Third Sector National Learning Alliance membership

Third Sector National Learning Alliance

The Third Sector National Learning Alliance (TSNLA) is the new national alliance of voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises involved in learning and skills.

The TSNLA aims to stimulate, inform and listen to the views of third sector learning and skills providers and work constructively across government and key stakeholders to influence policy.

TSNLA will also undertake or commission research for and about the third sector, and gather, analyse and circulate information relevant to the third sector.

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On migration and economic migrants in the West Midlands

A migrant worker is someone who immigrates to another country to seek employment and improve his/her financial position. More and more people are becoming migrant workers, shifting from one country to another, either to seek work or progress to a better job.

Economic globalisation has triggered a rapid increase in cross-border movement of both goods and people, especially over the last two decades or so and human capital has become more flexible than ever. Foreign workers are increasingly common in certain countries (for example, in some Western European countries or the US).

Migrant workers are often concentrated within particular local economies, where they are helping to address labour and skills shortages in key sectors.

According to a survey released by Gallup (November 2009) around 16% (700 million adults) of the world’s population would like to permanently move to another country. If this happened the number of global migrants would more than quadruple.

There are about 686,000 official migrant workers in England at the moment (this is about 1.3% of the total population).

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West Midlands innovation fund delivers eleven-fold return on investment and brings jobs to region

Central Technology Belt - Birmingham - Worcestershire

An independent evaluation of the Technology Transfer Fund (TTF2) (pdf, 431kb) has underlined the value that the SME support fund has played in regional economic growth.

The fund was launched by Advantage West Midlands in 2005 to assist development of small and medium sized science and technology businesses within the Central Technology Belt, the high technology corridor that follows the A38 from Birmingham, through Worcester, to Malvern. TTF2 offered grants of up to £25,000 to more than 150 local companies.

The report (pdf, 431kb) produced by ekosgen on behalf of Advantage West Midlands found that the TTF2 realised more than £25 million of additional net turnover for the businesses it supported, and also created an additional 47 jobs during the two year project lifespan.

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Tools and applications for visualising data

Screenshot: visualisation of where does my money go by Jonathan Gray

There’s a huge resource of links to tools, applications and services for visualising data collected here at visualisation magazine.

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Oneplace – how are your public services performing?

The 9th December 2009 saw the launch of a new website – Oneplace –  providing detailed information on how good public services are in your local area. The site includes independent information about how councils, police, health services and others are tackling some of the major issues in every area in England.

The purpose of the website is to use information gathered for Comprehensive Area Assessments (CAA) to try and help the public find out more about the quality of public services in their area.

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West Midlands employers make the Stonewall Top 100

Stonewall workplace equality index 2010 coverFour West Midlands employers are featured in the 2010 Stonewall Top 100 Employers, showcasing Britain’s best employers for gay staff.

At number 19, West Midlands Police is the region’s top-rated employer for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people, and there is a first appearance in the top 100 for Warwickshire County Council (no. 88).

The region’s other top 100 ranked employers are Staffordshire Police (34) and Birmingham City Council (60), both of which have featured in previous years.

The top performing industrial sector is professional services, followed by police authorities and central government.

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Despite a positive performance in the last quarter of 2009, the Cultural Observatory’s latest recession snapshot (pdf, 311kb) suggests the West Midlands’ cultural sector is facing a period of ‘funding uncertainty’.

Evidence highlighted in the paper suggests that while many local cultural organisations remain optimistic about the short-term stability of core funding sources, perception of funding security is low compared to confidence levels pre-recession.

Spines of books on a shelf in a libraryIn the Cultural Observatory’s own economic survey with local cultural organisations, 72% of respondents stated that they were ‘less optimistic’ about the stability of core funding sources compared to 2007.

Against a backdrop of funding concerns, the research shows that the cultural sector continued to see increases in numbers of customers through the door in the last three months of 2009, building on the unusually high increase in footfall seen over the summer.

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