The Industrial Strategy whitepaper, published last year, set out the government’s vision to put the UK at the forefront of technological and industrial change. It includes key policies that address the shortage of skills of the future – particularly STEM skills; and investment in a new national retraining scheme to support re-skilling, beginning with digital and construction.

Having access to a comprehensive and granular view of the labour market on a local, regional and national level is vital for universities supporting the Industrial Strategy.  Labour market data, such as real-time jobs market information is used extensively by Universities looking to identify emerging skills, in order to build the courses and programmes of the future.

Recognising the skills of the future

Labour market data can be used to track the emerging skills, technologies and occupation requirements of local and national employers and industries.  This insight can then be used to monitor the relevance of the existing course portfolio and develop a curriculum or course that reflects real skills and employer demands.  It also allows us to make predictions on future employment needs based on recent growth patterns at a local, regional or national level.

The problem with free data…

Free sources of Government LMI data give us a broad view of labour market trends.  However, the data sources are not current, and drawing conclusions from old data is always going to be problematic.  For a more accurate view real-time job vacancy data should be used, to enable understanding of today’s employment demands and to highlight gaps in skills provision.

Labour market insight can benefit Universities strategically in other ways too, particularly:

  • Marketing and Promoting graduate outcomes – Universities should be able to show that the courses they are offering are relevant to current demand.  Job vacancy and employer data can be used to promote courses to prospective students, illustrating likelihood of finding work within specific sectors, and what level of pay they can expect to earn after graduating.
  • Employer engagement – Local employer hiring activity is used to identify potential partners with which to cultivate work placements, Higher Apprenticeships, research, training etc – and to identify emerging industries to strengthen links with.
  • Business planning – It’s important to provide an evidence base that is current.  Quality LMI enables Universities to understand the differences between local, regional and national labour market demands, as well as being able to highlight the uniqueness of the institution, enabling better strategic planning and successful funding bid applications.

A unique solution

Labour Insight is a unique LMI tool patented by Burning Glass Technologies and available in the UK from Active. It’s based on job vacancy listings data, available to view within 48 hours, and going back to 2012.  Data is gleaned from 40,000 sources such as employer websites and public agencies; including the National Apprenticeship Service, Indeed.com and LinkedIn; and includes indicators to show Risk of Automation.

It’s extensively by Universities across the UK including London Metropolitan, the University of Exeter and the University of the West of England.

To find out more about how LMI can benefit your university – get in touch to organise a demo or simply have a chat with one of our LI specialists.