Archives for category: Hospitality & Tourism

Word Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

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

Sector Skills – Headlines

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

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

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

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

Maritime and shipping statistics
Maritime and shipping statistics information.

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

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

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

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

Further Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growth & Trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

UK Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points for September to November 2014

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

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Word Cloud
This week: older workers, soft skills, the digital economy, ‘Fit for Nuclear’ fund and Universities’ contributions to European Structural and Investment Funds. Last week’s Higher Education blog looked at the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

The government is rolling out an ‘older workers’ champion scheme across every part of the UK – implementing fundamental reforms to fight ageism in the workplace. The older workers’ scheme aims to tackle age discrimination from April 2015. Indeed, recent reports suggest the attitudes of employers and individuals are shifting in favour of later life working. The DWP has published a report which explores attitudes amongst older people who are in work, self-employed and unemployed.

NIACE Chief Executive, David Hughes, responded: “Our Mid-life Career Review Pilot proved that this straightforward and cost-effective process can play an important role in helping older people stay in and get back into work. With almost twice as many vacancies for every new person entering the labour market over the next ten years, older people will need to fill that gap. And longer working lives mean more paid in tax and less in benefits.  It is critical, therefore that we recognise the talents of older people and the contribution that they can make to our workplaces and communities.”

A new publication from Cedefop draws attention to the mutual benefits to workers and organisations that arise when guidance is integrated in age management strategies. The Cedefop release, ‘Increasing the value of age’ also offers insights on how to develop guidance activities at the workplace.

New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found half (49%) of rural small businesses are dissatisfied with the quality of their broadband provision. The data showed nearly double the level of dissatisfaction compared to urban small businesses (28% dissatisfied). Vince Cable recently called for digital transformation across Europe. Businesses and consumers across Europe are being let down by the “patchwork” approach to the digital economy, he said. This follows consultation of employers and educators of IT users, who were invited to feedback on the development of new National Occupational Standards (NOS) for IT Users. Two recent reports around the digital economy may be of interest, ‘Creative industries economic estimates – January 2015‘, a regular release from Gov.UK, and ‘Digital life in 2015′, looking at technology’s impact on workers’. Also, the latest blog post from UKTI comments on the Consumer Electronics Show – the world’s largest trade show in Las Vegas showcasing the world’s most innovative technologies.

The government is joining forces with leading UK automotive manufacturers to boost skills across the sector with £30 million of investment.  This comes as Skills for Logistics, the sector skills council for the freight logistics industry in the UK, announces close of business, considering placing the company into administration to facilitate the closure.

South West firms are to benefit from the £1.5 million ‘Fit For Nuclear’ fund.  The support package has been unveiled to help South West manufacturers enter or expand their presence in the growing nuclear sector.  The Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) has cautioned that small and medium sized manufacturers must focus more emphasis on quality and health and safety if they are going to make the most of the £60bn+ nuclear new build and decommissioning opportunity.

Universities UK has published a joint survey initiative with HEFCE and the Department for Communities and Local Government, which shows good progress on EU funding for local growth, providing an initial assessment of how universities are preparing for the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) programme 2014 – 2020.

I hope you find this information useful.

Ciao!

Kevin

“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine”

Christopher Clarke

News Headlines

Trade & Growth
UK Labour Market, January 2015
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.

Regional Labour Market, January 2015
The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (8.5%) and lowest in the South West (4.4%).

Forecasts for the UK economy – January 2015
A comparison of independent forecasts for the UK economy in January 2015.

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

UKCES welcomes Cities Outlook 2015
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) today welcomed the publication of the Centre for Cities’ Cities Outlook 2015.

Seeking employers views – skills challenges faced by the digital and creative sectors
Please spare a few minutes to share your views on the skills challenges faced by the digital and creative sectors.

Skills for Health – Launching the Skills Platform – the Magic of Digital Marketing
As we enter the digital age, it’s becoming more and more prevalent to concentrate on ‘start-up strategy’.

People 1st Response to UKCES Report
Despite the career opportunities on offer, we need to work harder to showcase career opportunities in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Research highlights need for more police management skills
Police officers seeking promotion should have access to more leadership and management training, according to new research.

Business mentors sought in Torbay
Mentors are being sought to teach young people about business in Torbay.

Hinkley Point C pylon project could be delayed by three years
Plans to erect more than 140 pylons connecting Hinkley Point to Avonmouth could be delayed by up to three years.

New initiative to unlock £100m of finance for regional businesses
Nick Clegg announces that up to £50 million will be available for regionally-focused business lenders through the British Business Bank.

Small business growth – new support on offer
Small businesses awarded Innovate UK funding will now be connected to business support to help them to grow faster.

‘On-Demand Economy’ Reshaping Companies and Careers
Handy is creating a big business out of small jobs. The company finds its customers self-employed home-helps available in the right place and at the right time.

8,000 companies benefit from Regional Growth Fund
The Regional Growth Fund established by the Deputy Prime Minister has now supported 8,000 companies through 400 projects and programmes.

Rural productivity driven by hi-tech boost and better roads
More rural opportunities could increase rural employment in England by 6%.

Rural productivity and Gross Value Added (GVA)
Productivity levels in rural and urban areas in England.

Innovation in agriculture – funding opportunities for business
Businesses invited to apply for funding from the £70 million Agri-Tech Catalyst to support innovative solutions to agricultural challenges.

LEPs
Greg Clark visits GFirst LEP at The Growth Hub
Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities, Greg Clark visited GFirst LEP and the University of Gloucestershire today, to hear more about the exciting projects that will help to create up to 5000 jobs and generate up to £40 million in public and private investment for Gloucestershire.

Solent Growth Deal Consultation January 2015
The Solent LEP is seeking views on the ability of the following capital projects to contribute to the Solent Growth Strategy as set out in the Strategic Economic Plan.

Swindon and Wiltshire Secure £129 million Growth Deal
Swindon and Wiltshire secured £129 million of investment yesterday as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg signed an historic Growth Deal in Wichelstowe.

Solent LEP – Funding advice for Island businesses
The Isle of Wight Council hosted a business support event organised by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) on Friday (16 January).

Employment
UKCES supports call for more employers to work with schools
UKCES welcomes MyKindaCrowd research into inspiring young people about the world of work.

CIPD – Dearth of skills biggest concern for UK leaders, PWC research reveals
Concerns over skills shortages are the “biggest headache” for UK bosses who are otherwise confident about their organisations’ growth prospects, according to a global survey of leaders.

Nick Clegg responds to labour market statistics – January 2015
The Deputy Prime Minister has made a statement on employment figures released today that show an increase in the number of people in work.

Unemployment falls below 6 percent as vacancies hit record high
A new milestone has been reached with the unemployment rate falling below 6% for the first time in 6 years.

CIPD – Employment is up but ONS data suggests economic growth is slowing
The number of unemployed people fell by 58,000 to 1.91 million in the three months to November 2014 from the previous quarter, according to the latest data from Office for National Statistics (ONS).

A landmark one million jobseekers on more rigorous work search regime
Over a million jobseekers have signed up to a Claimant Commitment meaning they need to do more to find work or face losing their benefits.

A fifth of women believe it’s ‘impossible’ to attain a top job
A large proportion (45 per cent) of working women still believe that women don’t hold enough of the senior posts in their company, according to research from telecoms firm O2.

UK economy shows shift to low-skilled jobs, research finds
Britain’s economy has shifted more towards low-skilled jobs and less towards high-skilled ones compared with other European countries, according to Oxford university research.

CIPD – What to look out for in 2015
With preparations for Christmas festivities in full swing, and the new year nearly here, it’s time to look at some of the legal changes in store for employers in 2015.

City Link in Administration – Information for employees
Administrators for the delivery firm City Link have confirmed they anticipate a substantial number of redundancies in the coming days.

Jobcentre staff targeting blitz at unusual locations – taking work support direct to jobseekers
How Jobcentre staff are taking work support direct to jobseekers in unusual locations.

Quality of UK management has failed to improve in more than a decade, says CIPD report
According to a new report from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, the overall quality of management in the UK is one of the key reasons behind the UK’s long-standing productivity weakness.

Further Education
Nick Gibb – reforming education through international evidence
Schools Minister speaks at Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Education Policy Outlook Conference.

International inspectors meet to discuss improving the FE sector
The event is an opportunity for inspectors from across Europe to learn from each other.

AoC – Department for Education cannot carry on ‘hoping for the best’
The Association of Colleges (AoC) responds to the Public Accounts Committee Report (2014-15) “16 to 18-year old participation in education and training”.

FE data library – qualifications in the population based on the labour force survey
Reports to inform understanding of qualifications in the population.

Apprenticeships add £3.2bn into South West’s economy
Apprenticeships will have been worth more than £3.2 billion to the South West’s economy in 2014, new figures have revealed.

Students set for job market, Ofsted says
Staff and students at New College have been praised by Ofsted for preparing their students for the job market.

New headteacher standards and review of ITT published
The Education Secretary welcomes new professional standards for school leaders and the Carter review of initial teacher training (ITT).

Qualifications included in performance tables
The latest position on level 1 and level 2 (sometimes known as IGCSEs) academic qualifications in performance tables.

NIACE backs ‘soft skills’ campaign
NIACE, alongside a host of other organisations – including McDonald’s, the CBI, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Association of Colleges and the National Youth Agency – are today launching a campaign to promote the importance of soft skills.

Soft skills are a building block of the economy
The Association of Colleges (AoC) is backing a new initiative from McDonald’s and James Caan calling for the re-evaluation of soft skills.

New Year Honours list 2015 – education and children’s services
The list of people working in education and children’s services who have received an honour.

Just one percent of parents want their daughters to be engineers
Attempts to change attitudes regarding gender and careers are falling on deaf ears…

Higher Education

Major HEFCE study of monographs and open access sheds light on complex issues
The Monographs and Open Access Project considers the place of monographs in the arts, humanities and social science disciplines, and how they fit into the developing world of open access to research.

UCU response to Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training
The most effective teacher training partnerships include universities as well as a range of schools, a government review has concluded recently (Monday).

£150million boost to economy from Gloucestershire’s university
The University of Gloucestershire contributed an estimated £150 million to the county’s economy in 2014 according to an independent report.

New service to support open access in the post-2014 REF
HEFCE has agreed to fund the development of a new shared service to support compliance with the policy for open access in the next Research Excellence Framework (REF). At its core, this new service will enable authors and universities to check whether a given publication is compliant with the open access policy (Note 1).

Submissions to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) published
The 1,911 submissions made by 154 UK universities to the 2014 REF have been published on the REF website. The submissions included 52,061 academic staff, 191,150 research outputs (such as journal articles, authored books and book chapters); and 6,975 case studies of the impact of research.

Universities worry about fallout from research ranking
As universities congratulate themselves on their ratings in the Research Excellence Framework, there are fears that subjects such as modern languages may end up losing out.

UCU – Part-time student enrolments drop by 7 percent
Part-time student enrolments for UK higher education fell by 7% between 2012/13 and 2013/14, following a fall of 22% in the previous year when the part-time tuition fee cap was raised to £6,750.

Trade Unions
TUC – Full wages recovery set to take another parliament at least
Trade Unions’ Congress Head of Economics Nicola Smith comments on the latest labour market statistics published today (Wednesday) by the Office for National Statistics.

TUC – Under-employment won’t return to pre-crisis levels until 2023
The number of people who are under-employed will not return to pre-recession levels for more than eight years at the current rate of reduction, according to new analysis published by the TUC today (Monday).

International Research

International evidence review of basic skills – learning from high-performing and improving countries
Research focused on countries that were high-performing in at least one of the three dimensions assessed by the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills, or rapidly improving in literacy. The study comprised of three strands: (1) a rapid review and assessment of international evidence; (2) analysis of data from the International Survey of Adult Skills conducted as part of [Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies] PIAAC; and (3) four in-depth country case studies which included interviews with basic skills experts and English and non-English language literature reviews.

Boosting technical and vocational education – international evidence
The final report of the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce said young people of all abilities should have the opportunity to follow industry relevant vocational pathways alongside academic studies, based on new school-college partnerships. This paper provides brief insights into policy and practice in Switzerland, British Columbia and New Zealand.

Active labour market programme participation for unemployment insurance recipients – a systematic review
Study on the effectiveness of Active Labour Market Programmes (ALMPs) participation on employment status for unemployment insurance recipients. The primary outcome was measured as exit rate to work in a small time period and as the probability of employment at a given time. The two measures were analysed separately. We also investigated if participation effects differ with the type of ALMP programme and if participation in ALMP was associated with the quality of the job obtained as measured by employment duration and income.

Employment and Social Developments – Annual Review highlights key factors behind resilience to crisis
Countries providing high quality jobs and effective social protection and investing in human capital have proved to be more resilient to the economic crisis. This is one of the main findings of the 2014 Employment and Social Developments in Europe Review, which has looked back to the legacy of the recession.

UK Research Publications

Digital life in 2015 – technology’s impact on workers
Pew Research surveyed online a representative sample of adult internet users and asked those who have jobs a series of questions about the role of digital technology in their work lives. This is not a sample representative of all workers. It covers online adults who also have full- or part-time jobs in any capacity.1 The most recent survey data from Pew Research in late 2013 shows that 94% of jobholders are internet users and they work in all kinds of enterprises from technology companies to non-technology firms; from big corporations to small proprietor operations; and from those in urban areas, farms, and places in between.

Local authority schemes supporting people towards work – an independent report for the Local Government Association
Presents evidence of how local authorities are supporting people towards work through employment and skills programmes. Uses evidence from programmes in nine local authorities selected to represent a range of provision in terms of target groups and interventions.

Labour market predictions for 2015
The CIPD’s chief economist, Mark Beatson, provides an end-of-year commentary on what might be expected to happen in the UK labour market in 2015, based on economic forecasts already in the public domain.

Attitudes of the over 50s to fuller working lives
Explores attitudes to later life working and retirement among those aged over 50.

Earning by degrees – differences in the career outcomes of UK graduates
Examines how graduate career outcomes differ depending on the subject they studied and the university they attended.

Out of sight – how we lost track of thousands of NEETs, and how we can transform their prospects
We have lost track of over 150,000 young people nationally, including over 50,000 NEETs – this paper argues that society is captivated by the profoundly misleading idea that they are troubled, excluded and even dangerous.

South West Regional Ofsted Report 2013/14
This report covers schools and further education and skills inspections carried out in the South West during 2013/14. Consists of an overarching commentary, supported by separate reports on schools and the further education and skills sector and a separate report for each of Ofsted’s eight regions.

Work Programme – building best practice report – recommendations to the Department for Work and Pensions
A report by the Work Programme: Building Best Practice Group that looks at how the Work Programme can be improved.

Good jobs – a Demos and PWC essay collection
Collected essays combining a wide range of contributors sharing views on what might be meant by ‘good jobs’, productive and rewarding in all senses, and how more of them can be created through changes in approach to job design, learning and development and reward.

Our plan for growth – science and innovation – evidence paper
A summary of the evidence that was compiled to support the development of the science and innovation strategy. Sets out the role of the knowledge system in the UK and how it is resourced.

The Autumn Statement 2014
Seeks to explore this debate of infrastructure development versus cuts in more detail and highlight what was in the Autumn Statement for those in local government and those working in local economic development.

Sector Skills Research

Creative industries economic estimates – January 2015
Official Statistics measuring the contribution made by the Creative Industries to the UK Economy, including Employment, GVA and Exports of Services.

Inequality and financialisation – a dangerous mix
Emerging body of research into the links between inequality and the growth in scale and influence of the financial sector. Argues that rising economic inequality was a major cause of the financial crisis. To reduce the risk of future crises, we must both roll back financialisation and implement policies to reduce inequality.

Engineering UK 2015 – the state of engineering
Now in its 17th year, our Engineering UK report has provided the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) community, government, businesses and third sector organisations with a compelling evidence base across the STEM continuum. Concludes, firstly, that Britain has skilled, world-class engineers, who are a vital and valued contribution to the UK economy, and can help mitigate the grand global challenges of climate change, ageing populations, supply of food, clean water and energy. Secondly, that the UK at all levels of education does not have either the current capacity or the rate of growth needed to meet the forecast demand for skilled engineers by 2022.

Reconomics – the economic impact of outdoor recreation
Aims to highlight the economic impact of outdoor recreation to Great Britain.

Local Enterprise Partnerships – Latest

Encouraging enterprise in education
Examines the policy issues around boosting the provision of enterprise education in the UK and Europe. It looks at how some UK education providers are embracing the challenge of integrating entrepreneurial learning in education and training.

Policy brief – how increased connectivity is boosting economic prospects of rural areas
Sets out how government policy is supporting trends in the rural economy to enhance economic prospects.

Key issues in employer engagement in education – why it makes a difference and how to deliver at scale
Identifies the tangible benefits of links between employers and young people in education; looks at some of the reasons such links have not (yet) become deep rooted; and suggests ways of increasing the variety, frequency and quality of future links.

Growth for everyone – CBI / Accenture employment trends survey 2014
Covers 323 businesses employing a combined total of more than 1.25 million people. The survey found that 50% of firms expect their workforce to grow in number over the next year. Jobs growth is expected in every region of the UK, with Scotland leading the way. Also, job prospects for young people have improved on last year with many firms planning to recruit graduates and apprentices in 2015.

Labour Market Intelligence

UK Labour Market, December 2014

Key Points for September to November 2014

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

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

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

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.

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.

Wordcloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Further Education & Skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

Historical labour market statistics
Statistics showing annual changes to employment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Low Pay

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

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

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

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

UK Labour Market, November 2014

Key Points for July to September 2014

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

Regional Labour Market, November 2014

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

WordCloud

This week: 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.