
Considers gender differences in both the quantity and quality of work before and during the recession using high-quality, nationally representative Irish and international data.

Analysis of employee contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of hours
There is no legal definition of “zero-hours contracts”. Consequently, different groups and bodies will not only measure the number of such contracts in different ways, they will also have different perceptions of what should be included as “zero-hours contracts”. Significantly, the perceptions of employers and employees on what constitutes a particular type of contract will differ. Also, estimates from both employers and employees may be influenced by their level of awareness of such contracts.

Launch of University Ranking – U-Multirank
U-Multirank is a new tool to compare universities, launched earlier this month.

Events

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

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

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

David Sweeney, Director, HEFCE will be speaking at this seminar, which is scheduled to follow publication of this year’s Research Excellence Framework (REF), the system by which the quality of research from UK HEIs is assessed – with significant implications for public funding for universities’ research, for benchmarking, and for academic reputation.

Falling Off the Radar? The impacts of digital by default
23 June 2014, 10.00 – 15.30, Best Western Tiverton Hotel, Blundells Road, Tiverton

This conference aims to bring key stakeholders together, to discuss and promote synergies between agencies involved in the promotion of digital and social inclusion in Devon, with a focus on deprived urban areas and rural communities. Confirmed speakers include: Professor Jane Seale (University of Exeter), Nora Corkery (Devon Welfare Rights Unit) and Julie Hawker (Cosmic and LEP). Rob Garrett: rgarrett@tuc.org.uk or telephone 07899 966 358.

IntoWork Convention 2014
8-9 July 2014, Arena Convention Centre, Liverpool

In 2014 it will be called the IntoWork Convention and will be for everyone involved in helping people find work, keep work and progress in work. The IntoWork Convention will be larger and more interactive showcasing ‘what works’ in employment, skills, health and for disadvantaged people.

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

Visitor application forms will be available from May.

2013 results of the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)
How to Best Shape Teacher Policies? Policy lessons from international comparisons.
25-26 June 2014, Tokyo, Japan

With the theme “How to Best Shape Teacher Policies? Policy lessons from international comparisons and guidance for education and schools in the future”, this Seminar aims to provide an opportunity to exchange views on how to best shape teacher policy so as to have the strongest impact on the quality of the learning environment.

AoC Sustainability Portfolio Group – 1st annual conference
8 July 2014, Think Low Carbon Centre, Barnsley

The conference, entitled; Sustainability, Employment, Education and the Role of Colleges, will showcase best practice from around the regions of England on colleges’ success in engaging learners in the importance of Sustainable Skills for Employability. It will also highlight the successful career paths provided by sustainability and environmental skills. The venue for the event is the Think Low Carbon Centre, Barnsley College. We have chosen the venue to demonstrate the technology and techniques needed to make a low carbon building as well as highlighting how colleges can lead the way on sustainability. With our partners, Social enterprise organisation, 4 All of Us, we will also be creating a sustainable legacy fund via the conference. This fund will be open to Colleges and groups demonstrating sustainability within further education.

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

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

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

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

Unions and the path to war – Tolpuddle Radical History School
17 July to 19 July 2014, Tolpuddle Festival Site

Open to all, the history school is a great chance to learn more about radical and trade union history. Running ahead and alongside the annual Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival it offers a chance to learn lessons from the past in beautiful, rural Dorset. There will be plenty of opportunitity for discussion. Visit the Tolpuddle Martyrs website for full programme information.

Living and Working in Wiltshire Event 2014
3 July 2014, Tidworth Leisure Centre, Nadder Road, Tidworth, Wiltshire, SP9 7QN

The “Living and Working in Wiltshire and Swindon” event will bring local businesses and the military together in Tidworth on 3rd July 2014.

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen Careers Show 2014
17 June 2014, 10:00 – 20:00, Thistle Cheltenham Hotel, Gloucester Road, Cheltenham

A new careers fair will give job hunters unrivalled access to the county’s top employers. The Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen Careers Show 2014 will take place at The Thistle Cheltenham Hotel in June. The show, which is signing up a range of large and small employers across the county, is backed by the newspapers’ job section Jobs 24/7.