Archives for category: Wages

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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

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

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

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

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

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

Regional Labour Market, November 2014

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wordcloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Further Education & Skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

Historical labour market statistics
Statistics showing annual changes to employment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Industry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Low Pay

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

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

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

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

UK Labour Market, November 2014

Key Points for July to September 2014

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

Regional Labour Market, November 2014

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wordcloud

This 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

  • 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.

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

 

 

Wordart

This week: OECD on access to education, UKCES on skills gaps and gender, Eric Pickles on devolution and the latest from LEPs and industry. Last week’s newsletter reported growth in construction v’s skills shortages, manufacturing wage growth, 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

Eric Pickles responded to a report by the IPPR think-tank, saying: “There may be some role for combined authorities on a strategic level to promote economic development and transport, but there is a real risk they will suck power upwards away from local councils and local taxpayers.” A new website Your Local Economy, allows people around the UK to get a snapshot view of what’s happening near them from jobs to big building projects.

Swindon and Wiltshire LEP are seeking an executive assistant to drive economic growth in the area, with Swindon having been ranked 7th in Grant Thornton’s High Growth Index of Places.  The Heart of the South West LEP has secured a £2.84m funding package from Government to improve transport links ahead of the construction of the Hinkley Point C power station. The funding is an addition to the recently agreed Growth Deal worth £270m. Heart of the South West LEP’s latest skills newsletter covers funding, projects and developments.  In Solent, Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt announced 900 young people will now be able to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing at a new dedicated campus at the Daedalus Enterprise Zone. The Solent LEP is also hosting a consultation session on the 6th October to discuss progress on delivering its £2.8bn Strategic Economic Plan.  Dorset LEP has produced a new newsletter covering topics such as: ESIF Events, Government Support for SMEs, Up-skilling your workforce, Silicon South Digital Start Ups, Local Growth Deal Update, Growth Support, Young Enterprise Route to Work and the Dorset Business Women Go Digital Campaign. The LEP has also launched a plan to improve the skills of people in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland.

Production output increased by 1.7 percent in the year to July 2014, 2.2 percent in manufacturing, (the largest component of production); and 3.4 per cent in electricity, gas, steam & air conditioning output. Contractor vacancy growth reached a 16-year high in August, with vacancies growing at their fastest rate since May 1998, ostensibly driven by regional demand. Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) have been encouraged by increases in headcount and turnover among established businesses, though attracting key talent is still a concern, although staff training is moving up the agenda for SMEs as the economy improves. The CBI has set out the choices political parties must make to ensure the benefits of growth are felt by all people during the next parliament, including a major push to get Britain building. The latest Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) Barometer showed that 67 per cent of respondents felt that increasing sales at home offered them the best chance to expand. Manufacturers across Devon and Cornwall have formed a new members body to strengthen their lobbying power.

New research by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) shows the skills gap between genders is continuing to widen, as women leave male counterparts behind. Women will take two-thirds of all new highly-skilled jobs created in the next six years because men are failing to keep pace, and could struggle to get highly skilled jobs because women are increasing skills and qualifications at higher rates, say researchers. In particular, the gap between skill-sets among construction workers should be addressed according to the report. The Government Equalities Office (GEO), is surveying employers across Great Britain to investigate gender workforce issues.

Health education managers in the South West have arranged a crisis summit to tackle acute problems in the GP workforce. A timely refresh of the Adult Social Care Workforce Recruitment and Retention Strategy has been launched by Skills for Care. On the 24th September, Skills for Health will be attending ‘Commissioning in Healthcare – Improving Outcomes for Patients’, at Olympia in London at a crucial time for Clinical Commissioning Groups, who are now responsible for £65 billion of NHS spend.

A new drive is seeing more young people enter the creative sector. Jobs are also expected to be created in Exeter by a fast-expanding international data science agency, Black Swan Data, which is opening a new regional office in the city. Founder and CEO Steve King, an Exeter graduate, termed the quayside “the true heart of innovation” adding “it’s our Silicon Quay”.  Further West, Cornwall’s fastest growing technology start-up company has won a cloud technology development contract creating 20 new technology jobs. The Tech Partnership is inviting organisations to tender for the delivery of the assessment services of the new Digital Industries Trailblazer apprenticeships.

Leaving the EU would put West farms at risk because they are ‘reliant’ on immigrants, according to a survey by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers. Some of the UK’s largest employers in the food and grocery industry attended a roundtable on 11 September to discuss what the sector is doing to help address the poor employability skills of young unemployed people.

You’ll be pleased to hear we’ve given up on the survey, opting instead for a free virtual foam party and chance to meet Russell Brand*

*warning elements of this promise may have been made up
I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

UK’s top apprentices to represent the UK at EuroSkills
The team that will represent the UK at EuroSkills Lille 2014 has now been announced.

UK government welcomes social impact investment report
The report recognises how social investment helps address society’s most difficult problems and calls for more action to grow the market.

OECD – Global growth continuing at a moderate pace
A moderate expansion is underway in most major advanced and emerging economies, but growth remains weak in the euro area, which runs the risk of prolonged stagnation if further steps are not taken to boost demand, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Assessment.

NIACE at the 2014 party conferences
NIACE’s bold proposals for a skills-led economic recovery outlined in its General Election manifesto – Skills for Prosperity –  will be taken forward at fringe events at the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat party conferences.

CIPD – Resist EU quotas for women on boards, says Lords committee
A House of Lords committee has urged the government to reject EU plans to introduce quotas for women on boards.

Money is the key to being a top university, says study
Money is key to being a top university, suggests analysis by Times Higher Education magazine, ahead of its 2014 world university rankings.

Too many science PhDs? Not if unis train them for careers outside academia
Only 3.5 percent of UK science PhDs stay in university research. It’s time universities recognised that, and trained them accordingly.

Marks and Spencer moves into online courses
Marks and Spencer is entering the online education market, launching a business course with Leeds University.

Why proposed funding changes will deter colleges from higher education
The government’s vision for a new loans system will reduce the financial support available to colleges and could put off potential students.

HEFCE response to written ministerial statement on changes to Disabled Students’ Allowance
HEFCE is committed to working with universities, colleges and others to ensure as far as possible that disabled students are properly supported to succeed in their studies and in future employment.

UKCES welcomes increase in those taking degrees, but calls for more work-based skills
UK Commission for Employment and Skills welcomes new OECD findings, but calls for more work to give graduates the work-based skills they need.

UK has more graduates but without skills and social mobility to match
Report by OECD notes UK’s ‘quantum leap’ in higher education access but highlights poor literacy and numeracy figures.

UK shifts to graduate economy, but worry over skills gap
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.

Universities minister Greg Clark rules out increasing tuition fees
Universities minister says he is ‘not persuaded’ by the argument for raising fees to take into account increased costs.

Significant increase in students entering postgraduate research with prior PG qualifications
New HEFCE analysis shows that the proportion of students entering postgraduate (PG) research degrees with a prior PG qualification has increased from 33 per cent to 59 per cent over the last 12 years.

UK degree-level spending lags behind competitor countries – and social mobility remains a persistent problem
The UK is lagging behind competitor countries including the United States, Japan and France in terms of spending per student at degree-level, according to a major international education report released today.

UCU at TUC Congress
It has been a busy 24 hours for UCU delegates at the 146th annual TUC Congress in Liverpool.

Speech – Higher education, strength in diversity
Speech given at the annual gathering of university leaders at the Universities UK ‘Strength in Diversity’ conference.

Helping students with Asperger’s prepare for university life
As the number of autistic students soars, universities are trying hard to help them with their social and life skills.

Cedefop – Credit transfer systems – what will it take for them to work together?
Cedefop asks: how can credit transfer systems can open doors between vocational and higher education?

Register of higher education providers launched
HEFCE has today published its first register of higher education providers.

CBI responds to announcement of new Commission
The CBI responded to the announcement of the new European Commission senior posts.

Bank of England governor says skills are key to higher pay
Investment in skills is needed to deliver long-term productivity and better wages, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, told the annual Trades Union Congress in Liverpool yesterday.

BIS Select Committee report backs NIACE manifesto
Today’s report from the BIS Select Committee represents an important milestone in this country addressing low levels of adult literacy and numeracy.

Speech – The importance of teaching
Nick Gibb speaks to ResearchED about why the promotion of evidence-based approaches and freeing teachers to teach go hand in hand.

SFA grant success in supporting equality and diversity developments
Equality and diversity inclusion fund results in greater awareness and raises the profile of new equality strands.

Applicant shortage continues to push up salaries, says REC
Job vacancies increased at their fastest rate for 16 years in August as employer demand for staff has grown rapidly, according to the Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.

Teen apprenticeship numbers could be hit by making employers pay, National Audit Office warns
Government plans to make employers pay for up to a third of the training for 16 to 18 apprenticeships could hit the age group’s already-falling uptake, the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned.

The Centre for Youth Impact launches
The Centre for Youth Impact (CYI) will help measure and increase the impact of youth sector organisations.

£60 million of public and private investment for new leading-edge graphene research facility
Funding announced today by the Chancellor will support the construction of a Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at the University of Manchester.

Unemployed To Be Given ‘Attitude To Work’ Interviews
People claiming benefits will be expected to undergo attitude tests to assess if they have a psychological resistance to work under new plans revealed by the employment minister.

Chief Medical Officer’s annual report – employment is good for mental health
Chief Medical Officer’s report: the rising number of working days lost to mental illness creates personal suffering and costs the economy.

Breaking down the barriers to exciting new careers
Organisations and government are working together to bring more women and diversity into science and engineering.

Long-term shift towards low-paid work threatens stability of UK economy, says report
The future strength and stability of the UK economy is “under threat” as there has been a long-term shift towards insecure, low-paying employment in many cities across the country, according to thinktank the Centre for Cities.

UKTI – UK brands can sell while they sleep with UK government help
UK companies now have access to a global network of experts who can help them take their brand to the world through UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme, announced on Monday by Lord Livingston, Minister of State for Trade and Investment at Autumn Fair, Birmingham.

South West Headlines

Funding

£13 million to boost national school leaders network
One hundred talented leaders to be recruited to transform schools facing toughest challenges.

£1.8 million training boost for language teaching
A new fund of £1.8 million will pay for a series of teacher-led training programmes to help support the teaching of foreign languages.

Major new funding boost for small British charities
New UK Aid Direct fund will make the most of smaller charities’ ability to work at a grassroots level.

Further Education

NIACE webinars to help implement FELTAG recommendations
Providers planning to implement FELTAG recommendations to increase their use of learning technology will benefit from a series of regular NIACE webinars.

AoC – Maths teaching should be aimed at employment
Joy Mercer, Senior Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges responds to National Numeracy’s Manifesto for a Numerate UK.

Maintain standards says AoC
Joy Mercer, AoC’s Director of Education Policy responds to Ofqual’s announcement for setting standards for new GCSEs in 2017.

Association of Colleges – Improved careers education is ‘a matter of urgency’
Joy Mercer, Director of Education Policy at the Association of Colleges, responds to a report by the National Careers Council Taking Action: Achieving a culture change in careers provision.

Government failing to act over long-term NEETs, warns Ofsted
Reforms designed to cut the number of jobless school leavers are failing to prevent more than one million teenagers “falling through the cracks”, according to Ofsted.

16–19 study programmes – UKCES responds to Ofsted thematic review
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) today welcomed the publication of Ofsted’s thematic review of study programmes for 16 – 19 year olds.

First-of-its-kind sickle cell educational resource for science teachers
The NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening Programme has developed a set of genetic inheritance education resources for GCSE students.

Association of Colleges – Making students work-ready requires flexibility
Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges responds to the CBI’s new report People and Prosperity.

Helping shape future of education
In lesser hands it may have been too heavy a responsibility to shoulder, but for talented teenager Sanya Rajpal being the lone voice for her peers on a project which could transform the life chances of Bristol youngsters was an honour.

 

Business Intelligence

Acas – How to get your workplace dress code right
This time last year, television presenter Jeremy Paxman caused a social media storm when he suddenly appeared on Newsnight sporting a full facial beard. Stories of employees having been fired or overlooked for promotion owing to visible tattoos or piercings are not uncommon.

Protect your employees from fearing the unknown
A little bit of information can go a long way to support change, says Susanne Jacobs.

Connect Business Day grows with local economy
A business-boosting event featuring inspiring speakers, entrepreneurs and expert exhibitors is expanding by 50 per cent for 2014.

FSB announces record confidence among small businesses
Latest survey results from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reveal record confidence levels among UK small businesses. The Small Business Index – the FSB’s measure of confidence – reached +41 points in the third quarter.

Business report shows Bristol leads in potential for economic growth
Bristol’s position as a potential economic powerhouse of the future has been underlined in a new report.

Industry Intelligence

 

Output in the Construction Industry, July 2014 and New Orders Q2 2014
This statistical bulletin provides users with the latest estimates of output in the construction industry for July 2014 and for New Orders for Q2 2014. Output is defined as the amount charged by construction companies to customers for value of work (produced during the reporting period) excluding VAT and payments to sub-contractors.

Index of Labour Costs per Hour, Q2 2014 (experimental)
Private sector labour costs per hour increased by 0.5% in Q2 2014, while public sector labour costs per hour increased by 3.5%.

The Building Futures Group – First Newsletter – Summer 2014
The first newsletter of The Building Futures Group.

The Building Futures Group – career path in the facilities management sector
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in collaboration with The Building Futures Group, is launching a new initiative to open up a career path in the facilities management (FM) sector.

Water and waste management companies create new Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards
Leading employers from the water and waste management industries, collaborating through the Energy & Efficiency Industrial Partnership (the Partnership), have developed two exciting new Trailblazer Apprenticeships, which will meet the future needs of both employers and Apprentices.

New Wood & Timber and Furniture Apprenticeships
The Proskills Group are pleased to announce that the following apprenticeships are now available for the first time for the Wood & Timber Industry.

Creative Skillset – Be a Hiive pioneer
Creative Skillset is delighted to announce the imminent arrival of Hiive.

BT move to new Bodmin Cornwall Council offices set to create 50 jobs
Fifty new BT telehealth jobs are set to be created in Bodmin after the company finally announced it will be moving its services to the town.

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

John Lewis Distribution endorses Standard of Excellence DCPC
Tanith Dolan, Technical Training Co-ordinator for John Lewis Distribution attended the very first Skills for Logistics DCPC Employer Consultation in June 2014. Following extensive consultation, the Skills for Logistics Standard of Excellence DCPC started roll-out out to the UK Logistics Sector in September 2014.

William Connors, forced labour boss, told to pay £1.7m
The head of a traveller family who forced homeless men and drug addicts to work as labourers for as little as £5 a day has been ordered to pay more than £1.7m – or face six more years in jail.

MoD deal to secure skilled jobs
More than 1,000 skilled jobs will be secured by a new Ministry of Defence contract for scores of new high-tech armoured vehicles, Prime Minister David Cameron says.

Army veterans, charities and beekeepers join fight against unemployment
Army veterans, charities and beekeepers are helping jobseekers as part of a government initiative to allow Jobcentre Plus to provide more tailored support for those struggling to get work.

600 unemployed young people to be given training boost
A skills employment programme aimed at boosting the job prospects of hundreds of unemployed young people across the West of England has just been launched.

Surprising statistics reveal ESA is easier to claim than predecessor IB, reports Disability News Service
Disabled people are more likely to be successful in a claim for the much-criticised employment and support allowance (ESA) than the benefit it is replacing, incapacity benefit (IB), John Ping from the Disability News Service (DNS) reports.

Trade Unions

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

TUC welcomes MPs’ praise for unionlearn’s outstanding results and financial value
The TUC has welcomed the comments and recommendations on unionlearn – its learning and skills body – published today (Monday) by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee in its report Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

Unions in ‘Oliver Twist’ warning over Tory voting plans
Plans to make strikes illegal unless at least half of union members take part in ballots will leave them “with about as much power as Oliver Twist”, the leader of the TUC has warned.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady’s address to Congress 2014
“Trade unionism, at its heart, is about friendship between working people.” – Frances O’Grady, TUC

Bank of England governor Carney to address unions on wages
Bank of England governor Mark Carney will set out his plans for “real wages” when he addresses the annual conference of the Trades Union Congress on Tuesday.

International Research Publications

The future of the European Social Model – New perspectives for industrial relations, social and employment policy in Europe?
The 2014 annual IREC conference represented a very promising milestone for the field of Industrial relations research in Europe.

Education at a glance 2014 – OECD indicators
This annual publication is the authoritative source for accurate and relevant information on the state of education around the world. Featuring more than 150 charts, 300 tables, and over 100 000 figures, it provides data on the structure, finances, and performance of education systems in the OECD’s 34 member countries, as well as a number of partner countries.

UK Research Publications

Powers to grow – city finance and governance
A series of recommendations to enable this system of cities to build sustainable, productive economic growth: Devolution of finance away from central government to city-regions; Decentralisation of decision making responsibility; and, Implementation of flexible approaches to suit city’s needs.

JRF – A UK without poverty
Sets out the case for tackling poverty and outline policy options available to governments: Tackling the underlying causes of poverty; the nature of jobs at the bottom end of the labour market, the cost of essential goods and services, whether people are able to reach their potential, and the choices that individuals make, as well as the way the state responds; and, a long-term strategy to sustainably reduce poverty, rooted in cross-party consensus.

Decentralisation decade – a plan for economic prosperity, public service transformation and democratic renewal in England
Argues that England’s 80-year-long experiment with centralisation has failed, and it is time to embark on a new journey: a programme of decentralisation that will liberate the nation, drive prosperity and growth, and provide a new platform for more innovative and effective public service reform and a society which is more equal.

Nesta – Making sense of the UK collaborative economy
Explores the UK’s emerging collaborative economy, considering some of the challenges and opportunities presented by the collaborative economy.

Place-based policies
Asks which features of enterprise zone policies make them more, or less, effective, who gains and loses from these policies, and how we can reconcile the existing findings.

The economic impact of the Work Programme
This is the first study to look at the economic benefits of the Work Programme and the added financial value it delivers to employers, employees and the taxpayers. It shows how £18bn of value will be delivered to the economy by the Work Programme: £7bn will be delivered to workers; £7bn to the government; and, £4bn to employers.

UK skill levels and international competitiveness, 2013
Presents UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) projections of skills levels in the UK and OECD member states to 2020. Also presents historical trend data from 2002-2012.

Sector Skills Research Publications

Talent action plan – removing the barriers to success (Strategy)
Proposals to ensure the best people progress in the Civil Service, ensuring it remains one of the best and most progressive UK employers.

Local Enterprise Partnerships Latest

Unequal opportunity – how jobs are changing in cities
Shows how jobs in cities have polarised, with employment in middle-income professions falling and jow this has taken its toll on people’s wages, job security and career progression. Highlights the differences between cities, demonstrating the need for an appropriate mix of supply and demand-side interventions, which are specific to the local labour market.

The future of local enterprise partnerships – the small business perspective
Calls on Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to place small businesses at the heart of their plans for local economic growth. This is the first report of its kind and it stresses small businesses can’t be ignored as the economic recovery continues.

Where growth happens – the high growth index of places
As the UK emerges from recession, increasing attention is being given to the stimulation of growth. Yet growth does not occur evenly across the country and different types of growth – economic, demographic or otherwise – present different opportunities and implications for policy makers and local leaders in fostering that growth.

Events

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

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

CITB Business Awareness Workshop
23 October 2014, Gloucester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International IP Protection
6 October 2014, British Library, London

09/10/2014 – In this one off series of events, senior representatives from WIPO will lead discussions on the international protection of IP rights. The half day events will provide an introduction to WIPO services and initiatives. To register email MAS Workshop – Using Design for Competitive Advantage
9 October 2014, Royal Wootton Bassett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15/10/2014 – This expert seminar will focus on how countries can establish a policy framework to enable effective local action using an evidence-based approach, choosing between different measures at a time of limited resources. The latest evidence from OECD countries

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

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

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

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

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

Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Bournemouth & Poole College Open Event
24 September 2014, 16:00-20:00, Bournemouth & Poole College Campuses

24/09/2014 – Find out about full-time courses, apprenticeships, A-levels, higher education and adult learning courses at Bournemouth and Poole college. Meet leading employers, speak to staff and enroll.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Developing Solutions for Clinical Commissioning Groups
24 September 2014, Olympia, London

24/09/2014 – Skills for Health will be attending Commissioning in Healthcare – Improving Outcomes for Patients. It is crucial time for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), who are now responsible for £65 billion of NHS spend, ensuring they contribute to help deliver better services and improved outcomes for patients.

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.

Graduation Ceremony for Advanced and Higher Apprentices
9 September 2014, Central Hall, Westminster

09/09/2014 – Skills CFA, in association with The Association of Colleges, the National Apprenticeship Service, The Association of Employment and Learning Providers and the Federation for Industry Skills and Standards will celebrate the success of advanced and higher apprenticeship achievements in business related skills. The event also aims to raise the profile of the apprenticeship route in comparison to academic pathways. More than this, the event will look to engage with unengaged employers and apprentices as well as celebrate with providers and employers engaged with exiting apprentices.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wordart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South West Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Research Publications

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

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Entreprise Partnerships – Latest

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

UK Labour Market, August 2014

Key Points for April to June 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Comparing the estimates for April to June 2014 with those for January to March 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes continue the general direction of movement over the past two years.
  • There were 30.60 million people in work, 167,000 more than for January to March 2014 and 820,000 more than a year earlier.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%. This was higher than for January to March 2014 and for a year earlier.
  • There were 2.08 million unemployed people, 132,000 fewer than for January to March 2014 and 437,000 fewer than a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate continued to fall, reaching 6.4% for April to June 2014, the lowest since late 2008. The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
  • There were 8.86 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 15,000 more than for January to March 2014 but 130,000 fewer than a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate was 21.9%. While this was unchanged compared with January to March 2014, the inactivity rate has shown a generally downward path since late 2011.
  • Pay including bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 0.2% lower than a year earlier. This was mainly due to an unusually high growth rate for April 2013 as some employers who usually paid bonuses in March paid them in April last year. Pay excluding bonuses for employees in Great Britain was 0.6% higher than a year earlier.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication.

Regional Labour Market, August 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

Maths and English Conference
19 September 2014, Swindon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15/10/2014 – This expert seminar will focus on how countries can establish a policy framework to enable effective local action using an evidence-based approach, choosing between different measures at a time of limited resources. The latest evidence from OECD countries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International IP Protection
6 October 2014, British Library, London

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

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

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

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

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

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

CITB Business Awareness Workshop
23 October 2014, Gloucester

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

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

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

Wordart

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prioritise adult skills to avoid future unemployment ‘twilight zone’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South West Headlines

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Research Publications

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

Migrants in low-skilled work – the growth of EU and non-EU labour in low-skilled jobs and its impact on the UK
Migration Advisory Committee report on the the growth of European Union (EU) and non-EU labour in low-skilled jobs and its impact on the UK.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wordcloud

Last week’s South West Skills Newsletter reported on the International Learning Times conference, Science, Technology, English and Maths (STEM) apprenticeships, education budgets, workforce dynamics and zero-hours contracts. This week, the headlines are around regional labour market statistics, calls for radical reforms to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the Council Assets Programme and student satisfaction success.

The latest labour market data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) earlier this month suggest employment rates remain higher in the East of England at 76.3 percent, South East (76.2 percent) and South West (76.0 percent) than the rest of the UK. The South West saw the largest decreases in the unemployment rate for the three months to March 2014 compared to the three months to December 2013 at 1.6 percentage points, followed by Scotland (0.7 percentage points). The underlying picture for the South West suggests that the unemployment rate is decreasing, although the rate of decrease is again likely to be far more gradual than suggested by comparing the latest estimates. This comes as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable proposed that the UK labour market may be too flexible, calling for ‘right to request’ fixed contracts for employees.

A radical reform to the role of LEPs, including giving councils sign-off of economic strategies, is needed to tackle the North-South divide, according to former Labour housing minister John Healey. In a report for the Smith Institute think-tank, Healey said the number of LEPs should be cut. There are currently 39 in England, but they should be reduced in number to ensure they match functional economic areas and can be given more resources to act as a ‘bedrock’ for local growth powers. As part of reforms to ‘sharpen’ the bodies, town halls should sign-off on the LEPs’ strategies as part of the bid process to access funding from the government’s £2bn single pot for economic development from next April, he added. Currently, local authorities have input to the growth plans as members of the LEP, but do not give final, formal approval. Local authorities can apply for a programme to help save money and create new homes and jobs through better use of their assets through the Council Asset Programme, which recently opened to new applicants.

A long-time colleague and friend of ours, Ron McQuaid, Professor of Work and Employment at University of Stirling, has resisted the allure of the Ochil Hills for long enough to publish a new book entitled The Impact of Welfare Reform in Scotland – Tracking Study, Interim Report to Scottish Government’, the baseline report of a qualitative, longitudinal study exploring the impact of on-going welfare changes on a range of households in Scotland over time.

…and finally, the University of Exeter has been ranked seventh in the UK in the prestigious Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2014, making Exeter’s students amongst happiest in UK.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

UK / Higher Education News

UK Labour Market may be Too Flexible, says Cable
Minister calls for employee ‘right to request’ fixed contract.

More than Four Million People now Regularly Work from Home
The number of people who say they usually work from home increased by 62,000 over the course of last year to reach more than four million for the first time.

Spark Imaginations with the Festival of Learning
In the lead up to Adult Learners’ Week (14 – 20 June) NIACE is inviting providers to get involved in this year’s Festival of Learning throughout May – June, to inspire people to have a go at learning and celebrate its many benefits.

Fieldwork begins for Employer Investment Fund and Growth and Innovation Fund Survey
Fieldwork is now underway for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ (UKCES) Employer Investment Fund and Growth and Innovation Fund survey.

What I’m really thinking: the careers adviser
‘My job is to listen to your hopes and dreams but also to add a dose of realism’

Updated traineeships framework offers ‘sensible changes and more flexibility’
“The updated document includes some sensible changes and more flexibility, particularly in allowing providers on financial notice to improve to run programmes so long as they meet the quality criteria.” – Teresa Frith, AoC

Why do girls not do physics A-level? IOP to investigate
A research project into why girls drop physics after GCSE has been announced by the Institute of Physics (IOP).

Labour Pledges Minimum Wage Link to Average Earnings
Ed Miliband calls Britain’s low pay living conditions a ‘scandal’.

Commission into the Future of Work launched
The Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion is proud to be part of a new Commission into the Future of Work, chaired by the National Union of Students (NUS), which is open until Friday 30 June.

80 percent of People who are Deaf cite Employers as a Major Barrier to Work
Three out of four people with hearing loss feel their employment opportunities are more limited than their hearing peers, with almost 80 per cent naming employers as the major barrier according to new research by Action on Hearing Loss, to mark Deaf Awareness Week.

TUC welcomes Buckle Review call for Higher Minimum Wages
“The minimum wage grew from a union campaign to a landmark achievement of the last Labour government. Now after years of real wage cuts, we need to see far greater ambition to achieve fair pay.” – Frances O’Grady, TUC

Governments must tame Corporate Power as Low Wages and Insecure Jobs threaten Global Recovery
Workers across the world are losing their faith in national governments who they believe are putting the interests of big corporations ahead of their own, according to a new global poll published today (Sunday) by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

IfL welcomes Publication of Professional Standards
The Institute for Learning (IfL) has welcomed the Education and Training Foundation’s publication of new professional standards for teachers and trainers in the further education and skills sector.

New School Direct Programme for Early Years Initial Teacher Training
NCTL is introducing School Direct for early years initial teacher training (ITT) from September 2014.

Talented School-Leavers offered Careers in Government
At the end of April job offers were made to 200 successful applicants to join the expanding Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme.

Neets fall by 118,000 from last year, ONS data shows
But numbers remain high, prompting renewed calls for better careers advice.

CBI – Strong outlook for manufacturing sector
Activity in the UK manufacturing sector remained solid in May, and output is expected to rise strongly in the next three months, the latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey shows.

International Festival for Business 2014 and UK Trade & Investment
The International Festival for Business (IFB) will be the UK’s most significant international trade and commerce showcase since 1951.

NEET in England at lowest level since 2005
New figures show 135,000 fewer young people not in education, employment or training since last year.

Apply for the Civil Service Human Resources Fast Stream programme
The application window for the Civil Service Human Resources Fast Stream programme is now open until 9 June 2014.

South West Labour Market News

Council Asset Programme Opens to New Applicants
Local authorities can apply for a programme to help save money and create new homes and jobs through better use of their assets.

Exeter Students amongst Happiest in UK According to Times Higher Survey
The University of Exeter has been ranked seventh in the UK in the prestigious Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2014.

Paignton’s South Devon College top of table as ‘best in country’
South Devon College has topped the national further education tables as the best college in the country.

British Gas subcontracting changes ‘cutting Plymouth jobs’
Dozens of builders insulating ex-council houses in Plymouth are to be told they are losing their jobs because of subcontracting changes by British Gas, a local company boss says.

European elections 2014 – What you need to know about the South West candidates
Forty-eight candidates under eight separate party banners will contest the South West’s European Parliament seats this Thursday.

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

UK Employment and Skills Research Papers

Evaluation of the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund
Research providing an independent evaluation of the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund.

The Impact of Tertiary Education on Development
Part of a series of rigorous literature reviews in education funded by DFID.

Apprenticeships – progression to higher education – 2014 update
An update of a 7 year review tracking advanced level apprentices into higher education. Looks at 6 groups of advanced level apprentices who had completed their courses. Describes the complex nature of apprenticeship progression to higher education, in both colleges and universities.

Higher and further education and skills – review of value added
Review of literature looking at the economic value of higher and further education and training. Aimed at those who calculate and interpret estimates of the economic value of education and training. Reviews some of the main assumptions underpinning the estimates used by the department and others, making recommendations for the most appropriate ways of addressing each of the issues in future analysis.

Improving the student learning experience
Sector-wide view of how higher education institutions across England are improving student learning opportunities. A survey of higher education institutions in England giving a sector-wide view of how institutions are improving student learning opportunities in an environment of higher education reform.

Improving engagement between employers and colleges
Highlights the mutual benefits of close working links between colleges and employers and aims to prompt further discussion. Created by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), the Gazelle Colleges Group and the 157 Group. Based on 12 months of research, including interviews, workshops and surveys with colleges and employers around the country. Explains the need for both colleges and employers to build on current relationships to better equip both sides to deal with rising skills shortages. Highlights the benefits of building strong links between colleges and employers, identifies the characteristics of successful collaborations, the challenges identified and how to overcome them.

Industry Skills Research Papers

Higher apprenticeships – employer participation in the accounting sector
An in-depth look at new apprenticeships in the accounting sector. Provides an assessment of employers’ participation in higher apprenticeships in accounting (Level 4).

Apprenticeships – employer participation in the health sector
An in-depth look at new apprenticeships in the health sector. Provides an in-depth assessment of apprenticeships in 3 broad frameworks delivered within the National Health Service (NHS): clinical support roles (for example, nursing support roles); business administration, and; engineering.

Employer involvement in qualifications assessment
Research identifying good practice in employer involvement in qualifications assessment. Sets out the findings from research to identify good practice in employer involvement in the provision and assessment of qualifications. It reports on data drawn from 46 interviews with awarding organisations, employers and training providers, which were captured in 20 case studies.

Construction sector – skills assessment
An outline of skills needs and priorities for the construction sector. Aims to provide labour market intelligence for the sector in order to inform the development of skills policy across the UK. Four Sector Skills Councils were involved in its preparation – Construction Skills, Summit Skills, Asset Skills and Semta.

Local Enterprise Partnership Priorities

Substantial Rise in Older Workers, says ONS
Number of people employed aged 65 and over rose by 25,000 this quarter.

Updated Solent European Structural and Investment Fund Strategy Published
The Solent LEP has received positive feedback on the Solent European Structural and Investment Fund Strategy published in February 2014 from Central Government.

Royal Agricultural University Graduate Employability Rates up to 97.5 percent
The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) is celebrating high employability figures across the board. Recent surveys of 2013 graduates have shown that 96.3% of undergraduates and 97.5% of postgraduates are in employment or further study within six months of leaving the RAU.

Local Companies Sought for Development of Business Management Qualification
The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is calling on SME businesses to help develop a local business management MBA type qualification.

Former Minister Urges Local Enterprise Partnership Shake-up
Labour Ministers commented: ‘The report provides three clear insights into how we can strengthen local economic leadership. Firstly, our local economies cannot withstand another major upheaval of the local growth infrastructure… Evolution and not revolution is the right way forward. Secondly, there needs to be a much bolder and simpler offer of devolution to city and county regions than what has been on the table so far. Third, not enough has been done to strengthen partnerships between local authorities and independent LEPs.’ Responding to the report, Graeme McDonald, the director of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives, said he agreed there was an urgent need to realign LEP boundaries.

International Skills Research Papers

Emerging Europe outlook Q1 2014
An overview of prospects for emerging Europe from the British Embassy Budapest. There continues to be steady improvement in growth across Europe but it remains a fragile recovery.

Forecasts for the UK economy: May 2014
A comparison of independent forecasts for the UK economy in May 2014.

The costs to the UK of language deficiencies as a barrier to UK engagement in exporting
A UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) commissioned review of the evidence which shows the impact of language skill deficiencies on UK trade performance. Shows that poor language skills in businesses are holding back the UK’s trade performance.

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

Skills and Growth Events

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

23/06/2014 – This conference aims to bring key stakeholders together, to discuss and promote synergies between agencies involved in the promotion of digital and social inclusion in Devon, with a focus on deprived urban areas and rural communities. Confirmed speakers include: Professor Jane Seale (University of Exeter), Nora Corkery (Devon Welfare Rights Unit) and Julie Hawker (Cosmic and LEP). Rob Garrett: rgarrett@tuc.org.uk or telephone 07899 966 358.

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

08/07/2014 – In 2014 it will be called the IntoWork Convention and will be for everyone involved in helping people find work, keep work and progress in work. The IntoWork Convention will be larger and more interactive showcasing ‘what works’ in employment, skills, health and for disadvantaged people.

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

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

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

25/06/2014 – With the theme “How to Best Shape Teacher Policies? Policy lessons from international comparisons and guidance for education and schools in the future”, this Seminar aims to provide an opportunity to exchange views on how to best shape teacher policy so as to have the strongest impact on the quality of the learning environment.

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

08/07/2014 – The conference, entitled; Sustainability, Employment, Education and the Role of Colleges, will showcase best practice from around the regions of England on colleges’ success in engaging learners in the importance of Sustainable Skills for Employability. It will also highlight the successful career paths provided by sustainability and environmental skills. The venue for the event is the Think Low Carbon Centre, Barnsley College. We have chosen the venue to demonstrate the technology and techniques needed to make a low carbon building as well as highlighting how colleges can lead the way on sustainability. With our partners, Social enterprise organisation, 4 All of Us, we will also be creating a sustainable legacy fund via the conference. This fund will be open to Colleges and groups demonstrating sustainability within further education.

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

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.

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

17/07/2014 – Open to all, the history school is a great chance to learn more about radical and trade union history. Running ahead and alongside the annual Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival it offers a chance to learn lessons from the past in beautiful, rural Dorset. There will be plenty of opportunitity for discussion. Visit the Tolpuddle Martyrs website for full programme information.

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

03/07/2014 – The “Living and Working in Wiltshire and Swindon” event will bring local businesses and the military together in Tidworth on 3rd July 2014.

IfL Fellowship Research Programme
17th Oct 2014, Oxford

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

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

17/06/2014 – A new careers fair will give job hunters unrivalled access to the county’s top employers. The Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen Careers Show 2014 will take place at The Thistle Cheltenham Hotel in June. The show, which is signing up a range of large and small employers across the county, is backed by the newspapers’ job section Jobs 24/7.

An event organised by Fair Play South West – the Women’s Equality Network
6 June, 2014, Innovation Centre, University of Exeter, 10:00 – 15:30

06/06/2014 – Fair Play South West is pleased to present the “Women’s Manifesto” which was launched at our 2013 AGM last June. It is based on what women and women’s organisations in the South West tell us are the key policy imperatives to ensure progress towards women’s equality – in the economy, in power, in safety and in health. There will be workshops and opportunities for input from delegates, both to support the content of the manifesto and for discussion on how to use it to achieve real change for women. Lunch provided.

(R)Ace Towards a Low Carbon Business Future
4 June 2014, Greenbridge incubator, Wetenschapspark 1, B-8400 Ostend

04/06/2014 – Six Belgian, French and English project partners have worked together for almost three years to help businesses, business clusters and business parks in their transition to a low carbon economy. On the 4th of June 2014, we will share with you concrete tips and ideas for saving energy within your company and reducing your carbon emissions. The conference is a free event, but registration is necessary. The seminar will be held in Dutch and English, with French and English translation.

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hefce – HE Fundraising Workforce Must Double or Triple by 2022 for Optimal Potential
Higher education fundraising workforce must at least double, if not triple, by 2022 to unlock fundraising potential. A new report and toolkit from hefce set out practical steps to enable this to happen…

Using Metrics to Assess and Manage Research
On behalf of the steering group for the independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment, HEFCE has launched a call for evidence to gather views and evidence relating to the use of metrics in research assessment and management.

TUC Launches its First Guide to Autism in the Workplace
The TUC has today (Thursday) launched its first ever guide to autism in the workplace.

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.

£30m package to help improve the prospects of up to 20,000 vulnerable young people
A £30 million Social Impact Bonds package has been announced, to support vulnerable young people in preventing them from falling into a situation where they are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

NIACE Argues for Key Tests of Access, Quality and Experience of Apprentices
In its response to the Government’s technical consultation on Apprenticeships funding, NIACE has argued that the key test should be the impact upon access to, the quality of and the experience of Apprenticeships.

Employer Perspectives Survey 2014 Underway
UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) launches field work for new Employer Perspectives Survey (EPS).

Schools Win Funds to Develop and Share New Ways of Assessing Pupils
Schools design new assessment packages to replace the complicated levels system.

Gove Announces Independent Review of Initial Teacher Training Courses
The investigation will recommend improvements and ways to strengthen ‘transparency’ of courses, according to the education secretary.

Number of Workers on Zero-Hours contracts Triples
Pressure mounts on Vince Cable as data says 1.4 million people now working with no guaranteed minimum hours or pay.

ONS Reveals First Business Estimates of Workers Employed on Zero Hour Contracts
A snapshot survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown that employers in Great Britain are using around 1.4 million employee contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of hours.

Insecure Zero-Hours Work is no Longer Confined to the Fringes of the Jobs Market
“Insecure work with no guarantee of regular paid hours is no longer confined to the fringes of the jobs market” – Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary

Government to Establish First New Further Education College in 20 Years
Government publish intention to enable Prospects College of Advanced Technology to become the first further education college for 20 years.

AoC – Cuts to Funding May Hamper Government Efforts to Widen Participation
The striking disparity between independent sector spending on sixth form education versus state funding for the same age group may be hampering the Government’s own efforts to widen participation at the most selective universities.

 

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Changing Patterns of Employment Call for ‘Closer College and Employer Links’
The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has launched a report to encourage stronger links between colleges and employers in a bid to tackle rising UK skills shortages.

Employers to Play Bigger Role in Rating Skills Training
Ofsted is asking employers to play a bigger role in rating the effectiveness of skills training and education.

Help to Work – Nationwide Drive to Help the Long-Term Unemployed into Work
Help to Work will give Jobcentre staff a new range of options to support the hardest to help get off benefits and into work.

New Contract Demanding More from Jobseekers in Place Across Britain
635,000 claimants have signed new agreements setting out what they will do to find work in return for their benefits.

Most Workers on Zero-Hours Contracts Earn Less than the Living Wage
The majority of workers on zero-hours contracts earn less than the living wage – and more than three-quarters of staff in London – the TUC says today (Wednesday) ahead of the publication of new official figures on the extent of zero-hours contracts.

Labour’s Proposed Zero Hours Curbs ‘Risk Unintended Consequences’
Legislating against abuse of flexible contracts not straightforward, warn experts. Restrictions on zero hours contracts, as proposed by Labour leader Ed Miliband, could be difficult to legislate for, employment experts have warned.

Launch of ELITE Growth Coaching Programme
Speech by Matthew Hancock on the ELITE coaching programme, access to finance, and the advice and mentoring available to entrepreneurs.

Research Finds Highly Qualified Young People Most Likely to Work for Free
Young jobseekers are more likely to accept unpaid work to get on the career ladder the higher the level of qualifications they’ve achieved, according to research from recruitment firm Adecco.

Consultation Launched on How Science Funding Should be Invested
Giving you the opportunity to say how the new funding on science and research should be spent.

Government’s First Foster-Friendly Employer
The Department for Education becomes government’s first foster-friendly employer.

Why SMEs Should Invest in Apprenticeships
Study estimates apprentices are worth around £214 per week to businesses through reduced costs and improved quality of product.

More and More Disabled People Following Their Career Dreams
The number of disabled people taking advantage of support to get or keep a job is up by over 10 per cent on last year.