Amersham and Wycombe College is a large general further education college with two main sites in the south Buckinghamshire towns of Amersham and High Wycombe.
The college signed up to use Analyst back in April 2013 in recognition of the need to utilise more detailed local labour market data, alongside other key market intelligence, to develop a robust evidence base at the heart of the college’s planning activities.
Since subscribing to Analyst the college have driven forward a number of new initiatives based on local, regional and national labour market trends, and during the college’s recent OFSTED inspection, the college were praised for the effect this has had. The report states:
An excellent investigation of labour market intelligence, of employment and travel trends underpins the design of the new curriculum offer. Recent re-focusing on vocational skills is having a beneficial impact in a number of curriculum areas, with many students progressing to universities and employment because of their good vocational and employability skills.
In the relatively short time since gaining access to EMSI’s powerful and insightful data on employment trends, the college have seen significant benefits.
David Corke, Director of Enterprise and Planning at the College explains that “Analyst has helped make sure our curriculum meets the needs of industry and that it has sufficient breadth, depth and churn by comparing the LMI to our own skills landscape data. It gives us the right steer in our conversations with the LEP and employer groups to ensure we are providing the skills needed to drive our local economy.”
David goes on to say, “Colleges typically have good data on the supply of skills they provide but it is crucial to use sources of strategic intelligence, such as Analyst, at a macro level to understand the other side, the local demand. A good evidence base is crucial in making significant investment decisions, such as the creation of our new motor vehicle provision, in a time when finances are extremely tight.”
One example is in the college’s motor vehicle provision. EMSI data helped quantify the significant and growing number of jobs in the local economy, which has spurred college investment in this area with the creation of a Level 1 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance (which has been complimented by Ross Brawn, Team Principal of the Mercedes and Petronas Formula F1 Team). Just a few months after setting up this course, enrolment has been strong, setting many young people on a path to successful and sustainable employment.
Photos courtesy of Amersham and Wycombe College.