Archives for category: Local Growth Deals

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

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

John Naisbitt

Headlines

Further Education

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growth & Trade

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

 

UK Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points for September to November 2014

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

 

 

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

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

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

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Word Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

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

Sector Skills – Headlines

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

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

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

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

Maritime and shipping statistics
Maritime and shipping statistics information.

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

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

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

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

Further Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growth & Trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

UK Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points for September to November 2014

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

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

Further Education & Skills

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

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

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

Industry

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

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

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

UK Labour Market, November 2014

Key Points for July to September 2014

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

Regional Labour Market, November 2014

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Incidentally, students from the University of Exeter’s Mining Engineering course are amongst the highest-earning graduates from any UK institution, a new league table has shown, with the average salary earned by ‘Materials Technology’ graduates entering employment six months after graduation at £41,000.

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Sector Skills:

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

Manufacturing Skills:

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

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

Construction Skills:

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

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

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

Public Sector Skills:

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

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

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

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

Creative & Technical Skills:

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

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

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

Health / Care Skills:

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

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

Growth & Trade:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

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

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

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

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

Regional Labour Market, October 2014

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

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

Preparing for the perfect storm – skills for a sustainable economy
Shows that investment in developing organisational capability and skills to address the sustainability challenge is significantly lagging behind other areas. – See more at: http://www.iema.net/skills-sustainable-economy-preparing-perfect-storm#sthash.djstVWPh.dpuf

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SKOPE seminar
3 November 2014, 10:45 – 18:00, St. Anne’s College, Oxford

03/11/2014 – This event is part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s annual Festival of Social Science. Entry is free, with lunch and refreshments provided. For reservations please contact skope@education.ox.ac.uk

 

20141017_growth_deals_science_parks_and_STEM_skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vocational Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Economy & the Labour Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South West Headlines

Nuclear Skills – Hinkley Point:

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

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

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

ICT Skills:

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

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

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

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

Construction:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transport & Logistics:

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

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

Hospitality & Tourism:

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

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

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

Military Skills

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

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

Skills for Justice:

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

Growth & Trade:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skills & Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

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

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

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

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

Regional Labour Market, October 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CITB Business Awareness Workshop
23 October 2014, Gloucester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visitor application forms will be available from May.

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

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

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

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This session will focus on migration and population.

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

This session will focus on housing.

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

This session will focus on transport.

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

This session will focus on the green economy.

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

This session will focus on skills for the future.

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

This session will focus on public services.

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

This session will focus on tacking inequality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

International IP Protection
6 October 2014, British Library, London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local Growth Deals

Government has agreed a series of Growth Deals, announcing £6 billion of funding for local governments designed to boost local economies – “a first step towards the greater localism of skills policy” in England that has been advocated by NIACE in its recent manifesto Skills for Prosperity: Building Sustainable Recovery for All. Lord Heseltine hailed the investment in new homes, transport and training as giant step in the rebalancing of our economy. David Cameron declared an “historic day” for the West Country as he pledged £600 million of this for the region. Regional spending on regeneration alone could reach almost £500 million, according to the Western Morning News. A preliminary summary of Local Growth Deals in the South West reveals that over 54,000 jobs to be are expected to be created in the region.

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has secured a total investment package worth £270 million. The LEP has agreed a deal which includes £130.3 million to support economic growth in Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay. The deal will unlock further investment of £140m from the private sector and local partners, create up to 14,000 jobs and generate up to £150m in public and private investment in innovation centres and science parks in Exeter, Plymouth and Bridgwater. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said this was valuable support to deliver changes that can benefit everyone, “this could be anything from helping young people find work, getting businesses the support they need to thrive, giving commuters better access to road and rail networks or simply giving everyone the chance to get on-line faster”, he said.

£86 million was awarded to the West of England LEP specifically to boost economic growth, create jobs and deliver a total of £400 million of investment. The funding will help create up to 5,000 jobs, and generate up to £180m in public and private investment including the Robotics Institute of Technology and a raft of new or modernised and extended colleges that will provide a much-needed boost to skills and training. These colleges are intended to ensure local people have access to the skills they need for future jobs in nuclear, advanced engineering, creative, high tech and other key growing industries in the area.

£62.5 million will be invested in Gloucestershire to create up to 5,000 jobs and generate up to £80m in private investment, including a ‘growth hub’ providing skills support to businesses in key sectors. This deal is part of a wider Strategic Economic Plan that is intended to generate 34,000 jobs. Prime Minister David Cameron wrote that a new training centre will provide teaching for science, technology, engineering and maths. “There will be hundreds more apprenticeships and hundreds more young people getting that all-important qualification”, he said. £2 million of funding is intended to ensure delivery of world-class STEM facilities in locations across Gloucestershire, £1.15 million will improve access to the Berkeley site for the GREEN project, the LEP is to be directly involved in agenda setting for Skills Funding Agency activity and local employer priorities are to be reflected in National Careers Service activity through the LEP. The new Growth Hub is a partnership between the University of Gloucestershire and GFirst LEP to try to help businesses achieve their potential, delivering services in locations across the county. Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts said: “I have seen first-hand how their work is having a tangible impact on the local economy.” The deal will also kick-start the Gloucestershire centre of excellence in Renewable Energy, Engineering & Nuclear skills project at the decommissioned Berkeley power station site. This project is a partnership between GFirst LEP and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

The Dorset LEP has agreed a deal worth £66.3 million to create up to 25,000 jobs, and generate up to £530m in public and private investment, including a new research centre of excellence in orthopaedics. The Swindon and Wiltshire LEP will receive £129 million, which is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs and generate up to £70m in public and private investment, including a new science park at Porton Down. The Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP secured £198 million towards their economic development priorities, to help create up to 4,000 jobs and generate up to £150m in public and private investment. The Solent LEP has also welcomed £124.8 million towards delivering their Strategic Economic Plan.

£2 billion will support college projects, Martin Doel, Chief Executive at the Association of Colleges, said: “Colleges will need to move quickly to get projects underway in 2015-16. Many of the plans involve colleges investing their own funds to match those from Government and it will be really important to confirm the longer term funding arrangements and sort out some of the technical issues about the flow of funds.”