Archives for category: future skills investment

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

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

John Naisbitt

Headlines

Further Education

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growth & Trade

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

 

UK Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points for September to November 2014

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

 

 

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

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

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

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Higher Education Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Research Publications

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Word Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

Further Education & Skills

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

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

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

Industry

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

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

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

UK Labour Market, November 2014

Key Points for July to September 2014

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

Regional Labour Market, November 2014

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wordcloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Further Education & Skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

Historical labour market statistics
Statistics showing annual changes to employment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Low Pay

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

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

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

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

UK Labour Market, November 2014

Key Points for July to September 2014

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

Regional Labour Market, November 2014

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wordcloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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News Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

e-Appendix

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

WordCloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Economic Growth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vocational Education

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

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

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

South West Headlines

Further Education

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

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

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

Industry Skills

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

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

Health Skills

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

Defence Skills

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

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

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

Nuclear

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

Construction Skills

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

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

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

Tech Skills

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

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

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

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

Youth Unemployment

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

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

Older Workers

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

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

Trade Unions

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

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

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

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

Misc.

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

Infographic

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

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

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

UK Labour Market, September 2014

Key Points for May to July 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Comparing the estimates for May to July 2014 with those for February to April 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes continue the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.
  • There were 30.61 million people in work. This was 74,000 more than for February to April 2014, the smallest quarterly increase since April to June 2013. Comparing May to July 2014 with a year earlier, there were 774,000 more people in work.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, slightly higher than for February to April 2014 (72.9%) and higher than for a year earlier (71.6%).
  • There were 2.02 million unemployed people, 146,000 fewer than for February to April 2014 and 468,000 fewer than a year earlier. This is the largest annual fall in unemployment since 1988.
  • The unemployment rate continued to fall, reaching 6.2% for May to July 2014, the lowest since late 2008. The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
  • There were 8.93 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 114,000 more than for February to April 2014 but 31,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate was 22.1%, higher than for February to April 2014 (21.8%) but lower than for a year earlier (22.3%).
  • Pay including bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 0.6% higher than a year earlier. Pay excluding bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 0.7% higher than a year earlier.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .

Regional Labour Market, September 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

CITB Business Awareness Workshop
23 October 2014, Gloucester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International IP Protection
6 October 2014, British Library, London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

20140926_labour_conference_devolution_ukces_forging_futures_hinkley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

 Vocational Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South West Headlines

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

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

Industry Skills

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

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International IP Protection
6 October 2014, British Library, London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CITB Business Awareness Workshop
23 October 2014, Gloucester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

e-Appendix

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

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visitor application forms will be available from May.

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

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

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

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This session will focus on migration and population.

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

This session will focus on housing.

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

This session will focus on transport.

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

This session will focus on the green economy.

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

This session will focus on skills for the future.

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

This session will focus on public services.

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

This session will focus on tacking inequality.

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

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

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

Turn on the spotlights, dust off the red carpet – the hunt is on to find the very Best of British Engineering – which is to be celebrated at the second Semta Skills Awards.

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

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

International IP Protection
6 October 2014, British Library, London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Download PDF
  • 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 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. Last week’s newsletter reported on youth unemployment, iRemploy for disabled workers, self-employment and older workers.

2.8 per cent have responded to our user testing survey to date – ideally we would like a 30 per cent response rate. The initial results call for more labour market information, more LEP intelligence and more on industry / sector skills. In this edition, I hope to demonstrate just how responsive we can be. Please take 3 minutes to complete this extremely quick survey.

For small businesses, growth can be a perplexing balancing act – increasing demand for products in line with capacity: ensuring systems, finances and people are in a position to be able to cope can be a complex business. The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) recently published the ‘Guide to Manufacturing Growth Planning’ to support businesses faced with this challenge. UK garment manufacturers are the latest to report skills shortages. To address this, Mulberry has launched a training programme with Bridgewater College, training 300 new employees for its second UK factory, which opened in Bridgewater last year.

Construction work is set to begin on the Hinkley Point C innovation centre in Bridgwater, Somerset County Council has announced. Employers are increasingly focusing on the attitudes of young jobseekers when recruiting new talent in the sector, a recent study has revealed. School leavers are ‘enjoying better job prospects’ in construction according to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). There are signs that the industry is picking up and that means there are more opportunities in construction for school leavers. The Social Mobility Business Compact (SMBC) has been set up by the Deputy Prime Minister in order to increase social mobility, ensuring that all young people have fair and open access to employment opportunities.

The new training facilities in the National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol are approaching completion and will provide unique opportunities for the NCC to offer practical and academic courses across a wide range of composites engineering and manufacturing subjects. The Chemical Industries Association National Skills Conference, organised jointly with NSAPI and Cogent SSC, is a must-attend event for all those who have a responsibility for skills development in the sector.

Travel employers are being invited to help refine apprenticeship standards as part of the industry’s role as an apprenticeship trailblazer. Apprenticeships in the creative industries are also set to change. Enhancements to regional infrastructure are needed to expand on economic growth, according to local business leaders. Peter Hartland, Chief Executive of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, commented: “Businesses in the South West would particularly like to see a real sense of urgency on critically needed and timely infrastructure investments – such as key rail and road transport connectivity.”

Hospitality apprenticeships received a boost this month as the government announced its approval of the trailblazer senior chef – culinary arts and senior chef – production cooking standards.

In focus groups held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over the summer, apprentices suggested that one of the things they miss compared with their full-time student friends is the opportunity to connect with other apprentices, to ask questions and share experiences. DWP have set-up a group on Facebook, App Chat, where they can do just that.

…and finally, the latest issue of e-Skills online News Digest is now available, providing a round-up of the IT & Telecoms labour market news from HR and technology trade press for the past week.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Identifying how Personal and Social Development provision helps people find and sustain work
A new NIACE project running from August 2014 to March 2015 will identify how personal and social development (PSD) provision supports learners furthest from the labour market to find and sustain employment.

Labour urges technical universities for jobs boost
Labour is calling for technical universities to be created as part of a blueprint for reshaping the higher education system to support a hi-tech, high-income economy.

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

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

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

People with mental health conditions are being failed by employment support and benefit assessments, reports the IPPR
A new report by IPPR North argues that people with mental health problems, who make up 40 percent of those going through the work capability assessment (WCA) process, are being let down by the system.

Economic Review, August 2014
The preliminary estimate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) indicated that the UK economy grew by 0.8 per cent in Q2 2014. This is the sixth successive quarter of output growth, contributing to annual growth of 3.1 per cent – the highest rate since Q4 2007.

Higher education needs to refocus for 21st century economy
Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, responds to Shadow Universities Minister Liam Byrne’s comments on reshaping the higher education system.

The links between poverty and ethnicity – a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has explored the links between poverty and ethnicity, offering suggestions as to how poverty may be tackled across all ethnicities.

Report calls value of graduate recruitment campaigns into question
Employers are wasting money on untargeted graduate recruitment campaigns as research has revealed that a fifth of graduates apply for jobs that do not interest them just to secure their first job.

Disabled people in apprenticeships triples in 10 years
The number of disabled people in apprenticeships has more than tripled in the last 10 years.

South West Headlines

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

UK’s construction recovery ‘set to continue’
The UK’s construction industry is expected to continue its recovery from the recession over the coming two years, a new study has indicated.

Falling wages mask booming pay rises in UK construction industry, says Hays
Architects, tradesmen and other professional staff receiving inflation-busting increases because of competition for services.

Pay rises for manufacturing workers as economy recovers, EEF reports
Economic recovery is feeding through into the pay packets of manufacturing employees, according to the latest data from sector organisation EEF.

CBI survey – pace of growth on high street picks up
Retail sales grew strongly in the year to August with the pace of growth expected to accelerate again in the month ahead, according to the CBI’s latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey.

Plymouth has highest rate of unemployment in the region
Plymouth has the highest rate of unemployment in the region, according to new figures compiled for the House of Commons.

Skills shortage is ‘tip of iceberg’ apprenticeship boss warns
Mark Boulting, managing director of Plymouth-based Skills Group, believes that the vocational opportunities available to school leavers must be on a par with academic ones to help develop the skills that employers so desperately need.

200 vacancies but not enough young takers in Plymouth says business boss
Serious issues need to be addressed if we are to make inroads into skills shortages and youth unemployment in the UK, it has been claimed.

Bosses highlight uphill struggle faced by the South West to stay competitive
A wealth of young talent is being lost up the M5 and more needs to be done to retain graduates in the South West, business leaders have warned.

South West regional unemployment jumps in quarter
Unemployment in the South West rose sharply by 7.2 per cent from April to June, with 10,000 more people unable to find work.

Jobless rate falls as Westcountry continues to recovery
The Westcountry’s most westerly constituency has seen the biggest regional jobs recovery in the last year as figures emerge showing most parts of the region are enjoying a strong economic upturn.

TUC – The living wage is out of reach for most women working part-time in many parts of Britain
The majority of women working part-time earn less than the living wage in over 50 local authority areas across Britain, according to research published today (Thursday) by the TUC.

Logistics Industry facing a crisis. Shortage of qualified lorry drivers
Dr Ross Moloney discusses the driver shortage the UK faces with BBC Radio Northampton, why people ‘fall into’ logistics and calls for a national strategy to remove the barriers in place to attract young people into the industry.

Third of workforce ‘will struggle beyond 65 in current role’
Research has revealed that employers think that a third of their workforce would struggle to do their current job beyond the traditional retirement age of 65.

City Deal is helping South Devon firms
City Deal is focused on increasing productivity and growth and could see almost £300 million of investment into the region’s marine and advanced manufacturing sectors, creating over 9,000 jobs.

£750,000 Allocated to Help Local Businesses Grow
The Gateway for Growth programme has now awarded £750,000 to businesses in Wiltshire, to help them grow and reach their commercial potential.

Further Education and skills provider outcome data published
Government has published employment and other 19+ learner outcomes for Further Education and skills providers, for the first time.

Challenges must be addressed before extending FE loans
In its response to the government’s consultation on the future development of loans, NIACE argues that there are still major challenges which need to be addressed effectively, before extending FE loans to cover younger adults and Level 2 provision.

Support for further education sector to develop maths teachers of the future
Government launches scheme to help raise maths standards of young people and adults by investing in the teachers of the future.

Funding boost for on-the-job maths teacher training
Joy Mercer, Director of Policy at the Association of Colleges, responds to the announcement from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, about funding for in-service training for maths teachers.

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

Funding secured for Big Bang South West 2015 science & technology fair in Exeter
Following the success of the Big Bang Fair in June, Education Business Partnership-South West has secured funding to stage the prestigious science and technology event again in 2015.

Agricultural colleges booming as youngsters from town and country flock to farm jobs
Simon Copp looks at just what makes agriculture such an attractive career choice for today’s youngsters.

Cracking Ideas amongst UK’s young people
Innovative young people from England, Wales and Scotland have been awarded national prizes in the Cracking Ideas 2013-14 competition.

UK Research Publications

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

National curriculum assessments at key stage 2 in England – 2014
Provisional 2014 key stage 2 results for pupils in schools in England at national, regional and local authority level.

Statistics – Youth Contract official statistics – August 2014
Official statistics on Youth Contract work experience and sector-based work academies up to and including May 2014.

Education Funding Agency – High needs, allocated place numbers
List of allocated high needs place numbers for the 2012 to 2013, 2013 to 2014 and 2014 to 2015 academic years.

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.

Newton Fund – building science and innovation capacity in developing countries
Information on what the Newton Fund is and the fund’s partner countries.

A guide to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills
An outline of the work carried out by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

Participation in education and training by local authority
Figures from local authority databases showing the proportion of 16- and 17-year-olds in education and training at the end of March 2014.

Guidance – School experience programme – information for schools
Information for schools offering, or wishing to offer, the School Experience Programme (SEP) to potential applicants to Initial Teacher Training. Contents include information about the programme eligibility, as well as funding and good practice when participating in the programme.

Local Entreprise Partnerships – Latest

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

Regional Labour Market, August 2014

  • Download PDF
  • 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 .

Live tables on local government finance
The live tables provide the latest, most useful or most popular data, presented by type and other variables, including by geographical area or as a time series.

Careers guidance for colleges
Meeting the requirement to secure independent careers guidance.

Qualifications – review of employability and study skills qualifications at level 2 and above
Details the review of qualifications to understand how their content supports outcomes such as supporting an adult to enter a particular sector of employment, or progressing to the next level of vocational learning.

SFA – funding in-service maths teacher training in FE
Details of a scheme to support graduate in-service initial maths teacher training in further education, including how to access funding.

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

Statistics – Rural community broadband fund (RCBF) output indicator
The Rural Community Broadband Fund has allowed communities in hard-to-reach areas to secure funding for projects that will give them the potential to receive superfast broadband (with a minimum speed of 24Mbps), so that they are not disadvantaged. The Fund is now closed to new projects.

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

LEADER approach in the RDPE national delivery framework
The LEADER approach (liaison among actors in rural economic development) for Rural Development Programme (RDP) funds.

Research and analysis – Future cities – origins, meanings and uses
Paper, produced by the Future Cities Catapult, reviews the origins, definitions and uses of the phrase ‘future cities’, and related terms like ‘smart cities’ or ‘sustainable cities’. It examines how different communities have interpreted ‘future cities’, including: citizens, governments, corporations and academic institutions. Finally it considers how the way we speak about cities can affect how they are being designed and built.

Sector Skills Publications

National Measurement System – knowledge exchange programme
This programme works to increase the impact of the science outputs across the NMS portfolio.

Consultation outcome – Zero hours employment contracts
The consultation received over 36,000 responses. 83% were in favour of banning exclusivity clauses in zero hours contacts.

Open consultation – Zero hours employment contracts, exclusivity clause ban avoidance
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill will ban the use of exclusivity clauses in contracts that do not guarantee any hours. This consultation seeks views on the best way to prevent avoidance of the exclusivity clause ban, including actions that employees can take if they are offered such a contract.

Open consultation – Carter review of initial teacher training (England) – call for evidence
Seeking views from: ITT providers, schools, teachers, professional bodies and individuals interested in teaching about how information, training and choice can be provided more effectively in ITT courses.

Open consultation – Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications, revised directive
The directive has brought in a number of changes which aim to further facilitate the free movement of professionals within the EU.

Open consultation – Special educational needs and disability data descriptors
The individualised learner record (ILR) and school census currently contain inconsistent special educational needs and disability (SEND) data descriptors. DfE is seeking views on proposed amendments to SEND data fields based on the indicators outlined in table 1 of the consultation document.

User engagement and the business population estimates
Informing users of the Business Population estimates of developments to the statistics.

Women on boards 2013 – second annual review
Second annual review showing achievements made in increasing the number of women on FTSE 350 company boards.

Engineering Construction Industry Training Board annual report 2013
Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) report and accounts for the year ended 31 December 2013.

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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
2 September, 16:00-18:00, U-Net Learning Centre, Daniels Lane, St Austell, Cornwall PL25 3HG

02/09/2014 – This session will concentrate on jobs, pay and hours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

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

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

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

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

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 implicati

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

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

Webinar – Engaging with NIACE’s general election manifesto
2 September 2014, online – ref: WEB002A1/0914

02/09/2014 – 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.