Archives for category: Self-Employment

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 the headlines focus youth unemployment, NEETs, iRemploy for disabled workers, self-employment and older workers. Last week’s newsletter reported on the National Student Satisfaction Survey, traineeships, skills shortages and some of the things being done locally to address them, such as the Skills Support for the Workforce initiative and women in Higher Education and Leadership.

Youth unemployment has seen the largest annual fall since records began 30 years ago – alongside the steepest annual fall in unemployment in a quarter of a century, figures published recently by the Office for National Statistics show. Indeed, the number of young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) is at 9-year low. Lord Young, now David Cameron’s Enterprise Adviser, is convinced the link between education and business has been eroded in the rush to go to university“We need to get young children believing in themselves”, he was quoted as saying recently. Which seems like a good time to introduce an insightful blog on the multiple scarring effects resulting from youth unemployment by Ronald McQuaid at the University of Stirling. Also a new report has been published by the Institute for Public Policy Research exploring lessons the UK can learn from European economies with better youth employment records. Specifically, the research 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.

Young people with disabilities recently campaigned outside the houses of parliament for the right to learn, stating that post-16 education for those with physical or learning disabilities shouldn’t be a postcode lottery. Beyond education, there is hope in the form of iRemploy, which was launched by Remploy in April this year and has already helped more than 1,900 people who were facing significant barriers to getting a job or were at risk of falling out of employment because of their disability or health condition. “One of the main features of iRemploy is that it gives candidates control over their job searching and allows them to receive advice from a trained iAdvisor” said Maxine Moss-Black, Remploy’s head of Digital Services.

The number of workers categorised as self-employed has risen to its highest in 40 years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Of people who were self-employed in 2009, 23 per cent were no longer so by 2014, the lowest outflow rate from self-employment for any period over the last 20 years. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady commented on the analysis, pointing out that the growth in self-employment, rather than the result of an explosion of young entrepreneurs, is in fact largely among those over the age of 50. “It’s great that older people are using self-employment to stay working and earning as they approach and even pass their state pension age, even if many are doing this because they can’t afford to retire. But it’s worrying that much of the recent increase is due, as the ONS says, to the limited opportunities for people to move out of self-employment,” she said.

New figures reveal Watford, North Dorset and the Shetland Islands are leading the way against outdated stereotypes of older workers. These days, just 10 per cent of people over 65 still work full time. But in 1891 more than half, 57 per cent, did and many grafted well into their 80s and even 90s – particularly farm labourers, miners, servants and cleaners.

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I hope you find this information useful.

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Kevin

National Headlines

TUC – Wages recovery reaching too few people
“It is good to see some signs of better pay awards for some in the private sector, but public sector workers continue to suffer from cuts to their living standards – and millions are still excluded from economic recovery.” – Frances O’Grady, TUC

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.

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.

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.

Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), August 2014
There were 955,000 young people (aged from 16 to 24) in the UK who were Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), a decrease of 20,000 from January to March 2014 and down 138,000 from a year earlier.

Government launches ‘Get In, Go Far’ apprenticeship initiative
Business secretary Vince Cable toured the country yesterday to launch the new government campaign, ‘Get In, Go Far’, to promote apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships – reasons to be cheerful
A major new apprenticeships campaign launches today and there’s plenty of proof as to why apprentices are a great route into the workplace.

Outlook remains healthy for UK manufacturers
Expectations for manufacturing output growth in the next three months are strong, despite an easing of pace over the past quarter, the latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey shows.

New Demos report on ESOL backs NIACE Manifesto
A new Demos report on improving ESOL provision has backed NIACE’s General Election 2015 Manifesto proposal for the introduction of Personal Skills Accounts, which alongside a major, independent review of funding in the adult skills system could help address capacity issues in the ESOL sector.

A4e ends £17m prisoner education contract citing budget constraints
The welfare-to-work provider A4e has prematurely pulled out of a £17m contract to deliver education and training to prisoners in 12 London prisons on the grounds that it was unable to run the contract at a profit.

Financial success linked to more women directors, research reveals
Just 40 per cent of business leaders believe the current quality of their organisation’s leadership is ‘high’, according to research from global talent management consultancy DDI.

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

Government plans to help employers identify high-value skills
Employers will have a clearer picture of the value of adult education in upskilling workers, under new proposals from the government.

Second Estimate of GDP, Q2 2014
GDP increased by 0.8% in Q2 2014, the second consecutive quarter-on-quarter increase of 0.8%. This figure is unrevised from the preliminary estimate of GDP published on 25 July 2014.

South West Headlines

Number of young people who are NEET at 9-year low
The number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) in England fell by 125,000 compared to the same period last year.

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.

UKCES welcomes the latest wave of employer-led apprenticeships
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) recently welcomed the ‘Get In Go Far’ campaign launched by Vince Cable.

What India can teach the UK about further education
Whether it’s the use of simulators in lessons or fingerprinting to track attendance, there’s much UK colleges can learn from their Indian counterparts.

Solent Enterprise Zone businesses now eligible for up to £1m funding each
Businesses on or moving to the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus have received a boost this week with news that they can now apply for up to £1m of funding each.

Swindon and Wiltshire LEP Clarifies Strategy for European Structural and Investment Fund
The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has clarified its strategy for the European Structural and Investment Fund, and is welcoming local businesses to continue to engage with the plans.

High-quality vocational education is key to improving skills, now and in future
Joy Mercer, Director of Policy at the Association of Colleges responds to an announcement from Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt about Institutes of Technical Education.

Sharp drop in unemployment in Devon and Cornwall over past year
The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Devon and Cornwall has fallen by one-third in the last year, official figure show.

Manufacturers call for Government to set up permanent infrastructure authority
Britain’s manufacturers are calling on the Government to create a permanent infrastructure authority to address the nation’s long-term strategic infrastructure requirements, bring coherence to debates on infrastructure challenges and encourage vitally needed investment to support growth and competitiveness.

Jobs figures reveal 800,000 under 24 year olds out of work
Calls have been made at a regional and national level to bolster youth employment after yesterday’s labour force figures showed there are still almost 800,000 under-24s out of work.

Unemployment falls but are women being left behind in economic recovery in Bristol?
More than 6,000 people have come off unemployment benefit across the Bristol area in the last year but fewer than a third of them were women.

Lack of skills are ‘harming business’
More than half of all businesses in the West have failed to hire the staff they need because they cannot find people with the right skills, it was revealed last night.

International Research Publications

Mapping youth transitions in Europe
Analyses the labour market situation of young people in Europe, focusing in particular on their school-to-work transition, while also monitoring their more general transition to adulthood. Investigates the ability of young people to remain in employment against the odds during the crisis and charts their transitions from temporary to permanent contracts. Concludes with a discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of selected policy measures.

The Europe report – a win-win situation
Considers how London’s economy would be affected by four different scenarios based on the UK’s relationship with Europe in 20 years time. London alone is currently the ninth biggest economy in western Europe and its £350bn economy represents 22.5 per cent of the entire UK economy.

Education and training is not up to the job, say quarter of Europeans in survey
A new Eurobarometer survey on the ‘European Area of Skills and Qualifications’ (Special Eurobarometer 417) shows that around a quarter (23%) of EU citizens feel that their education or training has not provided them with the skills to find a job in line with their qualifications. While over half of the respondents (56%) think their qualifications would be recognised in other Member States, 6% tried to work or study in another Member State but were unable to do so, either because their qualifications were not recognised by their prospective employer or education institution, or because the respondents lacked information about recognition of their qualifications abroad.

European Vacancy and Recruitment Report 2014 shows lower skilled workers face increasing difficulties to find a job
Low qualified workers encounter increasing difficulties to find a job, face lower job stability and are out-competed by medium-skilled workers even in elementary occupations. In contrast, job opportunities are growing in some high-skilled professions. These are the main findings of the European Vacancy and Recruitment Report 2014.

New European Skills Passport will facilitate recruitment in hospitality sector
The European Commission has just launched the “European Hospitality Skills Passport”, a tool developed to facilitate contact between jobseekers and employers in the hospitality and tourism sector in Europe. The “Skills Passport” allows workers and employers to overcome language barriers and to compare hospitality workers’ skills in order to facilitate recruitment. Hosted on the European Job Mobility Portal – EURES, the skills passport is available in all EU official languages. The passport will be extended to other sectors in the future.

New European adult learning platform goes into production
EPALE, the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe, a new initiative funded by the European Commission is the latest development in the EU’s long-term commitment to promoting high quality adult learning in Europe. The platform will deliver a range of distinctive features, making it the main site for adult learning in Europe. The site will offer interactive networks, enabling users to link with others all around Europe, engage in discussions and exchange good practice. Future users can already get involved: they can help shape the content of the platform by taking the survey found on the EPALE site.

Eurydice report ‘Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe – Access, Retention and Employability’
Information gaps is holding back higher education. Not enough countries are using the information they collect on higher education to improve their universities and the opportunities they offer for students, according to a Eurydice report entitled Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe: Access, Retention and Employability published in May 2014.

UK Research Publications

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.

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.

Stepping up – bridging local disability employment gaps
Calls for a bridging of the disability employment gap in local areas. Recommends that Local Authorities and LEPs should carry out comprehensive local disability needs analyses to identify local barriers to work faced by people with disabilities, health problems and impairments; place robust policies for bridging local disability employment gaps at the heart of economic strategies; integrate and align local and national provision, including joint working between agencies; ensure access to community-based stepping stone employment opportunities; and encourage public, private and voluntary sector organisations to develop new approaches to bridge the disability employment gap.

Higher ambitions summit – rapporteur report
A report of a conference on apprenticeships and vocational education as alternatives to higher education.

Engineering and technology – skills and demand in industry – annual survey 2014
Outlines current and planned levels of engineering and IT recruitment, the difficulties that employers are experiencing in recruiting the people they need and the skills gaps they find with the people that they employ. The results have been compared to previous years to show recent trends.

Community learning learner survey – additional analysis of participants following family learning courses
Based on additional analysis of the community learning learner survey, looking at who does a family learning course and the nature of the courses. Illustrates what learners say the impact the courses has had on their lives, on aspects such as: personal confidence; language, maths and practical skills; and, parenting, employment and further learning.

Stepping stones – the role of the voluntary sector in future welfare to work schemes
Argues that the Work Programme is failing many people with complex or multiple needs and is underutilising the skills and expertise of the charity sector.

The changing labour market 2 – women, low pay and gender equality in the emerging recovery
Analysis of national employment data and a survey of 1,003 low paid women. Looks at under-employment, self-employment, zero hours contracts and other low paid areas of work, which are increasingly taken up by women.

The changing graduate labour market – analysis using a new indication of graduate jobs
Details the development of a statistically-derived indicator for identifying graduate jobs, conceptually based on the skill requirements of jobs by their unit group occupational code. Uses representative survey data on skills utilisation and clustering methods for the classification. To demonstrate the indicator’s utility, the development of the British graduate labour market between two averaged periods, 1997/2001 and 2006/2012 is then analysed. The indicator performs better than existing indicators in validation tests.

Labour market outlook – summer 2014
Provides a quarterly update on key HR, economic and labour market statistics. The aim of the survey is to produce an industry-valued benchmark of key HR statistics that can be used by members, employers and government. The survey is based on responses from 1,026 employers. Argues that wage growth is expected to remain weak even though output is growing strongly and the jobs market is buoyant.

Financial inclusion annual monitoring report 2014
Measures changing levels of financial inclusion in Britain from 2013–17. Presents data on a range of indicators.

Large-scale immigration – its economic and demographic consequences for the UK
A thorough examination of the conflicting academic literature on the economic costs and benefits of immigration, providing new material for politicians and voters to consider as the general election approaches.

Industrial revolutions – capturing the growth potential
Looks at the potential of clusters for growth across the country. Reviews barriers to growth and sets out actions to overcome these barriers. Argues that, if key recommendations around skills, infrastructure and investment in innovation are not acted on, there is risk of an impact on the UK economy and the country’s global competitiveness.

Local Entreprise Partnerships – Latest

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.

The skills crunch – upskilling the workforce of the future
Reveals that 73 per cent of British businesses believe a skills crisis will hit the UK within the next three years, stating that “Employers are increasingly looking to the next generation to help fill the skills shortages they are facing. However, the research also shows that young people – particularly those who are currently unemployed – still face stigma and negative stereotyping from business leaders.” Also provides employer case studies which highlight the work programmes offered to young people.

Digital skills for tomorrow’s world – interim report
Concludes that “the importance of extending basic digital skills to all of the UK population is enormous” offering substantial benefits to the most marginalised social groups (the elderly, the disabled and the isolated). Failure to address this issue could lead to digital by default Government services excluding large sections of society. Accordingly the report calls upon Government to make “the necessary investment to extend basic digital skills to all of the UK population by 2020” sharing the costs of this transition with the private and third sectors.

Accelerating local economic growth – clusters and deals
Reflect on recent publications and announcements, and to consider what has been learned – and what is in danger of being forgotten – about the potentials and limitations of cluster growth in the wake of City and Growth Deals.

Does regional economic growth depend on proximity to urban centres?
Looks at the spatial patterns of regional economic growth in Europe over the 1995 to 2010 period. Found that regions containing large urban agglomerations grew significantly faster than those that did not. Proximity to large urban agglomerations was positively correlated to economic growth. Halving travel time to a large urban agglomeration was associated with a 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points increase in annual per capita growth. Showed that measures of population density were positively correlated to growth. By far the best predictor of growth between 1995 and 2010 was the maximum population density of a region.

Sector Skills Publications

The invisible workforce – employment practices in the cleaning sector – findings report
Examines employment practices in the cleaning sector in England, Scotland and Wales. Explores how employers comply with their equality obligations in the work place and respect human rights, focussing on standardised, non-domestic cleaning in the office, health, retail, transport and leisure sectors as the four largest users of cleaning services.

Events

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

17/09/2014 – For all those interested in seeing leadership opportunities for women enhanced. Women into Leadership 2014 will examine how female leaders, at whatever grade, can enhance their relevant skills to become the leader they aspire to be. This year’s conference will draw on feedback from Women into Leadership 2013, as well as discussions that take place at this years’ planning meeting. The conference will offer hands-on advice and coaching on how to further develop your career in difficult times. You will hear from inspirational women of all grades and levels, within and outside the Civil Service. You’ll discuss together how you can manage the challenges of modern leadership and help ensure the Civil Service doesn’t lose momentum in recognising and rewarding female leaders.

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

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

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

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

How to design powerful learning campaigns for your workplace
28 August 2014, Campaign for Learning, 24 Greencoat Place, Westminster, London, SW1P 1RD

28/08/2014 – Learning campaigns and events are a great way of raising the profile of learning and development in the workplace – but they can be so much more than that. Used strategically, they can help towards addressing a range of business problems and issues, and contribute to behaviour change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

09/09/2014 – The government’s response to the FELTAG recommendations published on the 16 June confirmed the government’s commitment to the use of technology for learning. However, there are unanswered questions to how the FE and skills sector can meet the FELTAG challenge. Join us for the first in a series of free NIACE hosted webinars to discuss issues and practical solutions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Webinar – Engaging with NIACE’s general election manifesto
2 September 2014, online – ref: WEB002A1/0914

02/09/2014 – Webinar participants will hear from NIACE’s CEO, David Hughes, about the manifesto’s bold new proposals following recent reports confirming the urgent need for a skills-led economic recovery; including the 2013 OECD Survey of Adult Skills, the 2014 UKCES Employer Skills Survey and NIACE’s 2014 Participation Survey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

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

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

22/10/2014 – The SW Employment and Skills Partnership and partners are very excited to formally invite you to The Skills Show Experience Exeter 2014! The Employment and Skills Partnership are organising an event in Exeter in partnership with Devon County Council on 22nd October. We are currently working on a steering group in conjunction with Devon County Council, Careers South West and others regarding this World Skills UK Exeter event, and would be delighted if you could please complete the booking form and register your interest via the following link http://tsse-findafuture-devon.eventbrite.co.uk.

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

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

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

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

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