Observatory skills research team update: April 2010

This post is the first in a new series of weekly Observatory research updates; there will be one post from a different research team each week. We’re doing this in response to feedback we received in our recent website user survey. Please do get in touch with any feedback.

April was a very busy month for the Observatory’s Skills Team as we completed existing work and started new projects. This post rounds up recently published research and current projects.

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2009 Skills Assessment for local organisations and their sub-regions

Improving connections between local and regional evidence and policy will be crucial to the success of the forthcoming Regional Skills Strategy.

This was one message from delegates at yesterday’s dissemination event for the Observatory’s Regional Skills Assessment 2009.

A mix of Local Authority officers, higher education representatives and policy officers investigated how the extensive research undertaken by the Observatory can be used by local authorities and other organisations to plan major pieces of work such as Local Economic Assessments.

As the Skills Assessment will also inform work at regional level, including the forthcoming Regional Skills Strategy and Strategy for the West Midlands, the research can help forge links between the local and regional tiers of strategy and policy making.

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Seminars on the 2009 Regional Skills Assessment and the new Regional Skills Strategy

Person wiring cables at Stourbridge CollegeThe Government has published Skills for Growth, a new National Skills Strategy.

This highlights the fact that skilled people are one of the building blocks of successful businesses. Skilled workers can carry out more complex tasks, work more effectively and produce higher value products and services.

They are also better at adapting to changing working environments, enabling firms to respond better to changing global competition and technology. This tends to be particularly effective when businesses use these skills in combination with investment in innovation and technology.

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The economic downturn – impact on skills and the labour market

November 2008 economic downturn briefing paperOur November 2008 briefing paper on the Economic Downturn, produced by WMRO’s Skills team, examines how the current economic climate is affecting the West Midlands in terms of skills and the labour market as a whole.

Here are the key headlines for quarter 3 of 2008:

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