Black Country Consortium seeks researchers and Head of Intelligence

Black Country see it in colourThe Black Country Consortium are currently advertising for a Head of Intelligence and two researchers to join their team.

The closing date for applications for both posts is 29th January 2010.

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GIS used to digitise brownfield land sites and inform planning in the Black Country

This guest post was contributed by Christopher Styche from the Black Country Observatory.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) were used as a tool for analysis in a project looking at brownfield land across the Black Country during the end of 2006–2007.

The purpose of the project was to inform policy makers involved with the implementation plans for the Black Country and emerging core strategy.

There was a strong partnership approach to this work with representatives from all four local authorities (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton), as well as the Homes and Community Agency and Advantage West Midlands.

This post describes the project step-by-step and the role of GIS within the project.

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Black Country Observatory seeks secondee to manage the team

Black Country see it in colourOur colleagues at the Black Country Observatory are currently advertising for a secondee to cover the maternity leave of the Observatory’s senior manager, Delma Dwight.

The secondment will be for six months, starting from 1st October 2009. The closing date for applications is Friday 31st July. Interviews will take place on Tuesday 11th August.

Get more details about the role and how to apply (DOC, 39kB).

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How is the Black Country performing?

Map showing the number of workless people by lower super output area in the Black Country in May 2008

Map showing levels of worklessness in the Black Country May 2008 (click map to view at full size)

How can we tell whether real progress is being made towards achievement of the Black Country’s aspirations?

The aspirations are set out in the Black Country Vision and the  Black Country Strategy for Growth and Competitiveness.

The answer may lie in the newly developed Black Country performance management framework, which consists of 24 key indicators that measure achievement of the Black Country Strategy.

Supporting maps for each indicator are available on Black Country Knowledge (registration required).

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Black Country recession updates

bc-recession-reportOur colleagues at the Black Country Observatory have produced the first Black Country Recession Intelligence report.

These reports are being produced on a monthly basis by the Observatory as part of  a ‘Black Country Recession Intelligence Group’ comprising of representatives from the Black Country Local Authorities and Local Strategic Partnerships. The reports aim to provide real-time evidence as a background to policy debate in the sub-region.

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2008 Black Country education barometer published

Black Country Education BarometerThe Black Country Observatory has published the Black Country Education Barometer 2008 today.

The report indicates that Black Country schools are starting to close the gap with the national average GCSE performance.

There was a 6.6% increase in the percentage of Black Country pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs (compared to 4.2% nationally) and an 8% rise in pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths (compared to 2.6% nationally).

The Black Country must grow by 9.2% each year to reach the national average (in GCSE inc. Eng & Maths) by 2011.

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