The Sheffield City Region LEP (SCR) uses LMI in its annual labour market analysis documents (an example is here). These use data on numbers in employment by sector and occupations, births and deaths of organisations, qualifications, employer recruitment difficulties and skill use to set out city-level skills shortages and changing occupational profiles along with sector, occupation and skill projections. The key findings are presented with clear graphics that increase the accessibility of the work, and have fed into city-wide labour market programmes, including those aiming to increase the skills of the existing workforce, such as the Skills Made Easy programme and the Skills Bank pilot.
The Skills Bank pilot is designed around LMI that used the above variables to identify nine main sectors within the LEP that are of growing importance to the local economy (in terms of jobs provided and productivity) but have current skill shortages that hamper their economic contribution to the City Region. To try and overcome these identified skilled shortages the LEP has designed a pilot that will provide training grants for employees aged 19 or over who are employed in one of these nine main growth sectors. Applications for the grants need to come from SFA-registered training providers operating in partnership with local businesses, and to demonstrate that the proposed training is clearly aligned with the growth ambition of the businesses involved. These requirements aim to ensure funds are targeted only at reducing current skill gaps in key sectors, which could not have been identified without the LEP’s LMI.
The Skills Made Easy initiative is designed to assist organisations with identifying their training needs through gathering LMI directly relevant to that organisation. Information on the individual organisation’s current skills usage and skill gaps, its future aims and skills needed to fulfil these is obtained through discussion and interviews with the organisation. The programme then offers support in designing and incorporating a training programme to overcome any issues, which may include designing an apprenticeship scheme. SCR acts as a broker in these cases, seeking applications from providers to deliver apprenticeship frameworks that match the identified training needs of the organisation. In this way SCR ensures that relevant, timely LMI feeds into employer’s training strategies and the design of training courses. To date, 15 new apprenticeship frameworks have been created as a result of this programme, and organisations feel they are more suited to their needs than the national apprenticeship frameworks. Given that the core aim is to eliminate large skills gaps in key growth sectors, to date approximately one third of all apprenticeship and upskilling done through the programme has been related to the manufacturing sector.