“LEPs have a vital role to play in delivering strong local economies. As business-led partnerships they are at the heart of responding to skills needs and building local industrial strategies that will help individuals and businesses gain the skills they need to grow.”
– Damian Hinds MP in his remarks to the Council of LEP Chairs, October 2018
Delivering growth and responding to skills needs are at the heart of what LEPs are about. Yet in order to do these things effectively, a solid grasp of your area’s economy is essential. This includes understanding which industries are currently driving growth, how this is projected to change in the next few years, and which sectors give your area an advantage over other LEP areas. It also includes understanding what occupations are most in-demand, which industries they are employed in, and what skills your area’s employers are looking for.
The most effective method of gaining this understanding is by having access to good data: that is, insight which is specific to your area, which can really dig down into the most granular detail of occupations, industries and skills, and which is easy to use and to interpret. However, much of the data that is available does not tick all these boxes, and consequently cannot be relied upon to build a solid, evidence-based foundation for delivering growth and responding to skills needs.
The purpose of this four part series is two-fold: firstly, to demonstrate how Emsi’s Labour Market Insight (LMI) has been put together and how it is delivered, in order that it might tick all those boxes (this will be in Part 2). Secondly, it is intended to show you how this data can be applied to the issues that are at the heart of what you do, so that you might have the confidence to know that the decisions you take and the interventions you make are the right ones (we’ll look at how this relates to skills and growth in Parts 3 and 4 respectively).
We are currently working with around a third of the country’s LEPs, and we are genuinely thrilled to have been able to bring our data and our expertise to bear on some of the major growth and skills challenges that they are having. Here are just a couple of examples of our recent work:
Skills Conclusion – Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership
GCGP EP commissioned Emsi to produce a comprehensive analysis of the region’s labour market, incorporating local dimensions. The work included background analyses covering the region’s relative position in terms of productivity and employment; its changing industry composition; the distribution of jobs by occupation and qualification across local authority districts; and regional priorities.
Industry Cluster Analysis – Exeter and Heart of Devon Councils
Aimed at giving an in-depth analysis of what is driving EHOD’s economy, this report first identified the area’s leading industry clusters, providing insight on their productivity performance. After consultation with EHOD, four clusters were then chosen for an in-depth analysis. This identified the sectors driving the cluster, their skills demands, and how much their growth is down to local, rather than national factors.
Good, localised LMI really can give your organisation the peace of mind that its decisions are being made on a basis of solid evidence, rather than assumptions or guesswork. We hope that this series will be helpful to you in showing how your organisation might use this kind of insight to get to grips with the challenges you are facing, whether they be around Local Industrial Strategies and Skills Advisory Panels in particular, or driving growth and responding to skills needs more generally.
Get in touch to find out how we can help you build a solid evidence-base for your local skills and industrial strategy.