LSC publish 2008 Regional Strategic Analysis

LSC leading learning and skillsThe Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has published its 2008 Regional Strategic Analysis Report (PDF, 1.63mb).

The report forms a key part of the Learning and Skills Council’s annual business cycle. Its purpose is to underpin the Regional Commissioning Statement for 2009/10 by providing the evidence to inform decisions about strategic priorities and the learning provision to be commissioned from providers in the West Midlands.

The Strategic Analysis is intended to provide a comprehensive picture of the needs of learners, employers and communities in the West Midlands, and to assess the extent to which the mix and quality of the region’s LSC-funded learning provision meets these needs.

The intended audience are teams within the LSC and key regional stakeholders, as well as colleges, providers and Local Authorities.

The report has drawn on the extensive evidence base which now exists within the region through, for example, the Observatory’s Regional Skills Assessment and the LSC’s Regional Research and Data Teams.

It covers economic performance, employment and skills issues, addressing these subjects from a regional and sub-regional perspective, and where relevant, a Local Authority perspective (i.e. the 14-19 agenda).

The report contains detailed skills analysis on twelve key sectors in the region and also disaggregates data and information to local authority level for all young people (14-19) involved in LSC funded activity.

The report demonstrates that the LSC in the West Midlands has already made great improvements in the number of young people achieving Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications, moving more young people into courses at this level and maintaining good levels of retention.

Between 2003–2004 and 200–2007 achievement at full Level 3 for young people increased by nearly 7 per cent, one of the highest increases in the country.

Gaining further improvement in Level 2 and Level 3 participation and achievement both for young people and adults remains a high priority for the region in meeting the challenges outlined in the LSC’s Skills Action Plan for the West Midlands 2008–2011 (PDF, 302kb).

The region is still dealing with the economic, social and structural consequences of its past dependence on traditional industries, which is reflected in some poor performance across a number of indicators.

Significant progress has been made in raising the adult qualifications attainment levels in the region and, whilst there are wide local variations among the West Midlands population, the analysis report demonstrates that regional productivity levels, qualifications attainment and participation in learning remain below the England average.

The economic challenges facing the region, exacerbated by the current economic downturn, require the further education sector to respond in new ways to ensure that the West Midlands region has the skills base to guarantee prosperity and social cohesion.

This report aims to help inform key partners and stakeholders, so that they are better equipped to understand and tackle these challenges in the West Midlands.

Thanks to Sam Richardson from the Economy & Labour Force Group for supplying the above information.

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