Key findings for West Midlands from National Employer Skills Survey 2009

Cover of report National Employers Skills Survey 2009 report - key findings for West Midlands regionThanks to  Sam Richardson from the Young People’s Learning Agency (formerly of Learning and Skills Council West Midlands) for contributing this post.

A report on key findings for the West Midlands (pdf, 1mb) from the National Employer Skills Survey 2009 was published in March.

The survey consisted of just over 79,000 telephone interviews (8,186 in the West Midlands) with employers across England (the largest number to date) between March and July 2009.

It represents by far the largest and most comprehensive source of information on current skills issues affecting employers in England.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills previously published a summary of national findings.

A more comprehensive description of the national results will be available in a full report due June 2010 (after the election). The survey data is available for exploration and data mining at http://nessdata.ukces.org.uk.

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Economy and Labour Force newsletter: April 2010 issue

Economy and labour force newsletter

We sent out a new issue of our Economy and Labour Force newsletter today.

The newsletter summarises recent articles, new research and commentary related to the economy, skills, employment and labour market in the West Midlands.

You can view the newsletter in your browser or in pdf.

Related links

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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New research on labour market and training experiences of older workers in the West Midlands

lsc-older-workers-reportResearch commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council shows that employers in the West Midlands are increasingly aware of the benefits of older job applicants when searching for recruits with personal qualities such as loyalty, experience and reliability.

Other perceived advantages include practical issues such as better retention, fewer training needs, and fewer family and childcare commitments.

There are nearly one million people aged over 50 still of normal working age in the West Midlands, out of a total population of more than five million.

The study, Labour Market and Training Experiences of Older Workers in the West Midlands (PDF, 800kb), aims to inform future learning and skills policy so that the regional economy derives maximum benefit from this age cohort and individuals in it have access to opportunities that enable them to continue to fulfil their potential.

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Investment in higher level skills and the knowledge economy

The government’s University Challenge initiative aims to support investment in higher education at a local level in order to:

1: Support the development of a ‘knowledge economy’ by unlocking the talents of local people and providing the skills and knowledge transfer that enables local businesses to grow and to attract new investment to the area.

2: Make a real difference to the cultural life of our towns and cities.

Our review (PDF, 538KB) of the ‘market’ for higher education in the West Midlands, conducted at the request of Advantage West Midlands and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, highlights a range of key issues and barriers that any new investment needs to help to address.

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Regional Skills Assessment 2008: key issues for employers

We produce the Regional Skills Assessment each year, providing commentary on the changing labour market in the West Midlands to inform the work of a wide range of organisations. This post highlights key issues for employers arising from our skills assessment work this year.

Over the last five years there has been a significant shift in the balance of employment from manufacturing to services:

  • There has been significant new job creation in private sector services such as business & professional services, retail, hotels & catering and in public sector services such as health & social care, education and public administration. Continue reading

Has Liam Byrne got it right?

Liam Byrne MP

Today in his “One year on” speech, the regional minister Liam Byrne returned to his theme of increasing the number of graduates produced by the West Midlands.

What evidence there is that the planned increase in graduate supply is matched by demand for them from employers is one of the issues that will be explored in the graduate research work about to be published by the Observatory.