Archives for posts with tag: NIACE

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

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

John Naisbitt

Headlines

Further Education

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

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

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

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

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

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growth & Trade

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

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

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

 

UK Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points for September to November 2014

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

 

 

Regional Labour Market, January 2015

Key Points

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

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

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

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

Headlines

Higher Education

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

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

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

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

Further Education & Skills

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

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

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

Industry

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

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

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

Employment

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

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

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

Trade Unions

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

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

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

UK Research Publications

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Enterprise Partnership – Intelligence

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

Click image to enlarge, or download the full spreadsheet.

UK Labour Market, November 2014

Key Points for July to September 2014

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

Regional Labour Market, November 2014

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

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

European Programmes – Latest

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

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

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

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

Sector Skills Publications

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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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In last week’s newsletter I reported on regional labour market intelligence, calls for Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) reforms, the Council Assets Programme and student satisfaction success. This week the headlines are around vocational qualifications, NIACE’s Manifesto, measuring university-business cooperation, the provision of – and quality assurance in – Higher Education and Local Enterprise Partnership funding.

Vocational qualifications were celebrated nationwide, as part of VQ Day. The Institute of Public Policy Research marked the day with a new report, ‘Vocational Qualifications – a route to future success’, which investigates the changing landscape of the workforce, concluding that, by 2022, nine out of ten of the most in-demand occupations of the future will be attained by completing vocational qualifications. Vocational training will be the key to securing hundreds of thousands of jobs for young people in Devon and Cornwall and the South West, the study into the future of the UK labour market has revealed. The Institute for Learning marked VQ Day with a new accolade, the first VQ Newly Qualified Further Education Teacher of the Year award. In related news, Bath Spa University recently teamed up with Norton Radstock College to help rural businesses identify the skills they need from potential employees.

Matthew Hancock spoke this week at the annual Association of Education Learning Providers (AELP) conference about the importance of apprenticeship reforms, launching NIACE’s new online employer toolkit, which is designed to help more disabled people gain access to Apprenticeships.  NIACE have also recently published a Manifesto, detailing the crucial role that lifelong learning can play in a prosperous society and a vibrant economy, which will feature in discussions by leading political figures at NIACE’s Annual Adult Learners’ Week Policy Conference on Thursday 19 June in Westminster. NIACE has also responded to the Queen’s Speech, which, they said, “lacked enough new proposals for investment in skills training”. A report published this week by the Office for National Statistics, shows that 13.9% of those in work are home workers, the highest rate of home working since comparable records began in 1998.

Measuring the impact of university-business cooperation is a new study from the EU’s DG Education and Culture, which highlights numerous benefits of university-business cooperation in the field of education, directly, indirectly, quantitatively and qualitatively. The benefits of collaboration can be broadly described as falling into four categories, namely: Strengthening levels of human capital, with labour supply and employment implications; Stimulating entrepreneurship through teaching and learning; Knowledge exchange, aimed at promoting or stimulating product/process innovation or new pedagogy; and Raising the profile of an organisation. Last week, Dr Anthony Mann, Director of Policy and Research at the Education and Employers Taskforce, published a collection, co-edited with Julian Stanley (University of Warwick) and Prof Louise Archer (King’s College London), entitled Understanding Employer Engagement in Education: theories and evidence.

HEFCE recently responded to a University Alliance report entitled ‘How do we ensure quality in an expanding higher education system?‘  Professor Madeleine Atkins, HEFCE’s Chief Executive, said: “The report is particularly timely, and touches closely on a number of matters high on the HEFCE agenda” adding “The Government has asked us to develop mechanisms to assure the quality of the student experience when student number controls are removed. We have also started work to examine how students might be better protected in the event of untoward disruption to their studies”.

The four UK HE funding bodies and Research Councils UK (RCUK) have written to the heads of all UK HE institutions inviting input into the science and innovation strategy, as non-Russell Group universities rise in theGuardian University League Table 2015, knocking former favourites out of top slots. The University of Exeter has enjoyed significant success in the latest league table, strengthening its position as one of the best universities in the country. One of Exeter’s latest ventures is looking to train the business leaders of tomorrow with a new £5.5 million purpose built business school, the first of its kind in Cornwall. Dr Garry Tregidga recently reflected on the impact of the European Union, suggesting that a ‘Cornish solution’ will ensure economic regeneration.

Turning to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), a new group, tasked with driving the growth of the Solent’s marine and maritime sector, is to be backed with £75,000 of Solent LEP funding. The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP is inviting businesses to its stand at the Royal Cornwall Show to find out how it wants to invest £1 billion by 2020 in the local economy. Eleven firms have received grant funding worth £348,000 from the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP to spur their growth and boost employment. Businesses in the South West of England will benefit from a new funding boost for skills training, with £400,000 secured to help local firms ensure that their staff are equipped with the necessary training and encourage a greater take-up of apprenticeships in the area.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

 

National Headlines

Celebrating VQ Day
Vocational qualifications are being celebrated nationwide, as part of VQ Day.

VQ Day – vocational qualifications a route to future success
To mark VQ Day 2014, a new report from the Institute of Public Policy Research has investigated the changing landscape of the workforce.

IfL marks VQ Day with new teacher award
The first ever VQ Newly Qualified Further Education Teacher of the Year award, sponsored by the Institute for Learning (IfL), was presented to Katy Graham at the VQ Day awards ceremony hosted by the Edge Foundation in London on 3 June 2014.

Queen’s Speech underlines need for skills-led economic recovery
NIACE has responded to today’s Queen’s Speech, which lacked enough new proposals for investment in skills training.

Government is failing to tackle the growing casualisation of work
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady commented on proposals in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.

Record Proportion of People in Employment are Homeworkers
There were 4.2 million home workers in January-March 2014, or 13.9% of those in work, according to a report published today by the Office for National Statistics. This was the highest rate of home working since comparable records began in 1998.

Nine out of ten jobs in the future will require vocational qualifications
A new report published by The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) has found that by 2022 – nine out of ten of the most in-demand occupations of the future will be attained by completing vocational qualifications.

IPPR – Practical education ‘needs more focus’
Too much attention has been paid to increasing the number of young people gaining a degree, a report claims.

Workshop on Business Opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe
Opportunities for UK automotive and aerospace exporters will be outlined at our workshop in Budapest in July 2014.

UK ‘Second Best Education in Europe’
The UK is in second place among European countries and sixth overall in a global education league table.

BIS Publishes Strengthened Intervention Process to Drive Up Standards in Further Education
Details of the process to tackle underperformance in further education have been published today (30 May 2014).

Leading Employers Prove Disabled Apprentices Boost Business
To help more disabled people gain access to Apprenticeships and to help employers gain access to skilled and dedicated workers, a new online toolkit has been launched today by NIACE.

Trade union membership increases in private sector
The number of private sector employees joining trade unions has increased for the third year in a row, according to latest figures.

How to get a job when you graduate
Recruiters share the ten key skills students really need when they graduate.

Google lifts the lid on workforce demographics
Google has released full details of its workforce demographics for the first time, with the tech giant admitting it is “not where we want to be” on diversity issues.

Rising union membership in private sector is good for workers wanting a decent pay rise
“Unions deliver better pay, longer holidays, more training, safer workplaces, family-friendly jobs and decent pensions. That is because workers are stronger when they join together.” – Frances O’Grady, TUC

RNIB publish evidence-based review on people of working age
RNIB have published an evidence-based review which looks in detail at the experiences of blind and partially sighted people of working age.

Army training scheme for long-term unemployed may be extended
Scheme piloted in Telford and Stoke can raise awareness of army reserve and make people more employable, says officer.

Majority of Gen Y ‘won’t stay with one employer more than five years’
Employers will have to try harder to retain Generation Y talent as a global survey revealed 90 per cent of this age group plan to stay no longer than five years with one organisation.

New course for FE staff working with young people with autism
A two day course for staff in further education working directly with young people with autism, is being piloted in London by Ambitious about Autism and NIACE, on 30 June – 1 July.

Parental careers advice to children often ‘out of date’
Parents play a key role in their children’s career decisions, but their views are often out of date and badly informed, suggests a report.

Colleges keen to support scheme to get young people into work – and keep them there
Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, responds to a Government announcement that unemployed 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to access help and support from Jobcentre Plus.

Help for 16 and 17 year olds to catch up, keep up and find work
Jobcentre Plus, in partnership with local authorities, to help 16 and 17 year olds to catch up, keep up and find work.

PM marks £1 billion investment boost for UK SMEs
Balfour Beatty has announced a record spend of £1 billion this year on contracts with SMEs across the country.

CBI survey – optimism high in service sector after year of growth
The service sector is continuing to feel the benefits of the economic upswing with growing optimism, business volumes rising briskly and firms taking on more staff. That’s according to the CBI’s latest quarterly Service Sector Survey.

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.

Leading figures respond to new NIACE Manifesto
A Manifesto, detailing the crucial role that lifelong learning can play in a prosperous society and a vibrant economy, will be discussed by leading political figures at NIACE’s Annual Adult Learners’ Week Policy Conference on Thursday 19 June in Westminster.

Despite their advantages apprenticeships are underused
To reduce high unemployment among their young people, countries are looking to others for help. In countries, such as Germany, the Netherlands and Austria youth unemployment has remained relatively low. This is attributed in part to their apprenticeships or ‘dual’ systems and so interest in them has increased.

Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), May 2014
The percentage of all young people in the UK who were NEET was 13.5%, down 0.8 percentage points from October to December 2013 and down 1.6 percentage points from a year earlier.

Government to take £40 from everyone who loses their job
From this Autumn anyone who loses their job will receive £40 less as a result of government plans to make people wait for longer for any job support, according to a consultation published today (Friday) by the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) – an official body that advises the Department of Work and Pensions on benefits issues.

KPMG staff go over the top for National Literacy Trust
One hundred and seventy KPMG staff have spent this week taking part in the Big Blue Abseil this week raising over £45,000 for their selected charities Action for Literacy and Shelter.

80,000 UK students to visit China to boost trade links
Vince Cable urges business leaders to support a drive to double the number of UK exchange students who travel to China.

Children call for more hands-on careers guidance in new AoC research
School children want drastic changes made to the way in which they receive careers advice, according to new research conducted by the Association of Colleges (AoC) in partnership with The Skills Show.

Mentoring scheme from 30% Club set to boost number of senior women
A mentoring scheme designed to boost the number of women on boards will launch in September after a series of successful pilot programmes run by the 30% Club.

Universities to contribute to new Science and Innovation Strategy for the UK
The four UK higher education funding bodies and Research Councils UK (RCUK) have written to the heads of all UK higher education institutions inviting input into the science and innovation strategy.

HEFCE response to University Alliance report ‘How do we ensure quality in an expanding higher education system?’
“The University Alliance report is a helpful addition to the debate around quality and regulation in a rapidly changing HE landscape. The report is particularly timely, and touches closely on a number of matters high on the HEFCE agenda.” – Professor Madeleine Atkins, HEFCE Chief Executive

 

South West Headlines

Cornwall College Group set for Multi-Million Pound Investment
The Cornwall College Group is set to put forth a multi-million pound vision for the future of education and skills in the county.

Universities’ Key Role in Real Economy
There are some that still consider universities to be ivory towers that are largely out of touch with the world of business and industry. Yet, the reality is that higher education institutions are an active participant and contributor in driving forward local, regional and national economies around the World.

GFirst LEP and the University of Gloucestershire Growth Hub Business Venture Creates 18 New Jobs
The Growth Hub, a partnership between GFirst LEP and the University of Gloucestershire, has launched a recruitment drive for 18 professionals to join the team.

Number of NEETs falls in All Nine Regions
The government has announced that the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) is falling in all nine regions of the UK.

gFirst – Employability Hits Five-year High
The number of students finding work after graduating from the University of Gloucestershire has hit a five-year high, according to new figures from a national survey.

University of Exeter Business School opens its doors in Cornwall
The University of Exeter is reinforcing its commitment to boosting Cornwall’s economic prosperity by launching its Business School on the Penryn Campus.

Bristol enterprise zone funding boosted by £6 million
Bristol awarded funding as part of a £23 million national urban redevelopment and new business fund.

£23 million to build up enterprise zones will bring home more local jobs
Investment will bring more jobs to Bristol, Manchester, New Anglia and Leicestershire.

Cheltenham GE Aviation Systems ‘jobs uncertainty over’
It is hoped up to 200 jobs will stay in Gloucestershire after a £42m takeover of GE Aviation Systems was agreed.

18 new jobs created by The Growth Hub
The Growth Hub, the unique partnership between GFirst LEP and the University of Gloucestershire, has launched a recruitment drive for 18 professionals to join the team.

South West Stressed at Work
More than half of employees (51 per cent) in the South West say they know a colleague who has had to quit work due to stress.

£348k Growth Grants Awarded to Local Businesses
Thanks to funding secured by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, even more local businesses will benefit from grants to help them grow.

The growth of Bristol’s creative and digital sector
Bristol is often hailed as a creative and digital hub. Gavin Thompson reports on how well placed the sector is to deliver jobs and prosperity for the city.

UK Employment and Skills Research Papers

Measuring the impact of university-business cooperation
A study from the European Union’s DG Education and Culture. Highlights numerous benefits of university-business cooperation in the field of education, directly, indirectly, quantitatively and qualitatively. Described the benefits of collaboration under four categories: Strengthening levels of human capital; Stimulating entrepreneurship through teaching and learning; Knowledge exchange; and Raising the profile of an organisation.

The British low-wage sector and the employment prospects of the unemployed
Using data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), the labor market dynamics of men are analyzed up to six years after entering unemployment. An alternative econometric approach is presented that allows for correlated random effects between the three labor market states (high-paid employed, low-paid employed and unemployed). The results show that low wages help to significantly reduce the risk of future unemployment. Indications of a “springboard effect” of low wages are found, especially for men without post-secondary education. However, the calculated probability of obtaining a high-paying job is noticeably influenced by the monetary level of the low-wage threshold.

Closing the gap – unlocking opportunity through higher education
Asks how we overcome the disadvantages that make people from lower socio-economic groups less likely to progress on the career ladder than those from more advantaged backgrounds? Examines the economic and social imperatives for widening participation, tackling some of the myths that exist around social mobility and higher education and looking at where universities are really adding value and supporting students into successful careers.

Progression of apprentices to higher education – cohort update
An update of a 7 year review tracking advanced level apprentices into higher education. Part of a longitudinal study, which is an observational research method where data is gathered for the same subject repeatedly over a period of time. Looks at 6 groups of advanced level apprentices who had completed their courses, describing the complex nature of apprenticeship progression to higher education, in both colleges and universities.

Dismantling the barriers to social mobility
Ask if social mobility is going into reverse. What are the connections between social mobility and inequality? And what policies might help a recovery of social mobility? Argues that stalled social mobility is at the heart of the modern battle of ideas; that cuts in benefits and services are likely to lead to a growth in inequality dwarfing that of the 1980s. Points out that, if social mobility was growing, this might help to ameliorate high levels of inequality.

Just the job – or a working compromise? The changing nature of self-employment in the UK
Analysis of national datasets and a new survey of just under 1,000 self-employed people, which suggests that there is strong evidence of a significant structural element, but that there does also appear to be an important cyclical component contributing to recent self-employment growth.

 

Industry Skills Research Papers

Employer investment in 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 investment in Higher Apprenticeships in Accounting
Provides an assessment of employers’ participation in higher apprenticeships in accounting (Level 4), considering: employers’ reason for participating in this form of training; the merits of apprenticeship compared with other training leading to qualification at the same level; the structure of training; the various costs and benefits for the employer; and employers’ plans to continue with this form of training in the future.

 

Labour Market Statistics, May 2014

  • Download PDF
  • Latest estimates for January to March 2014 show that employment continued to increase, unemployment continued to fall, as did the number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64. These changes continue the general direction of movement over the past two years.
  • There were 30.43 million people in work for January to March 2014, 283,000 more than for October to December 2013 and 722,000 more than a year earlier. These increases in employment are partly due to more self-employed people.
  • 72.7% of people aged from 16 to 64 were in work for January to March 2014, up from 72.1% for October to December 2013 and up from 71.4% for a year earlier.
  • There were 2.21 million unemployed people for January to March 2014, 133,000 fewer than for October to December 2013 and 309,000 fewer than a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 6.8% of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) for January to March 2014, down from 7.2% for October to December 2013 and down from 7.8% for a year earlier.
  • There were 8.85 million economically inactive people (those out of work but not seeking or available to work) aged from 16 to 64 for January to March 2014. This was 85,000 fewer than for October to December 2013 and 155,000 fewer than a year earlier.
  • 21.9% of people aged from 16 to 64 were economically inactive for January to March 2014, down from 22.1% for October to December 2013 and down from 22.4% for a year earlier. The inactivity rate has not been lower since October to December 1990.
  • Pay including bonuses for employees in Great Britain for January to March 2014 was 1.7% higher than a year earlier, with pay excluding bonuses 1.3% higher.
  • Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication

 

Local Enterprise Partnership Priorities

Good career guidance
A report by Sir John Holman for Gatsby, in which, through international visits, analysis of good practice in English independent schools and a comprehensive review of current literature, the author developed eight benchmarks that identify different dimensions of good career guidance. Surveying a sample of English schools to see how they measure up against these benchmarks – and commissioning PwC to identify the costs of implementing the benchmarks in schools across England – the author then makes ten recommendations on how to improve the career guidance system.

Labor market institutions and long-term effects of youth unemployment
An analysis of panel data from OECD countries during the 1960-2010 periods reveals that a worker who experiences a one-percentage-point higher unemployment rate while the worker is 16-24 years old has a 0.14 percentage-point higher unemployment rate at ages 25-29 and 0.03 percentage points higher at ages 30-34. The persistence of this negative effect is stronger in countries with stricter employment protection legislation.

CCN report – LEP survey analysis
The findings from CCN’s recent survey of the Leaders of member councils into their experiences with LEPs, including analysis and recommendations.

Building economic resilience – an analysis of Local Enterprise Partnerships’ plans
Assesses the extent to which Local Enterprise Partnerships are addressing and planning for the long-term economic and social challenges that their areas face.

Making local economies matter – a review of policy lessons from the Regional Development Agencies and Local Enterprise Partnerships
Recommends a radical and accelerated devolution of powers to LEPs to deal with the widening economic divide. Reviews the policy lessons from the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). Concludes that more jobs, growth and wealth generated locally are a vital part of a balanced economy. Argues for a fresh commitment to stronger support for England’s local economies and that active policies to promote economic development at local and regional level are essential. Shows that RDA achievements compare well against the LEPs that replaced them, and reveals that from 2000 to 2010 the poorer English regions were able to achieve almost the same rate of GVA growth as the prosperous regions but since 2010 early data show the gap in growth rates is five times greater.

International Skills Research Papers

Developing apprenticeships (CEDEFOP briefing note)
Briefing note from CEDEFOP, which finds that, despite their advantages as a way of aligning vocational education and training to labour market needs, apprenticeships are underused.

 

Skills and Growth Events

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Wordcloud

In last week’s edition I reported on regional labour market intelligence, calls for Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) reforms, the Council Assets Programme and student satisfaction success. This week the headlines are around vocational qualifications, NIACE’s Manifesto, measuring university-business cooperation, the provision of – and quality assurance in – Higher Education and Local Enterprise Partnership funding.

Vocational qualifications were celebrated nationwide, as part of VQ Day. The Institute of Public Policy Research marked the day with a new report, ‘Vocational Qualifications – a route to future success’, which investigates the changing landscape of the workforce, concluding that, by 2022, nine out of ten of the most in-demand occupations of the future will be attained by completing vocational qualifications. Vocational training will be the key to securing hundreds of thousands of jobs for young people in Devon and Cornwall and the South West, the study into the future of the UK labour market has revealed. The Institute for Learning marked VQ Day with a new accolade, the first VQ Newly Qualified Further Education Teacher of the Year award. In related news, Bath Spa University recently teamed up with Norton Radstock College to help rural businesses identify the skills they need from potential employees.

Matthew Hancock spoke this week at the annual Association of Education Learning Providers (AELP) conference about the importance of apprenticeship reforms, launching NIACE’s new online employer toolkit, which is designed to help more disabled people gain access to Apprenticeships.  NIACE have also recently published a Manifesto, detailing the crucial role that lifelong learning can play in a prosperous society and a vibrant economy, which will feature in discussions by leading political figures at NIACE’s Annual Adult Learners’ Week Policy Conference on Thursday 19 June in Westminster. NIACE has also responded to the Queen’s Speech, which, they said, “lacked enough new proposals for investment in skills training”. A report published this week by the Office for National Statistics, shows that 13.9% of those in work are home workers, the highest rate of home working since comparable records began in 1998.

Measuring the impact of university-business cooperation is a new study from the EU’s DG Education and Culture, which highlights numerous benefits of university-business cooperation in the field of education, directly, indirectly, quantitatively and qualitatively. The benefits of collaboration can be broadly described as falling into four categories, namely: Strengthening levels of human capital, with labour supply and employment implications; Stimulating entrepreneurship through teaching and learning; Knowledge exchange, aimed at promoting or stimulating product/process innovation or new pedagogy; and Raising the profile of an organisation. Last week, Dr Anthony Mann, Director of Policy and Research at the Education and Employers Taskforce, published a collection, co-edited with Julian Stanley (University of Warwick) and Prof Louise Archer (King’s College London), entitled Understanding Employer Engagement in Education: theories and evidence.

HEFCE recently responded to a University Alliance report entitled ‘How do we ensure quality in an expanding higher education system?‘  Professor Madeleine Atkins, HEFCE’s Chief Executive, said: “The report is particularly timely, and touches closely on a number of matters high on the HEFCE agenda” adding “The Government has asked us to develop mechanisms to assure the quality of the student experience when student number controls are removed. We have also started work to examine how students might be better protected in the event of untoward disruption to their studies”.

The four UK HE funding bodies and Research Councils UK (RCUK) have written to the heads of all UK HE institutions inviting input into the science and innovation strategy, as non-Russell Group universities rise in the Guardian University League Table 2015, knocking former favourites out of top slots. The University of Exeter has enjoyed significant success in the latest league table, strengthening its position as one of the best universities in the country. One of Exeter’s latest ventures is looking to train the business leaders of tomorrow with a new £5.5 million purpose built business school, the first of its kind in Cornwall. Dr Garry Tregidga recently reflected on the impact of the European Union, suggesting that a ‘Cornish solution’ will ensure economic regeneration.

Turning to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), a new group, tasked with driving the growth of the Solent’s marine and maritime sector, is to be backed with £75,000 of Solent LEP funding. The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP is inviting businesses to its stand at the Royal Cornwall Show to find out how it wants to invest £1 billion by 2020 in the local economy. Eleven firms have received grant funding worth £348,000 from the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP to spur their growth and boost employment. Businesses in the South West of England will benefit from a new funding boost for skills training, with £400,000 secured to help local firms ensure that their staff are equipped with the necessary training and encourage a greater take-up of apprenticeships in the area.

 

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

National Headlines

Google lifts the lid on workforce demographics
Google has released full details of its workforce demographics for the first time, with the tech giant admitting it is “not where we want to be” on diversity issues.

Rising union membership in private sector is good for workers wanting a decent pay rise
“Unions deliver better pay, longer holidays, more training, safer workplaces, family-friendly jobs and decent pensions. That is because workers are stronger when they join together.” – Frances O’Grady, TUC

RNIB publish evidence-based review on people of working age
RNIB have published an evidence-based review which looks in detail at the experiences of blind and partially sighted people of working age.

Army training scheme for long-term unemployed may be extended
Scheme piloted in Telford and Stoke can raise awareness of army reserve and make people more employable, says officer.

Majority of Gen Y ‘won’t stay with one employer more than five years’
Employers will have to try harder to retain Generation Y talent as a global survey revealed 90 per cent of this age group plan to stay no longer than five years with one organisation.

New course for FE staff working with young people with autism
A two day course for staff in further education working directly with young people with autism, is being piloted in London by Ambitious about Autism and NIACE, on 30 June – 1 July.

Parental careers advice to children often ‘out of date’
Parents play a key role in their children’s career decisions, but their views are often out of date and badly informed, suggests a report.

Colleges keen to support scheme to get young people into work – and keep them there
Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, responds to a Government announcement that unemployed 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to access help and support from Jobcentre Plus.

Help for 16 and 17 year olds to catch up, keep up and find work
Jobcentre Plus, in partnership with local authorities, to help 16 and 17 year olds to catch up, keep up and find work.

PM marks £1 billion investment boost for UK SMEs
Balfour Beatty has announced a record spend of £1 billion this year on contracts with SMEs across the country.

CBI survey – optimism high in service sector after year of growth
The service sector is continuing to feel the benefits of the economic upswing with growing optimism, business volumes rising briskly and firms taking on more staff. That’s according to the CBI’s latest quarterly Service Sector Survey.

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.

Leading figures respond to new NIACE Manifesto
A Manifesto, detailing the crucial role that lifelong learning can play in a prosperous society and a vibrant economy, will be discussed by leading political figures at NIACE’s Annual Adult Learners’ Week Policy Conference on Thursday 19 June in Westminster.

Despite their advantages apprenticeships are underused
To reduce high unemployment among their young people, countries are looking to others for help. In countries, such as Germany, the Netherlands and Austria youth unemployment has remained relatively low. This is attributed in part to their apprenticeships or ‘dual’ systems and so interest in them has increased.

Young People Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), May 2014
The percentage of all young people in the UK who were NEET was 13.5%, down 0.8 percentage points from October to December 2013 and down 1.6 percentage points from a year earlier.

Government to take £40 from everyone who loses their job
From this Autumn anyone who loses their job will receive £40 less as a result of government plans to make people wait for longer for any job support, according to a consultation published today (Friday) by the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) – an official body that advises the Department of Work and Pensions on benefits issues.

KPMG staff go over the top for National Literacy Trust
One hundred and seventy KPMG staff have spent this week taking part in the Big Blue Abseil this week raising over £45,000 for their selected charities Action for Literacy and Shelter.

80,000 UK students to visit China to boost trade links
Vince Cable urges business leaders to support a drive to double the number of UK exchange students who travel to China.

Children call for more hands-on careers guidance in new AoC research
School children want drastic changes made to the way in which they receive careers advice, according to new research conducted by the Association of Colleges (AoC) in partnership with The Skills Show.

Mentoring scheme from 30% Club set to boost number of senior women
A mentoring scheme designed to boost the number of women on boards will launch in September after a series of successful pilot programmes run by the 30% Club.

Universities to contribute to new Science and Innovation Strategy for the UK
The four UK higher education funding bodies and Research Councils UK (RCUK) have written to the heads of all UK higher education institutions inviting input into the science and innovation strategy.

HEFCE response to University Alliance report ‘How do we ensure quality in an expanding higher education system?’
“The University Alliance report is a helpful addition to the debate around quality and regulation in a rapidly changing HE landscape. The report is particularly timely, and touches closely on a number of matters high on the HEFCE agenda.” – Professor Madeleine Atkins, HEFCE Chief Executive

 

South West Headlines

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP shares £1 billion investment plan at Royal Cornwall show
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is inviting businesses to its stand at the Royal Cornwall Show to find out how it wants to invest £1 billion by 2020 in the local economy.

SW LEP funding for businesses spurs growth and job creation
Eleven firms have received grant funding worth a total of £348,000 from the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to spur their growth and boost employment.

Bristol enterprise zone funding boosted by £6 million
Bristol awarded funding as part of a £23 million national urban redevelopment and new business fund.

£23 million to build up enterprise zones will bring home more local jobs
Investment will bring more jobs to Bristol, Manchester, New Anglia and Leicestershire.

Cheltenham GE Aviation Systems ‘jobs uncertainty over’
It is hoped up to 200 jobs will stay in Gloucestershire after a £42m takeover of GE Aviation Systems was agreed.

18 new jobs created by The Growth Hub
The Growth Hub, the unique partnership between GFirst LEP and the University of Gloucestershire, has launched a recruitment drive for 18 professionals to join the team.

South West Stressed at Work
More than half of employees (51 per cent) in the South West say they know a colleague who has had to quit work due to stress.

Solent LEP backs marine growth with launch of new group
A new group, tasked with driving the growth of the Solent’s marine and maritime sector, is to be set up and backed with £75,000 of Solent LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) funding.

£348k Growth Grants Awarded to Local Businesses
Thanks to funding secured by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, even more local businesses will benefit from grants to help them grow.

Funding boost for skills training in the South West
Businesses in the south-west of England will benefit from a new boost in funding for skills training. A total of £400,000 has been secured to help local firms ensure that their staff are equipped with the necessary training and encourage a greater take-up of apprenticeships in the area.

The growth of Bristol’s creative and digital sector
Bristol is often hailed as a creative and digital hub. Gavin Thompson reports on how well placed the sector is to deliver jobs and prosperity for the city.

Only a ‘Cornish solution’ will ensure economic regeneration
Dr Garry Tregidga reflects on the impact on EU.

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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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Last week
’s Higher Education (HE) policy blog looked at the European Social Fund (ESF) programme to 2020, the implications of proposed reforms to HE, and the HE fundraising workforce. This week, I reported on the International Learning Times conference, Science, Technology, English and Maths (STEM) apprenticeships, education budgets, workforce dynamics and zero-hours contracts.

The Department for Education could face a £600 million deficit in its 2015 budget, according to a report by the Association of Colleges.  Compounding this is the fact that the proportion of total training time delivered electronically by employers has reduced. According to the Chartered Institute for Professional Development (CIPD), there has been a fall in the median training budget per employee [so not much a shift to the demand side then…. – Ed]. On the plus side, FE providers have expressed surprise after it emerged a £50 million funding boost was made available to help working adults improve their basic English and maths skills. The cash, from the European Social Fund (ESF), is intended to help some of the 7.4 million adults in the workforce who have not yet achieved a level 2 qualification, equivalent to an A*-C at GCSE.

New research published by CaSE (Campaign for Science and Engineering) entitled Improving diversity in STEM assesses the last five years’ worth of data to build a picture of the current state of diversity in STEM, from education to the workforce. It is still the case that women, disabled people and those from ethnic-minorities or socially-disadvantaged groups are consistently underrepresented, particularly at senior levels, in science and engineering. The Association of Colleges has pledged its support to a national campaign to increase STEM participation.  The Chancellor has announced a new campaign to boost participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths at school and beyond, with over 2,000 new jobs and apprenticeships on offer from leading STEM organisations. It was recently announced that thousands more apprentices are progressing into Higher Education following their apprenticeship.

As the proportion of self-employed workers increases, a new study by the Resolution Foundation has found that the typical self-employed worker earns 40 per cent less than the typical employee, and that weekly earnings for the self-employed have seen a 20 per cent fall since 2007.  Workforce statistics released this week show that employers in Britain are using about 1.4m ‘zero-hours’ contracts.  The government has announced that, under Universal Credit, jobseekers risk losing benefits if they turn down certain zero-hours contracts without good reason.  The number of older workers (aged 65+) also rose by 25,000 this quarter.

The International Learning Times conference was held in Edinburgh this week where the importance of adult motivation in continuing education and improving skills was stressed as key to sustainable economic recovery, especially for those at the lower end of the skills market. At a time when several countries are faced with shortages of qualified teachers, a new study undertaken on behalf of the European Commission looks at what Member States could do to attract the best people into the profession.

…and finally, the University of Exeter strengthened its position in the top ten of 123 UK universities for 2015 in the influential Complete University Guide, published recently.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin

International News

Erasmus Exchanges get Down to Business
For a generation of European students, the Erasmus programme has been synonymous with having a good time while studying in another country.

Priorities of the Next European Commission – A British Perspective
Foreign Office Minister David Lidington outlined five priorities for the next European Commission in a speech at the European Policy Centre.

UK / Higher Education News

Launch of University Ranking – U-Multirank
U-Multirank, launched today, is a new tool to compare universities.

UCU – Funding Cuts Behind Massive Drop in Part-Time Students
The number of part-time students in English universities now stands at 139,000 – nearly half the 2010 total of 259,000 students, says a new report from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) released recently.

University and College Union – Annual Congress 2014
Forcing key issues in further and higher education onto political parties’ agendas will be behind debates at UCU’s annual conference next month.

10 Things You Need to Know about e-Learning
Internet-based education offers everything from a free maths lecture to a full course on ancient Roman history. But it has its critics…

UK / Employment News

Largest Employment Rise in Over 4 Decades
Employment has seen the largest quarterly rise since records began and the unemployment rate has fallen again to a new 5-year low.

SMEs Plan Major Hiring Spree, CIPD Study Reveals
As hiring intentions pick up for all employers, CIPD research has shown that small and medium sized firms are five times more likely to recruit than large firms.

CIPD – Dramatic Rise in Employer Hiring Intentions
But pay expectations remain well below pre-recession levels. The number of UK employers expecting to take on more staff has increased dramatically in the second quarter of 2014, according to the latest CIPD Labour Market Outlook (LMO).

UKTI DSO SME Seminar Biggest and Best Yet
Representatives from over 60 UK defence and security companies attended seminar on how to win business overseas.

Rising Employment is Failing to Boost Pay
“It’s encouraging to see more people in work, though many of Britain’s newly employed workforce are actually working for themselves.” – Frances O’Grady, TUC

Apprenticeships – Training Young People for Jobs of the Future
Matthew Hancock, Skills Minister, speaks about apprenticeships at the ‘Apprenticeships in the Business and Outsourced Services Industry Conference’.

UK Futures Programme – Application Form
Details of how to apply for the UK Futures Programme.

South West Labour Market News

Regional Labour Market Statistics, May 2014
The unemployment rate in Great Britain was highest in the North East (10.1%) and lowest in the South West (4.9%).

Survey to Provide an Insight into the Strengths – and Weaknesses – of the West’s Boardrooms
Swindon Business News has teamed up with executive recruitment and business consulting group Moon Consulting to investigate the skills needed for a successful board.

NCUB Welcomes University Alliance Call for Greater University-Business Collaboration
The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), which comprises of senior university and business leaders promoting greater collaboration, and is supported by government, has today welcomed a report from University Alliance which recommends greater links between companies and institutions in order to improve graduates’ career prospects.

Unemployed in Exeter to Benefit from Devon’s ‘Largest Ever’ Job Club
Hundreds of people are expected to attend the ‘Super Job Club’ in Exeter on Friday.

Economic Recovery in Bristol is Bedding in Well, RBS Economist Marcus Wright Tells Business
Bristol’s economy has grown by 2.8 per cent year on year showing that the recovery is well set.

Unemployment Falls to 7,243 in Gloucestershire
Unemployment has fallen for a second month in a row in Gloucestershire. Latest figures show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance stood at 7,243 last month, a drop of 271 compared to the month before.

Gfirst – What do Jobseekers Think About Your Organisation – Free Assessment
Gfirst are working with the University of Gloucestershire to offer 30 businesses the opportunity, on a first come, first served basis, to participate in this FREE assessment of their recruitment processes.

UK Employment and Skills Research Papers

Driving future growth – core cities and the knowledge economy
Looks at how growth can be achieved and how the real estate sector can play a central role in enabling that growth. In two parts, with the first addressing the knowledge economy; what it is, why it is important and what role real estate has in supporting growth within this sector. The second part provides in-depth analysis of each core city, identifying the structural core of the knowledge economy and what sectors are set to drive future growth in that market.

Making progress – boosting the skills and wage prospects of the low paid
Proposes a skills based in-work progression policy to help individuals stuck on low pay enchance their productivity and escape the low pay trap. Boosting the skills of those stuck in low pay will also make these individuals more valuable to their employers and the the UK economy as a whole.

Rewarding work for low-paid workers
Examines how human resources and development (HRM/D) practices could help tackle in-work poverty, and assesses the business case for their adoption.

Employer involvement in qualifications delivery and assessment
Sets out the findings from research to identify good practice in employer involvement in qualifications delivery and assessment. Presents data drawn from 46 interviews with staff in Awarding Organisations (AOs), employers and training providers which were subsequently captured within 20 case studies. Each case study features qualifications meeting specific sample criteria.

Pressure from all sides – economic and policy influences on part-time higher education
Examines the influence of economic and policy factors on part-time study at publicly funded higher education providers in England. Shows that the sharp fall in part-time study since 2010-11 in publicly funded higher education is likely to have been influenced by the recession and its aftermath, alongside public policy changes.

Adult refugee learners with limited literacy – needs and effective responses, IN Refuge, Vol 30 No 1 2014, pp93-103
The study involved interviews with 36 adult refugees, two program coordinators, five course teachers, and six bilingual tutors from a community-based program in New Zealand. The challenge of working with these learners arises due not only to their experiences as refugees, but also as learners with minimal or no educational experience. Their progress depends on a skillful development of “learning to learn”, acquiring basic literacy skills, personal confidence and transfer of these skills to everyday life outside the classroom.

Breaking the cycle of disadvantage – early childhood interventions and progression to higher education in Europe
Looks at the impact of child-targeted interventions in early childhood education and care (ECEC) as well as initiatives to widen access to higher education in Europe, and their impact on social mobility in later years.

The learning curve – education and skills for life
Considers the lessons learned around inculcating skills in students. Examines how to maintain or expand skill levels among adults and explores the relevance of developed-world answers to these questions for emerging markets.

Educational outcomes – the impact of aspirations and the role of student background characteristics
Examines the relationships between student background characteristics, educational aspirations and educational outcomes using data from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY). Employs econometric analyses to determine whether student background factors influence Year 12 completion and university participation only via their indirect impact on aspirations.

Macroeconomic influences on the demand for part-time higher education in the UK
Explores recent trends in part-time higher education across each of the UK countries, and adds an international perspective by making comparisons with countries beyond the UK. Considers a range of macroeconomic and policy factors that may affect part-time study.

Making the Work Programme work for ESA claimants – analysis of minimum performance levels and payment models
Sets out the financial consequences of lower-than-expected performance for Employment and Support Allowance claimants on the Work Programme, and proposals for how the funding model can be reformed for new participants.

Industry Skills Research Papers

Tackling poverty through public procurement
Asks whether rising poverty and declining social mobility can be tackled by including more recruitment and training opportunities in public contracts, such as construction projects. Highlights projects around the UK which have successfully used public procurement to address poverty through training and employment.

Getting ready for UK shale gas – supply chain and skills requirements and opportunities
A shale gas supply chain report showing huge potential economic benefits to the UK economy and measures to minimise the environmental impacts of shale gas have been announced by the Government.

The economic significance of the UK science base
Extends previous studies by examining the contribution of the UK science base to our economy at the level of industry, universities and individual researchers. It shows that, in each case, public investment in science and engineering leads to economic growth.

On the value of nature – the merits and perils of a new economy of nature
Provides a readily understandable introduction to the subject and illuminates the concepts and instruments that follow from the idea of monetarizing nature. Accessible examples show the social and ecological goal conflicts and the powerful but risk-laden influence of this New Economy.

The size and health of the UK space industry
The UK Space Agency has embarked on its biennial survey of the space industry and has contracted London Economics to undertake the task.

UK Space Agency education, skills and outreach strategy
Space has demonstrated a remarkable power to inspire widespread interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and provides exciting contexts for the teaching of a range of subjects. Growth of the space sector is hampered by the scarcity of graduates and technicians with relevant qualifications.

Local Enterprise Partnership Priorities

Improving diversity in STEM
Assesses the last five years’ worth of data to build a picture of the current state of diversity in STEM, from education to the workforce. It is still the case that women, disabled people and those from ethnic-minorities or socially-disadvantaged groups are consistently underrepresented, particularly at senior levels, in science and engineering.

Delivering change – supporting links between universities and high-growth firms in cities
A series of case studies in the UK and abroad showing different ways universities, high-growth firms and cities collaborate. Some take advantage of history and brand such as Cambridge, while others build cross-border networks in order to build scale and make greater investments than they could on their own.

Spreading the benefits of digital participation
Recommendations to government and its private and third sector partners on how barriers to digital inclusion can be overcome so that everyone in Scotland can benefit from the digital revolution.

A new conversation – employer and college engagement
Highlights the mutual benefits of close working links between colleges and employers and aims to prompt further discussion.

The economic significance of the UK science base
Extends previous studies by examining the contribution of the UK science base to our economy at the level of industry, universities and individual researchers. It shows that, in each case, public investment in science and engineering leads to economic growth.

International Skills Research Papers

European youth in 2014 – analytical synthesis
At the 2014 European Youth Event (EYE 2014) organised by the European Parliament on 9-11 May in Strasbourg, thousands of young Europeans will examine, discuss and put forward new ideas on five themes: the fight against youth unemployment, the digital revolution, the future of the EU, sustainable development and European values. Against that backdrop, and in the run-up to the 2014 European elections which will take place between 22 and 25 May next, the European Parliament has carried out an opinion survey among young Europeans aged 16-30 in the 28 EU Member States. The survey addresses the five main themes of EYE 2014 in turn, with the aim of taking stock of the views of young Europeans on these themes.

Euro Plus Monitor Spring 2014 Update
The latest assessment of the eurozone economy — plus Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom — ranked to track the speed with which countries are adjusting to structural challenges and the fundamental strength of their underlying economies.

Employment and Learning Events

(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.

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.

Celebrating 10 Years of Inclusion Cornwall
20 May 2014, 09:00 – 13:00, Lighthouse Cinema, Newquay, Cornwall

20/05/2014 – Mr Mark Fisher CBE – Social Justice Director, Department for Work and Pensions Also speakers covering successes of the past 10 years, an Inclusion Play and video’s from our partners and a forward look to the future. Concludes with lunch. RSVP to bwilson@cornwall.gov.uk

Cornwall Wheels to Work Open Day
16 May 2014, 11:00 – 14:00, Unit E3, Formal Business Park, Treswithian, Camborne, TR14 0PY

16/05/2014 – See how W2W can help you get to work if you have transport barriers. Mopeds are available for loan, servicing and repair of mopeds and motorbikes. For more information call Annette on 01209 718888 or email Cornwallw2w@aol.com.

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.

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.

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.

Rural Revitalization
26 June 2014, Bristol University

26/06/2014 – This event will focus on the range of issues that face the future development of rural towns and communities. 120 delegates are expected at the event, together with up to 20 speakers and 20 exhibitors. This will a great opportunity to listen to a range of key speakers on Rural Development and also learn and share good practice.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Construction Careers Conference 2014 – South West
22 May 2014, 12:30 – 15:30, Taunton Racecourse

22/05/2014 – Aimed at professionals from the learning and skills and Careers Information Advice and Guidance (CIAG) sectors. It will be a good opportunity to discuss recent developments in CIAG and how this impacts on the construction sector. The conference will bring together school and college leaders, careers practitioners, training providers, awarding bodies and construction employers. The event will provide an insight into the modern construction sector, the challenges and opportunities affecting the industry, latest Labour Market Intelligence and information about CIAG support as well as major forthcoming construction projects in and around the South West of England. To book a place at this conference, please send an e-mail to: karen.blacklaw@citb.co.uk.

Learning at Work Week
19 – 25 May, 2014, Events Nationwide

19/05/2014 – Many companies already run activities for Learning at Work Day over a week, at times that suit them and their employees. The creation of a two month learning festival offers the opportunity to extend Learning at Work Day to a Week focused on special activities that engage and enthuse employees about learning and development in the workplace.

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.

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.

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.

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Last week I reported on growth sectors, skills gaps, the future shape of Further and Higher Education (FE and HE), the impact of Health and Safety cuts and Assisted Area Status for Devon. This week we look at the European Social Fund (ESF) programme to 2020, the implications of Vince Cable’s recent lecture on the future of HE, and the HE fundraising workforce.

A consultation on the contents of the draft ESF Operational Programme for England 2014 to 2020 (part of the 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England) has been launched to ensure partners have the opportunity to comment on the main document, setting out the strategy and priorities for the use of funds in support of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. EPALE, the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe, is a new initiative funded by the European Commission and the latest development in the EU’s long-term commitment to promoting high quality adult learning in Europe.

Vince Cable recently delivered a public policy lecture on the future for HE and FE institutions, teachers and students, saying “high-level vocational training has fallen through the gap between our FE and HE systems and we are way behind where we need to be”.

A glance at the Government’s recent Industrial Strategy Report, where sector after sector highlights the lack of skilled workers as a barrier to progress shows just how far behind we may be. Vince Cable puts forward six propositions aimed at developing the higher-level technician route through a stronger FE-HE interface:

  1. The creation of a tier of specialised skills training centres, National Colleges. The Government has been edging towards this model for some time as its announcement of a dedicated engineering college for HS2 indicated and others are in the pipeline. Current developments may well have people dusting off their Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) plans but these are employer led and match funded so more akin to National Skills Academies. A planning Paper is to be published shortly
  2. Supporting higher apprenticeships. The Government has already put £40m behind this (over 2 years). Vince Cable stressed two further points;
    • this could be a big opportunity for HE to extend its reach and
    • routing apprenticeship funding through employers would make it easier for them to purchase more appropriate higher-level training.
  3. Enabling colleges to sanction their own qualifications.
  4. Considering whether FE students should be eligible for maintenance loans and grants. This came as NIACE called for ongoing impact assessment of Further Education loans, pointing out that the latest Government figures show that, 12 months on from the introduction of 24+ advanced learning loans, almost 65,000 loan applications have been received, against an initial estimate of 85,000.
  5. FE/HE progression and back to the quest for seamless progression. Local Enterprise Partnerships may be key brokers here.
  6. Parity of esteem. The Department for Education (DfE) is proposing a common information portal for 16 year olds and Vince Cable believes something similar should be developed for older applicants whether they’re applying for university or a higher apprenticeship.

NIACE is optimistic that the new HEFCE report will lead to concerted action to address the dramatic decline in part-time HE. Nick Davy, HE Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges (AoC), commented: “This report is another useful addition to our understanding of this market”, going on to say that: “We would ask HEFCE to continue to maintain its research interest in this area …so that we can develop a full understanding of part-time HE and develop sensible evidenced based policies.”

Association of Colleges’ Deputy Director Gill Clipson welcomed the announcement, stating that: “Colleges are at the heart of higher level skills training. Therefore we understand the reasoning behind the call for a new generation of national colleges, based on the existing FE model, to meet the skills needs in specific areas, particularly the emerging economies including digital and nuclear”.

The HE fundraising workforce must at least double, if not triple, by 2022 to unlock fundraising potential, according to a new report and toolkit from HEFCE, which sets out practical steps to enable this to happen. HEFCE has also recently launched a call to gather views and evidence relating to the use of metrics in research assessment and management.

One of our readers, Jackie Longworth of Fair Play South West, has been beavering away in support of the Women’s Equality Network, which now has its own website, including a recently published article “Economic Equality – Manifesto Background Papers”, with a range of resources for women in the workplace and details of the upcoming event launching the manifesto on the 6th of June here at the innovation centre (book now to avoid disappointment!).

…and finally, on May 1, the Vice-Chancellor here at Exeter and Dr Judy Genshaft of the University of South Florida (USF) took to the floor in an interactive and engaging discussion session at Going Global, the world’s foremost education conference.

Ciao!

Kevin

 

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Last week I highlighted wage rate dynamics, devolution, further calls for funding to support universities in driving regional economic growth and Solent LEP’s maritime strategy. This week, the headlines focussed on growth sectors, skills gaps, the future shape of Further and Higher Education (FE and HE), the impact of Health and Safety cuts and Assisted Area Status for Devon.

Growth appears to have a foothold, with the preliminary estimate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2014 showing an increase of 0.8% compared with growth of 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013. CBI chief policy director, Katja Hall, commented on the latest figures, saying: “The economy is motoring ahead with progress across many sectors as confidence continues to build among businesses and consumers. Growth in the first quarter was mostly driven by the service sector, but we’re also seeing our industrial base playing an important role in the recovery, with manufacturing output rising steadily”. The recent update on the impact of the industrial strategy also presented early successes and future priorities.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the labour market continues to perform strongly but cautioned that productivity is still a key weakness in the UK economy. Business optimism among manufacturers saw its sharpest improvement since 1973, on the back of strong growth in orders at home and abroad according to the latest CBI quarterly Industrial Trends Survey, and in the West Country a revival in the construction industry is on the cards as private housing and commercial sectors boom, however, the news has been tempered with a warning of significant skills gaps in the region. A new report entitled Local Roots to Growth suggests councils are best placed to shape local economies whilst ensuring that the right type of growth is delivered sustainably. The report urges Local Authorities to be brave in long-term planning and investment in infrastructure and skills, but also cautions that “the localism rhetoric must turn to reality”, in order to give councils real influence over local finance to borrow, spend and earn with greater freedom.

On May 1, the Vice-Chancellor here at Exeter and Dr Judy Genshaft of the University of South Florida (USF) took to the floor in an interactive and engaging discussion session at Going Global, the world’s foremost education conference.  Vince Cable also gave a public policy lecture on the future for higher and further education institutions, teachers and students, outlining proposals for new national colleges as an opportunity for the Further Education sector, saying “high-level vocational training has fallen through the gap between our FE and HE systems and we are way behind where we need to be”. Association of Colleges’ Deputy Director Gill Clipson welcomed the announcement, stating that: “Colleges are at the heart of higher level skills training. Therefore we understand the reasoning behind the call for a new generation of national colleges, based on the existing FE model, to meet the skills needs in specific areas, particularly the emerging economies including digital and nuclear.” This came as NIACE called for ongoing impact assessment of Further Education loans, pointing out that the latest Government figures show that, 12 months on from the introduction of 24+ advanced learning loans, almost 65,000 loan applications have been received, against an initial estimate of 85,000.

NIACE is optimistic that a new HEFCE report will lead to concerted action to address the dramatic decline in part-time HE. Nick Davy, HE Policy Manager at the Association of Colleges (AoC), commented: “This report is another useful addition to our understanding of this market”, going on to say that: “We would ask HEFCE to continue to maintain its research interest in this area …so that we can develop a full understanding of part-time HE and develop sensible evidenced based policies.”

A consultation on the contents of the draft European Social Fund (ESF) Operational Programme for England 2014 to 2020 (part of the 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England) has been launched to ensure partners have the opportunity to comment on the main document, setting out the strategy and priorities for the use of funds in support of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

People are more likely to be killed or seriously injured while working in the South West of England than anywhere else in the country, a recent report has found. The news broke close to Workers’ Memorial Day (Monday) during which the TUC cautioned that Government cuts in vital health and safety ‘red tape’ threaten lives at work.

Devon County Council has warmly welcomed the Government’s announcement today recommending approval for Assisted Area status to cover large areas of Devon up to 2020. 50 of Devon’s poorest electoral wards could be given a greater share of state regeneration cash after the Government confirmed which are deserving of most help. The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership also welcomed the announcement of extra Government support.

I hope you find this information useful.

Cheers!

Kevin