Our most recent user group was held a few weeks ago at Wigan and Leigh College. Representatives from several colleges across the region were present, including Ian Philip from Dearne Valley College and Belinda Ball from South Staffordshire College. Both Ian and Belinda presented on the use of EMSI products at their institutions. Other presentations included updates and reports from the EMSI team and a case study presentation by Nicola Meredith of Wigan and Leigh College.
We will post a summary of Belinda Ball’s presentation on the use of Career Coach at South Staffordshire College in a later article.
Bruce Evans, VP of Development, presented on some updates to Analyst and Jon Burnett presented on our newly-available Equifax data, which allows Analyst users to locate businesses that are connected to the industries within the tool. Anthony Horne gave a compelling case for why every FE college should have an Economic Impact Study done. Rob May of City & Guilds was unable to attend, but EMSI’s Andy Durman stepped in to present Rob’s analysis of how EMSI and City & Guilds are working together to serve the FE sector.
Ian Philip – Dearne Valley College
Previously, Dearne Valley College used labour market information to support curriculum/capital bids and applications. The College was introduced to EMSI in April 2012 and purchased Analyst and Career Coach soon after. Sector-specific LMI was suddenly made available to the curriculum managers, who used it in their planning sessions to great effect. For example, the data in Analyst was used to support the investment of welding resources to meet the needs of the local economy.
The College has actually seen quite a change in development strategy. In the past, using LMI to inform curriculum investment was uncommon, but these days, skills funding is closely tied to certain sectors, so it is very important to know which sectors are growing and which are declining. All curriculum planning and business development activities are being driven by the college’s Employment and Skills board and LMI from EMSI plays a key role in shaping direction.
Nicola Meredith – Wigan and Leigh College
Wigan and Leigh College is one of our oldest customers and the things that they have been doing with our products are really quite exciting. The College purchased both Analyst and Career Coach a number of years ago, initially for their Projects Team, but eventually moving it to the marketing department. One of the most challenging things is the fact that researching the labour market typically took time–lots of it–which means that less time was devoted to actually evaluating the options and making good decisions. For Wigan and Leigh, Analyst is part of the answer to that problem. In conjunction with other data sources, workers prepared packets of labour market information for each individual sector and delivered them to the curriculum leaders. As a result, the leaders were saved from the headaches of research and were able to focus entirely on curriculum planning.
We’re not promoting courses anymore, we’re promoting careers.“
Career Coach has also been used to great effect by the College. In addition to making the tool available in their employment services department, the College has used Career Coach as a selling point when visiting schools in the area. Local schools are now using the tool in support of careers activities for their pupils. More and more, schools are focusing on encouraging students to pick a job as early as possible and the College is poised to help with that process. As Nicola says, “We’re not promoting courses anymore, we’re promoting careers.”
Rob May – City & Guilds
City & Guilds can support colleges in interpreting local labour market information in the context of planning curriculum content. As you can see in the slide below, this ‘local labour market information’ comes from EMSI.
Rob’s presentation also mentioned the sobering Ofsted report from March in which over a third of the 17 colleges surveyed did not have sufficient labour market intelligence to help them plan their provision. “Many colleges were able to clearly identify common priorities within their local region, such as rising unemployment and a mismatch of skills,” Matthew Coffey, National Director of Learning and Skills, said of the results of the Ofsted report. “However, there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate how successful they were in supporting progression to further training.” City & Guilds along with EMSI is in a perfect position to reverse this trend by helping colleges translate labour market data into decisive actions.
All in all, the user group was a success, but we’d like the next one to be even more successful. If you have a story about EMSI data that you’d like to share, please let us know. We love learning about how our clients are using our tools.