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case study G:

West of England LEP – assisting young people with career planning

The LEP felt that access to locally and easy-to-use LMI was a key barrier in providing high-quality careers information to young people. To overcome this it undertook its own analysis of currently available labour market information, identifying, among other factors, key sectors and occupations within the LEP and the skills required to work in these. This was done using data setting out current employment by sector and occupation, predictions of future growth and decline by sector and occupation and skills valued by relevant employers. The LEP also looked at the current skills and qualifications of the working-age population to estimate current and expected skill mismatch.

In order to get more timely data than was publicly available on key sectors within the LEP, the LEP produced its own detailed annual employer survey to supplement official sources. It also commissioned outside resource to uncover how the situation varies throughout the LEP. To ensure this data and the results of the survey are adequately capturing local industry needs, they are sense-checked with business representatives.

This data has been used to develop a series of sector and geographically focused LMI documents, titled ‘Employment in the West of England’. Currently a total of 12 documents are available – 11 focus on sectors that the data collated revealed to be of large and growing importance in the LEP, such as advanced engineering, food tech and construction, while one provides a sector overview. These are produced annually with the aim of supporting career and employability professionals working across the West of England to bring LMI to life for young people and retain talent in the LEP area.

In order to ensure schools and students are aware of this information and make use of it, the LEP has produced LMI learning packs for schools and colleges, setting out lesson plans and producing posters that aim to help young people make informed course decisions by making them aware of growing sectors in the area and the career opportunities linked to these. These documents cover LMI such as earning potential, skills and qualifications needed for specific roles, relevant courses, local providers of these courses and employers recruiting for these roles. The aim is to refresh the guidance each year and the documents are available on the LEP’s website as well as being posted out to schools.

These resources are also promoted at sector-specific events known as ‘Pathways to Professions’, held at various locations across the LEP. These events are employer-led and present LMI resources and local employer perspectives to an audience of careers advisors, schools, colleges, universities, LAs, community organisations and other industry professionals. The core aim is to discuss career pathways but they also provide the opportunity for a range of local partners to interact, discussing what LMI is useful for them, how they use it and how reflective they find it to be of their local area. As such they provide a good opportunity for the LEP to gain feedback on its LMI products and to learn what new resources are in demand, allowing it to continually improve the LMI it provides for stakeholder use.

Lesson
Establish opportunities for stakeholders to engage with each other to encourage the use of LMI and highlight its relevance to local partners
Lesson
Draw on a wide range of data, combining quantitative and qualitative sources and the design of new surveys to achieve a strong understanding of the local labour market
Lesson
Design own surveys to get more detailed knowledge of a local labour market than is available from existing sources
Lesson
Use network to obtain feedback on LMI usefulness and where potential improvements could be made
Lesson
Tailor LMI products for a specific audience to increase use, pulling out themes that will be of particular interest to each group