This summer will see the commencement of the Government’s Restart Scheme, a £2.9 billion strategy aimed at helping people who have been unemployed for more than 12 months get back into work. The Scheme divides England and Wales into 12 different Contract Package Areas (CPAs), each of which will be run for the next three years by one of the 12 prime providers on the CAEHRS Framework that was put in place last year.
With the awarding of the 12 contracts due to take place in the next few days, the successful providers will be expected to:
“Work with employers, local government and other partners to deliver tailored support for individuals,” and “break down any employment barriers that could be holding them back from finding work.”
The importance of good data for successful delivery
A big part of successful delivery will require providers to be well acquainted with the labour market in their CPA, particularly in terms of:
- Understanding which sectors are growing fastest
- Identifying which occupations are seeing growth
- Exploring compatible occupations for the skills job seekers have.
Good data will be essential for this, and as a specialist provider of localised Labour Market Insight, we are excited to be working with a number of the providers on the short-list, as well as being a Project Partner with the Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP).
Understanding which sectors are growing fastest
Given the massive disruption over the last year, a good place to find out which sectors are starting to see an increase in demand is by using the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data on job vacancies by sector. In the chart below, we have plotted the percentage change in job vacancies per quarter throughout 2020 and into the first quarter of 2021 (the Q1 data for 2021 is provisional, and may well change when the data for March is finalised).
What we see is that every sector saw a slump in job vacancies in Q2 of 2020, which is the period of the first Lockdown. Since then, there have been varying degrees of recovery, with some sectors seeing further slumps later in the year and into 2021 with the second and third Lockdowns. To date, only three sectors have recovered to a point where there are now more job vacancies than in Q1 of 2020: Electricity, gas, steam & air conditioning; Construction; and Public admin & defence, compulsory social security. You can hover over the chart for more details, and click on any of the sectors at the top of the chart for a more in-depth look:
Identifying which occupations are seeing growth
If we take one of these growth sectors — Construction — we can dig into our Job Posting Analytics data to identify how employer demand has changed across the 12 CPAs. For the purposes of this exercise, we have used our Staffing Pattern methodology to pick out the ten biggest employing occupations within the Construction sector, and have then charted the percentage growth in online employer job postings in each area from the start of 2020 to March 2021. When you press the play button on the map, you will see that in the period April to June, every one of the 12 CPAs saw a slump in employer demand for these occupations. Then from July onwards, there is a recovery across all areas, but three in particular stand out as seeing the biggest growth: Wales (with a 131.8% rise in employer job postings over the period); North West (94.8%); and South East & London (94.2%). On the other hand, Central & West London has seen the slowest growth at 12.8%.
We can then look more particularly at those Top 10 Construction occupations, to see which of them has seen the most growth over the period January 2020 to March 2021, and in which CPA’s this growth has occurred. In the heat map below, you can see that of the ten occupations, Bricklayers and masons has seen the biggest growth in employer demand across all areas. There are also some particular occupations that have seen high growth, but only in certain areas. For instance, demand for Painters and decorators has risen by 380% in Wales and 370% in East Central. At the other end of the scale, some occupations have seen little or no growth. For instance, demand for Construction project managers and related professionals has fallen by 19% in Central & West London, and by 5% in Greater Manchester, whilst Carpenters and joiners has decreased by 4% in Central & West London:
Exploring compatible occupations
Finally, we can take a look at how data can be used to explore occupations that are compatible with a job seeker’s skillset, and where there may be gaps that need to be supplied by retraining or upskilling. In the heat map above, we saw that the demand for Bricklayers and masons has been high across the country, particularly in comparison with many other occupations in the Construction sector. Using our data which draws on O*NET — a database describing the skills and competencies needed to perform certain tasks — we can identify occupations that are most closely compatible with it in terms of knowledge and skills needed to perform the job.
The Radar charts below take the ten most important knowledge competencies for Bricklayers and masons, and compare them with the four most compatible occupations: Floorers and wall tilers, Elementary construction occupations, Scaffolders, stagers and riggers, and Paperhangers. The coloured parts of each chart represent knowledge gaps between these occupations and those needed for bricklaying. As you can see, the most compatible of the four is Floorers and wall tilers, whilst Scaffolders, stagers and riggers, and Paperhangers, though overall fairly compatible, would need training or upskilling in a number of areas, particularly Building and Construction, in order to get work as Bricklayers:
By using data to understand which sectors are growing fastest, to identify which occupations within those sectors are most in-demand, and to explore how the competencies for occupations where there have been big job losses relate to those required for in-demand occupations, providers in the Restart Scheme will have a far better chance of redeploying people back into the workforce, either directly or via a training route to supplement their existing skillset.
Contact us to discuss getting access to the sort of data shown in this piece for your region via our Analyst tool.