Better alignment between the skills employers demand and those people have can improve productivity, leading to better outcomes for individuals and businesses.
Quality Labour Market Information (LMI) can help identify where and how to achieve better skills alignment. The Board supports DfE’s plans for the new Unit for Future Skills (UFS), which has the aim of improving the quality, quantity, and accessibility of LMI for all its users across the skills system.
The purpose of this report is to support the development of the UFS by highlighting key LMI gaps and opportunities, and illustrating the potential for making improvements. We also highlight the limits to the productivity gains that can come from LMI alone.
Summary of key messages
Priorities for improvements to LMI on skills:
Supply-side improvements are the main priority because we have relatively better measures of skills in demand than those in supply – and we need both sides to assess matching problems.
• Within supply, the priority is linking existing data sets (on occupations, qualifications, and employment), and testing the feasibility of adding occupation data to the LEO database, to track people from education into work and between jobs.
• This can enable a better understanding of the skills (or bundles of skills6) people have and where they developed them – whether in education and training, or a particular job.
On the demand-side:
• Analysing current and past data is important in understanding demand for skills (or bundles of skills). Many of these are transferable skills, which will be generally useful in the face of an uncertain future.
• Looking to the future, we should use the following methods:
o Analysing known economic, demographic, and policy-driven trends that can change demand (whether increase or decrease) for certain occupations and skills demand across occupations. This analysis should be considered alongside information on transferable skills.
o Investigating the changing skills required within priority occupations over time – likely based on expert predictions.
Understanding matching more clearly can help support productivity improvements but it should also enable better monitoring of equity considerations. This is an important development to support levelling up aims.
19 key messages are also found throughout the report at the end of the relevant section in blue boxes.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Opportunities and challenges for improving labour market information on skills | VOCEDplus, the international tertiary education and research database