In an article for TES last year, we argued that for the new Sainsbury Technical Routes to really have an impact in producing the skills needed by employers, they would need to be mapped to labour market demand. After demonstrating how this could be done at the national level, we made the comment that for the concept to be truly useful, rather than merely an interesting academic exercise, it would need to be carried out at the local/regional level.
We are really pleased to be able to say that following that piece, West Yorkshire Colleges Consortium took the idea and ran with it. Using our data, they have now produced a report which maps the 15 routes to the Leeds City Region, providing an overview of current and projected impact. According to the introduction, the intention of the report is:
To aid future discussions regarding curriculum and business planning in line with the technical routes set out in the Report of the Independent Panel on Technical Education (April 2016)
To provide an overview of the Leeds City Region economy and future projections across growth occupations and occupational groups that fall within the 15 technical education routes
To facilitate further research and dialogue regarding Labour Market Insight through signposting to resources and contacts for further support
After starting with a general summary of the regional labour market as a whole, the report then delves into each of the 15 technical routes to give the following insight:
- A breakdown of all the occupations within each route and current job numbers
- A proportionate comparison of jobs numbers with the national average
- Expected growth forecasts in each occupation to 2022
- A comparison of expected growth in each occupation with national growth
- Demographic breakdown of workforce in each route by sex and age
When we first tested the idea of mapping routes to the labour market in the TES piece, we were convinced that it had huge potential at the local level in helping colleges identify which routes they should be most focussed on in relation to their area. However, from the testing of a concept to seeing it put into practice is often a huge leap. West Yorkshire Colleges Consortium have seen the same potential, and it is great to see them taking the concept and applying it in a way that will help them hone their offer around the technical routes to fit closely with the needs of employers in their region.
To find out more about how we can help your college map the routes to your region’s labour market, contact Doug Heckman at firstname.lastname@example.org