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South West England Skills Priorities Statement
Purpose and context
This statement sets out in general terms what skills provision is required to drive economic growth in
the South West. It identifies specific priorities for providers and stakeholders to address in the
academic year 2011/12. These priorities have been derived from:
Consultation with key stakeholders (Annex 2)
The South West Employment and Skills Analysis 2010 (Annex 3a)
An analysis of current delivery (Annex 3c)
The priorities identified by local partners (Annex 4).
The South West economy was estimated to be worth £97.8 billion in 2008, ranking the region as the
fifth largest regional economy in England. Between 2003 and 2008, the region’s economy grew
(nominally) by an average of 4.9% a year, the third quickest growth rate after London (5.8%) and the
East of England (5.3%). These average rates have been depressed by the start of the recession in
The labour market is characterised by high economic activity rates, relatively high levels of
employment and low rates of unemployment. Average earnings in the region are lower than the
national average. There is relatively high employment in public administration, distribution, hotels and
restaurants, and manufacturing. The region also has a lower concentration of high value added
sectors such as banking and finance. Comparatively, this structure contributes to lower overall levels
The region has the highest part-time working rate in the country. While part-time working is a flexible
and efficient solution for many of the labour force, high rates of part-time working can lead to under
utilisation of the labour force and lower productivity. Between October 2008 and September 2009,
643,700 people worked part-time in the South West – 27.3% of all of those in employment in the
region – compared to an English average of 24.2%. Women are four times more likely to work part-
time than men in the region. 14.3% of those in employment in the region were classed as self-
employed – the second highest rate in the country after London and 1.5 percentage points above the
The region’s workforce includes a high number of skilled trade occupations, but a below average
representation of well paid and more productive professional occupations. In the year up to September
2009 around 2.5 million, or 81.6% of the working age population, were classed as economically
active in the South West, the third highest rate in the country after the South East (83.3%) and the
East of England (82%). The region has consistently performed well on this measure in the last ten
years. The number of individuals claiming unemployment related benefits has increased following the
onset of the recession, rising from 1.3% in April 2008 to a peak of 3.1% in April 2009 – an additional
56,653 claimants. However, the region has seen the smallest percentage rise in claimants amongst
the regions and, recently, the negative trend has halted. At the end of June 2010 this was less than
2.6%. It remains to be seen if this is a turning point.
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South West Skills Issues and Priorities
Key skills issues
There are three main reasons why the South West lags in terms of its economic performance: a lack
of innovation and investment, a lack of connectivity, and the under-utilisation of skills which reduces
overall business productivity. In terms of skills the South West is characterised by:
An over-reliance on seasonal low value/low paid jobs serviced by a large cohort of people who do
not have qualifications or who have low qualifications.
A lack of people with intermediate skills to fill craft, technician and associate professional jobs; this
is particularly true for high growth/emerging sectors.
People with higher-level skills not working at a level commensurate with their qualifications (under-
utilisation), and/or not having the right higher level qualifications, or the ability and attitude to
recognise the transferable elements of their degrees in the current labour market. This is a general
issue, but is of particular concern in the high growth/emerging sectors.
The analysis and consultations have led to the identification of 3 clear priorities in order to address
the issues identified above; these priorities are consistent with the Regional Economic Strategy (2006-
15), the statements set out by the Regional Employment and Skills Board and the approach taken to
promote recovery from the economic recession. The section below sets out the priorities and the key
issues that need to be addressed:
Priority 1: Delivering skills provision that will support the development of high/growth and
During the last decade growth has been employment led, rather than productivity led; this needs
to be reversed, with a stronger emphasis in the future on productivity led growth. This will assist
the region to recover post recession.
The South West needs to continue building on existing sector strengths and specialisms.
Examples include; aerospace manufacturing, creative industries, marine (boatbuilding and repair)
and renewable energy. The region is also strong in business services.
The South West needs to support the development of new and emerging sectors in order to create
the jobs that will demand higher level skills. Sector examples include: civil nuclear, environmental
goods and services, and other forms of manufacturing.
Priority 2: Raise individuals’ aspirations and skills levels in the South West.
The South West has significantly higher numbers of self-employed, part-time and temporary
workers than other regions. These people need to be encouraged to raise their aspirations and
The South West has an ageing workforce which is generating significant replacement demand in
high volume sectors (e.g. retail, hospitality, social care, manufacturing and construction). People
need to be encouraged to stay in work longer, re-skilling themselves where appropriate. New
entrants need to be encouraged into these sectors.
The South West has the lowest numbers of 18-24 year olds nationally. More young people and
graduates need to be encouraged to stay, train and work in the region.
People who are traditionally under-represented in the labour market need targeted support to help
them reach their potential. This includes people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. The
BME community is under-represented at senior management levels.
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The regional employment rate has dropped from a high of 78% to 75% post recession – targeted
interventions are needed to help people back in to work quickly, avoiding long term, generational,
unemployment. The JSA count is dropping and off-flows are still good, but there are concerns,
particularly about new entrants into the labour market and graduates, both with little work
experience and middle managers many who have been employed in one firm. Although the JSA
count is dropping it will rise when new policies to re-assess customers currently on IB come to
play from February 2011. The claimant count is expected to go up as public sector staff are laid
off – they too will need opportunities to re-train and re-skill in order to transition to work in the
private sector and other opportunities. 28% of employment in the South West is in the public
sector and job losses over the next 5 years could top 100,000 including private sector jobs funded
by the public sector.
There are wide intra-regional variations in terms of rates of employment and inactivity, which have
been heightened by the recession. There are several spatial hot spots including Swindon,
Bournemouth, Torbay, Gloucester and Plymouth. Skills interventions need to be combined with
other economic development interventions for maximum impact in such vulnerable places.
The region is reliant on migrant workers in certain sectors and geographical areas. The new
migration cap is likely to have an impact on businesses, particularly in the care sector. Migrant
workers also need to be encouraged to use their skills fully and have the opportunity to gain
appropriate language, health and safety and other key training.
Priority 3: Increasing employers’ participation in skills development in the South West.
The South West economy relies primarily on a strong base of SME companies. Data shows that
there is wide variation in terms of training practice. Targeted interventions are needed to support
those employers that are not sufficiently engaged with training.
There is good practice to build upon with larger employers that have more capacity to support
training. The focus needs to be on those firms in the high growth/emerging sectors.
Employers need to work with providers to deliver more higher level skills in the workplace. There
are real opportunities to link such skills development with programmes to improve company
There is also a real need to grow the jobs that demand the skills that are being acquired. Whilst
registration and de-registration of businesses are roughly in balance in the region, there are
pockets, including Torbay and some rural areas, such as West Devon, where the number of
businesses is contracting.
All of the three priorities above are underpinned by the need to develop skills which are clearly lined to
the labour market. Employers highlight the need for good communication, team working and
numeracy and financial skills.
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Current and Future Employer Demand Priorities
The three things that need to be done to deliver on the South West priorities are:
Ensuring the skills that will support growth sectors and technologies, and a move towards a low
carbon economy, are in place. This requires immediate planning, with delivery over the medium
Addressing skills shortages, gaps, replacement demand, and re-skilling the workforce across all
sectors. This requires immediate action.
Raising skill levels overall by up-skilling those without qualifications, or with low skills, and re-
skilling those with skills that are no longer relevant to the needs of the economy. This requires
Annex 4 provides further detail with respect to demand and priorities at the local level. The areas for
focus and action are summarised below.
Meeting the needs of Growth and Emerging Sectors
Addressing issues along the STEM pipeline to ensure an appropriate supply of individuals with
STEM skills at all levels.
Supporting the adaptation of occupations to the low carbon/green economy.
For Advanced manufacturing, including aerospace, marine, biotechnology and nanotechnology
the need is for research and development skills, high level technical skills, technical support skills,
and commercial skills (notably sales and marketing). Many of these businesses are concentrated
in the Northern Triangle (Gloucestershire, West of England, Swindon) and Plymouth.
For off-shore renewable technologies, to include off-shore wind, wave and tidal sectors, the
need is for the development of technical and STEM skills at levels 3, 4 & 5, to meet the needs of
engineering disciplines (mechanical, marine, geotechnical and electrical), turbine technicians, and
occupational health, and health & safety experts. Related marine energy applied research and
development investments in the region include PRIMaRE, Wave Hub and the West of Wight and
For Civil Nuclear decommissioning the skills requirements are particularly at levels 3 & 4
(mechanical and instrument technicians and engineering). For new build nuclear facilities (Hinkley
Point) the requirements are for constructions skills, then operational skills. Annex 3b gives further
details. Related investments include the SW Energy Centre at Bridgwater College.
For Micro-generation, it is particularly important that small and micro businesses have a good
understanding of micro-generation technologies and installation requirements. This will require a
range of technical skills at levels 2, 3 and 4.
Composite related technologies include a broad range of industrial sectors, notably aerospace,
marine, manufacturing, low carbon and wind energy. The need is for technical skills at level 3 and
above. These will be required in ‘prime’ companies throughout the South West. Specific skills
needs to be met within the Aerospace sector, which is concentrated in the West of England,
Gloucestershire and Yeovil, include Assembly workers (Levels 3/4), Material scientists (Levels
3/4/5), Integrated Process Engineers (Level 5), Material & Design Technicians (Levels 4/5), Lay
up, Testing & Certification staff (Levels 3/4), Procurement and Logistics skills (Levels 3/4),
Composites familiarisation (Level 2) and Environmental management skills (Level 4). Related
investments include the National Composites Centre based in the West of England.
Digital Technologies. Next Generation Access will generate significant skills requirements for
cable laying – Technicians (Levels 2/3/4), and after implementation a need for ICT sales, skilled
maintenance staff and software engineers. This will impact Cornwall in the short term and will
apply to other locations as NGA is rolled out.
Creative Industries where notable needs are for production skills, IP knowledge, commercial
skills, broadcast engineering and visual effects development.
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Addressing gaps, shortages, replacements demand and the need for re-skilling
There is a need for Higher level skills (level 3 and 4) to replace the considerable number of
employees in high level occupations who are approaching retirement age. Areas that have the
furthest to progress include: Bournemouth, Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth, Poole, Somerset, West of
England, Swindon, and Torbay.
Skills gaps to be filled include those for skilled trade occupations, sales, customer service jobs,
personal services and elementary occupations
Technical skills are required widely to meet level 2 and 3 shortages and replacement demand in
employment rich sectors including:
o Advanced manufacturing
o Food and drink
o Health and care
o Land based businesses
o Service sector businesses
Individuals who have been out of the labour market for sometime and those with no
qualifications, 9% of the working age population have no qualifications. Particular hot spots are
Cornwall and parts of West of England. This is mainly a rural issue, but it also effects towns and
fringe areas with over 33% of adults having no qualifications.
Raising overall skills levels means there is a need for:
Engagement of non learners particularly in rural areas
Improving achievement levels for literacy and language, and particularly numeracy
Reversing the slowing down of achievement, particularly in Bristol, Swindon, Plymouth and
Improving progression from level 2 to level 3 and above. Historically progression to level 4 has
been relatively weak with progress required across many industries/sectors; Agriculture and
Fishing, Construction, Manufacturing, Distribution, Hotels and Restaurants, Transport and
Communication, Banking, Finance and Insurance, Public Administration, Education and Health,
and Other Services.
Enhancing skills development for the long term unemployed and those aged 18-24 that are
unemployed, remembering that the Department of Works and Pensions remit is work not skills.
Improving skills levels in the rural population. In several rural districts high levels of poorly skilled
residents are evident, also ageing rural populations make re-skilling and or/ replacement more
difficult and pressing and represent particular challenges.
Addressing skills shortages that are currently masked by migrant workers. This particularly relates
to the care, agriculture, food and drink, engineering and manufacturing sectors.
Cross cutting themes
Leadership and management. Training in business start up, enterprise, innovation and creativity
skills are of importance, as are business skills (marketing, finance, ICT and project management).
HR management will be important for non-HR professionals in high performing work places.
Independent Information Advice and Guidance needs to be much better and cover all ages
Flexible provision is a must for:
o Small and medium enterprises
o Self-employed, part-time and temporary workers
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Distribution of current investment
The preceding sections set out the headline issues confronting the South West, leading to the
identification of the 3 main priority areas, and the specific requirements to deliver on those priorities.
So how does this compare with patterns of delivery and spend? In terms of investment it is clear that
current investment in skills does not precisely mirror the priorities that have been identified. The
distribution of current investment is summarised at Annex 3a, and the important points to note are:
YPLA – Learner Responsive funding for 16-18 olds in FE
o The numbers of young people starting education and training is constant.
o Among young people take up has been strong in hospitality, land based, construction,
health and care, but less strong in retail and manufacturing
o There has been no growth in GCSE enrolments
o Overall the number of enrolments is up, but this reflects increases in ‘other qualifications’
and level 1/entry, a reduction in level 2 and a marginal decrease in level 3.
SFA - Learner Responsive funding
o The numbers of adults starting education and training has been declining, mirroring
changes in funding
o Among adults take up has been strong in IT, health and care, hospitality and land based
sectors, but less strong in retail and management
SFA - Employer Responsive funding - There is still an insufficient understanding of what
training provision the private sector is paying for and prioritising. What is clear is that many
businesses will pay when the provision meets their precise needs and is delivered responsively
and flexibly. Take up of public sector support has been mainly at level 2, with some level 3, with
few higher level starts – again mirroring the pattern of funding. Take up has been strong in health
and care, construction, retail and transport.
Apprenticeships – There has been a decline in the numbers of 16-18 year olds, but growth in the
19 plus segment. Most take up is at level 2 in construction, hospitality, manufacturing, health and
care, retail, IT, hairdressing and beauty. There is less take up of advanced and higher
Basic skills provision – Take up of skills for life has grown, although insufficiently for numeracy.
Higher education – Demand has outstripped supply, and this is a trend that is likely to continue,
HEIs could consider claiming back student places allocated to the FE sector. There have been
decreases in numbers applying for maths and some science subjects. There has been strong
growth in foundation degrees, but this is now slowing.
National Skills Academies – There are a number operating in the South West offering a range of
provision particularly relevant to the high growth sectors:
o Manufacturing NSA (advanced engineering)
o Nuclear NSA (civil nuclear power generation)
o Construction NSA (civil works and new build projects)
o IT NSA (digital technology)
o Power NSA (offshore tide, wind and wave power generation)
o Process Industries NSA (composites and biotechnology)
o Environmental Technologies NSA (green building services)
Vulnerable groups – The European Social Fund programme is targeted at unemployed and
unengaged people, young unemployed people (NEETs) and those in work (BME, older workers
and women). The programmes are performing well with increased level 3 provision in the
Competitiveness area, and level 4 provision in the Convergence area.
Targeted provision – RDPE funding has been used to put training interventions in place for the
land based sector and in rural areas.
It is the comparison between what is needed (what the priorities are), and what current investment is
buying, that drives the shifts in investment and interventions that are being asked for. Details of the
required shifts are set out below.
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Shifts in investment and other priorities for intervention
Given the recent change of government and the tight financial climate there are a number of key
trends that will affect the patterns of provision over 2011/12 and into the future:
Less state funded training provision for employers. It remains to be seen if SMEs will continue to
receive targeted support.
A greater focus on the needs of the individual in the system – merged funding streams will
reinforce this trend.
Less availability of HE places and the potential for increases in fees, or introduction of a graduate
Introduction of the new single work programme (DWP) to replace the flexible new deal and other
A positive focus on apprenticeships and higher level frameworks.
A continued rationalisation of the delivery landscape – changes to SFA, YPLA and local authority
commissioning roles. The forthcoming UKCES review of integrated employment and skills will
feed into this debate.
The replacement of RDAs with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) – a stronger local agenda
will emerge in relation to skills and employment.
Taking this, and the previous analysis into account the main shifts for each of the priorities
identified are set out below. Annex 1 contains specific messages for the Skills Funding Agency.
Delivering skills provision that will support the growth of high/growth and emerging sectors
Increased focus on STEM subjects at GCSE, A level (maths and physics)
More vocational learning, at both FE and HE levels. HE in particular needs to do much more in
Continued development of Academies (schools). Academies with their flexibilities are ideally
placed to provide innovative STEM provision as well as address the lack of enterprise and
creativity. By July 2011 there will be 50 Academies in the South West.
More advanced and higher level Apprenticeships in composites, nuclear, advanced engineering,
mico-generation, renewable energy, industrial biotechnology, nanotechnology and creative media.
The diversity of, curriculum development skills and inter HEI working in the South West will be an
asset to support this shift.
Increased availability of flexible provision for adults to better meet the needs of employers,
especially for replacement demand.
Continued support for leadership and management and business related development –
particularly in relation to spin-in, spin-out activity in HE.
Ensuring that linkages are maintained with key economic developments in the transition from
RDAs to LEPs and other structures. There will be issues with consistency as LEPs are unlikely to
cover the whole region.
Supporting provision for sector targeted graduate retention or talent pooling type activity for high
Ensuring that HE provides more opportunities for CPD
Raise individuals’ aspirations and skills for working in the South West.
Increasing and strengthening 14-16 vocational learning. Incentivising apprenticeships and
foundation degrees (vocational routes).
Supporting HE provision and take up in cold spots; Swindon, Somerset, North Devon and Exeter.
Increasing lifelong learning provision for adults. Lifelong Learning Accounts should be heavily
promoted and cover all provision. On-line training provision will need to be promoted in rural
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Protecting FE progression routes into HE and widening participation initiatives and funding.
Supporting the development of FE/HE partnerships.
Programmes to attract STEM students to the South West.
Supporting provision to help the unemployed back into the labour market e.g. employability skills.
Continued support for internship programmes particularly for STEM internships, as a cost
effective way of increasing employability skills and employment for graduates.
The reintroduction of the ‘Future Jobs Fund’ model and/or Apprenticeships to support NEETs and
unemployed 18-24 year olds .
The retention of specialist professional and executive support for JSA claimants especially middle
managers, including business start up and self employment training and support. This could be a
role for Local Enterprise Agencies, if not delivered by Business Link
Continued support for other JSA claimants and vulnerable groups – ex-offenders and young
disadvantaged people, as outlined in the Get Britain Working initiatives.
The improvement and roll out of IAG services will be crucial – Local Authorities should develop
clear strategies around the delivery of independent IAG for young people.
The provision of accurate, up-to-date local, regional and national labour market information on job
and career opportunities to be developed to agreed quality standards for both Connexions and
Adult guidance services. Careers Advisors also need training in economic literacy/labour markets
to make full use of available data.
The need for the new DWP work programme to allow greater time for training interventions.
Current rules allow 2 weeks within 52 week cycle. The 16 hour rule should also be reviewed.
The need for LEPs to pick up economic crisis/recovery interventions as part of their functionality.
Increase employers’ participation in skills development in the South West.
Continued incentivisation of SMEs to train through publicly funded provision.
Increasing the availability of co-funded provision from FE and HE and other providers – delivered
flexibly to the needs of business, for example, the reintroduction of the South West Shell
Framework; allocation of student numbers to higher level Apprenticeships.
Supporting the involvement of employers in curriculum development – particularly with HE, and
apprenticeship/vocational routes. Increase employers’ engagement with delivery of HE.
Developing new models of lecturer/industry practitioners – similar to the Teaching Hospital model
to work with employers.
Ensuring local employer demand is articulated through Local Employment and Skills Boards,
LEPs and other structures.
Continuing to incentivise business engagement with schools. Support the development of
enterprise related curriculum and STEM learning and enrichment provision.
Protecting entry level jobs for special education needs individuals within the public sector.
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Key Messages for the Skills Funding Agency
These key messages have been developed in conjunction with local South West Skills Funding
Agency colleagues and reflect the analysis in the overall statement.
Key messages - shift in investment
1. Grow the volumes taking numeracy courses.
2. Support the development of a technician class with emphasis on investment in programmes at
Level 3, Advanced Apprenticeships and also higher level Apprenticeships.
3. Support the development of an offer of work based training that complements Apprenticeship
provision, and makes more use of bespoke and unit-based programmes. In doing this recognise
that in some sectors there are barriers to Apprenticeship delivery, such as the availability of
frameworks, historical behaviours, and the willingness of employers and employees to engage.
4. Re-shape investment in support of sectoral shifts with reference to co-investment priorities:
a. Grow provision that is within sectors that have high growth potential - for example
nuclear; wind, wave and tidal energy; composites, particularly in relation to aerospace
b. Enhance provision that is key to the south west economy where improvements in skills
could drive productivity - retail, hospitality.
c. Sustain provision that is essential in delivering social well-being and broader social
policy where generally there is a lack of capacity to readily pay for learning - for example
5. Support programmes for the unemployed that provide continuity once in work. Ensure the whole
system is underpinned by high quality Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) with specific
targeting to meet the needs of 18-24 year olds.
6. Ensure that generic employability skills are integrated into broader programmes of learning-
focussing on new entrants to the labour market i.e. school leavers, college leavers and graduates.
Learning support should also be provided to those contemplating self-employment.
7. Continue to support those who have low levels of qualification and that are furthest from the
labour market, including marginalised groups such as offenders.
8. Ensure that provision is of high quality to deliver positive results and provide value for money.
9. Target Local needs identified through Employment and Skills Boards, and that may emerge from
the developing Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) Annex 4.
10. Ensure flexibility of funding and delivery to support the needs of those employed in a non-
traditional fashion e.g. part-time, seasonal and temporary workers and the self employed
11. Continue to provide skills in support for the South West network of National Skills Academies.
12. Fund provision that meets the needs of an ageing workforce, both in terms of the content and
the mode of delivery.
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The following issues also need to be addressed:
Adult Learner Responsive (ALR)
It is recognised that ALR provision is broad-based and meets a variety of needs. Provision that should
be sustained includes:
Skills for Life provision, particularly numeracy.
Provision for Learners with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.
Vocational provision specifically targeted at improving employability.
Provision that supports the needs of individuals, but which also supports progression to higher-
Provision supporting the needs of marginalised groups, e.g. offenders.
Role of intermediaries and advice agencies
The South West has benefitted from high quality business advice and support. Without this the
delivery of learning becomes much less effective given the composition of the region’s economy and
the small size of many of the businesses. IAG needs to be improved.
Leadership and management
Support for the development of leadership and management skills is funded through a number of
routes, which makes it difficult to assess the full impact of such investment. Greater clarity is required
with respect to what actually purchased under this provision. Focussed learning that supports skills
utilisation is required, e.g. human resource management for non-HR professionals and project
management skills. Whole management teams should be targeted not just the most senior
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Engagement and consultation
Consultations for the 2011-12 statement have built upon the South West Employment and Skills Analysis workshops undertaken in early 2010. The
programme of consultations is continuing over the summer. Details of consultees are set out below.
Businesses and business representative bodies Government and local government organisations Supply side organisations
South West Business Forum Local Authorities, through economic development, Children’s Association of Colleges South West
CBI Services departments and LESBs South West FE College Chair of Governors and Principals
Federation of Small Businesses Skills Funding Agency Private Training Providers
80 business represented through LESBs see table below, Young Peoples Learning Agency Universities South West
excluding local authorities further and higher education Job Centre Plus
employers Higher Education Funding Council
Sector Skills Councils Government Office of the South West
South West RDA Board Regional Employment and Skills Board
Local Employment and Skills Board Business/Employer Membership
Sub-region Name of Chair/ Name of Director Names of Business/Employer Board Members/ Date of first
Company co-ordinator Company meeting
Gloucestershire Anthony McClaran, Chief Ahmed Goga, Director, Diane Savory, Chief Operating Officer, SuperGroup Plc April 2008
Executive Gloucestershire First Peter Mckee, Chief Executive, TRL Technology
The Quality Assurance Agency Tony Markey, Managing Director, Markey Group
for Higher Education Rebecca Wassell, Director of HR, Messier-Dowty
Simon Whitham, Customer Services Director, Stround & Swindon Building Society
Simon Spears, Managing Director, Bottlegreen Drinks
David Smith, Director of HR, Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust
Michael Carter, Managing Director, Carter Construction
Duncan Jordan, Interim Group Director, Gloucestershire County Council
Carole Garfield, Federation of Small Businesses
David Owen, Gloucestershire First
West of England Stephen Harrison, Regional David Draycott, Director, Richard Belt, Director, Cabot Circus April 2008,
Now known as the Chairman, Skills and Competitiveness Stephen Birch, Managing Director, Dectel ESB
Skills and PricewaterhouseCoopers Board Simon Bird, Chief Executive, The Bristol Port Company April 2010,
Competitiveness Lucio Mesquita, Head of Regional & Local Programmes West, BBC SCB
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Board Marlene Morley, Head of DE&S Collocation Project, Ministry of Defence
John Savage, Managing Director, GWE Business West
Nick Sturge, Centre Director, SETsquared, University of Bristol
Mark Williams, Global HR Director, Rotork Controls
Cllr Barbara Janke, Leaders, Bristol City Council
Cllr John Goodwin, Executive Member, South Gloucestershire
Jeremy Smalley, Divisional Director Development, Bath & North East Somerset
Karuna Tharmandanther, Deputy Director Development, North Somerset Council
Keith Elliott, Principal, City of Bristol College
Fern Urguhart, Director of Knowledge University of the West of England
Swindon Rikki Hunt ESB activity co-coordinator Mike Godfrey, Honda UK
CEO Get Signal Tiso Fiaola, Economic Karen Walker, Forward Swindon
Please note this is Projects Manager, John Davies, Thring Townsend Lee & Pemberton
the membership for Phil Wood, Zurich
the Swindon Robin Bailey, Nationwide
Economic Celia Carrington, Swindon Borough Council
Partnership that Simon Jackson, InSwindon
assumes the ESB Nicky Alberry, GWE Business West
role. Emma Faramarzi, Federation of Small Business
Nick Beaumont Jones, Swindon Chamber of Commerce
Wiltshire Cllr John Brady, Cabinet Haylea Fryer, Economic Carrie Hall, Apetito 31st March
Member for Economic Development Manager 2010
Development, Planning & (Employment & Skills),
Housing (Interim Chair) Wiltshire Council
Somerset Andrew Larpent, CEO Natalie House, Senior Policy Private sector membership of the County’s Economic Leaders Group and ESB are 16 July 2009
Somerset Care Officer Employment and Skills, being reviewed. To date meetings have included:
Somerset County Council
Rupert Cox, Somerset Chamber of Commerce
Richard Storey, Institute of Directors
Roger Dollins, FSB
Liz Oram, Business Link
Andrew Smith, Numatic
Emma MacDonald, The Bay Tree Food Co.
Ray Buckler, Sitemakers Ltd
Graham Mottram, Somerset Tourism Partnership
Richard Smith, Augusta Westlands
Bournemouth, Dorset Tony Brown, CEO, Beales, Belinda Payne, Independent Construction Chris Kane, Director, Greendale Construction 8th July 2010
and Poole Bournemouth Leisure, Tourism, Hospitality Geoffrey Smith, Bourne Holdings (Rockley)
Hotel Association Andrew Woodland, Menzies Hotel
Tourism Bournemouth Debra Horlock
Care Sector Brian Westlake, Chair of Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole Care Association
Creative Industries Gellen Watt, Director, Thinking Juice, Bournemouth
Advanced Eng & Manufacturing Martin Watts, Honeywell Analytics
Philip Green, Corporate Affairs Director, Meggitt plc
Pharmaceuticals Mary Boughton, Representative of the Federation of Small
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HE Stuart Bartholomew, Principal Arts University College Bournemouth
FESue Moore, Principal Weymouth College
Third Sector Martin Hancock, Bournemouth Christian Housing Association
IT & Communications Joel Jervis, Deverills
Local Authorities Rep Adrian Trevett, Economic Development Manager, Borough of
Public Sector Chief Execs Group Sheralyn Huntingford, Head of HR Dorset County
SFA Sue Farrell
JCP Karen Taylor
Independent Richard Dimbleby
GOSW Paul Jones – Localisation Manager, - OBSERVER
RDA Steve Richards, Head of Business Development, Wessex – OBSERVER
North Devon Sara Vincent, Managing Steve Pitcher, Chief Denzil Bath, Bideford Chamber Jane McLeod, Atlantic Village 25 February
Director, Actavis Executive, North Devon + Nigel Barnard, Chief Exec, Tarka Homes 2010
John Edwards, Head of HR, Torridge District Council.
Rob Llewellyn, L&S, (Timber products)
Rob Garrett, TUC (Ilfracombe)
Tracey Green, Bideford Medical Centre
Claire Moir, Director, TQR Barnstaple,
Richard Wingate, Obsidian, Barnstaple Chamber
Brett Parker, CE, TTS (social enterprise)
Wendy Butler, Consultancy & Community Support Services (voluntary sector)
Martyn Gimber, CE, North Devon Homes
Rose Cockerill, Human Resources Manager, Mole Valley Farmers
Mike Matthews, Lineal, FSB North Devon Branch
John Ley, Hillcrest Farm
Nick Loosemore, Loosemore Builders.
Maureen Bignell, Director of Personnel and Development, North Devon Health Trust
Andrew Mosedale, Head of HR, Brend Group
Exeter and Heart of Simon Witts Gillian Bishop – Exeter City Employers: February
Devon Director Training Academy, Council EBS Project Andy Steele (Vice) Stephens Scown 2008
Flybe Coordinator Diana Challoner – Met Office
Hayley Bentley – Flybe
Hannah Foster– Pearsons
David Wainwright - Rok
Richard Ball – Exeter City Council
Nigel Hillier - FSB
Jeremy Filmer-Bennett - Devon & Cornwall Business Council
Derek Phillips – Chamber of Commerce
Roger Stone, ConstructionSkills
Torbay and South Gareth Brocklehurst – GAP Deborah Passmore – Torbay Anne Walker,International Dance Supplies, 8th April 2009
Devon Recruitment Development Agency (TDA) Caroline Lee, Spirent Communications
(ESB Project Manager) Chris Reader, CIPD,
Chris Robillard, Marketing Solutions
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Claire Hill, Cavanna Group
David Leyland, HR Director, Harrier LLC,
Gary Brenton, HR Manager TLH Leisure Resort
James Hodgson, HR Manager, Sainsbury’s
Jeremy Filmer-Bennett, CEO, Devon and Cornwall Business Council
Karen Romans, HR Officer, Syntech Technologies,
Malcolm Colegate, Federation of Small Businesses,
Neil Turner, Bovey Construction
Pippa Garrigan, Paignton Sec & Info Tech
Tony Wiltshire, Director, Centrax Turbine Components Ltd
Vaughan Lindsay, CEO, The Dartington Hall Trust
Alan Robinson, South Hams District Council,
Jenny Pye, South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Sally Simpson, HR Manager, Torbay Council
Stephen Criddle, Principal, South Devon College
Plymouth Dr Graham Stirling Graham Morris Charles Mills, Managing Director, TwoFour Ltd April 2008
Managing Director, The Graham Morris Consultancy Alan Courts, Director, Rittal CSM Ltd
Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd Tim Jones, Chair, Devon & Cornwall Business Council
Jonathon Morcom, Director, Duke of Cornwall Hotel
David Parlby, CEO,Plymouth Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Nigel Halford, CEO, Tamar Science Park
Gavin Carrier, CEO, Plymouth City Development Company
Wendy Purcell, Vice Chancellor, University of Plymouth
Cornwall and Isles of Paul Wickes, Chief Executive Lucy Harris, Manager, Theresa Middleton – Ginsters 9 July 2010
Scilly Officer, Cornwall Marine Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Martin Saint – Cornish Glass and Glazing LTD
Network (Shadow Chair) Economic Forum – Cornwall Justin Olosunde – Environmental Skills Network
Council (pending review) Jane Sutherland - Creative Skills Network
Geoff Hale – TUC
Michael Rabone – Seafood Restaurent
Gaynor Coley – Eden Project
Janus Howard – Digital Peninsular Network
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South West Employment and Skills Analysis and Evidence Base
The evidence base for this statement has been made available on line to all partners since April 2010.
There have been a series of workshop to support the dissemination of the analysis, which includes
local area reports.
The evidence base was developed by the Skills and Learning Intelligence Module of the Regional
Observatory, the Economy Module has contributed as have Sector Skills Councils. Further research
is being undertaken to provide more detailed information on Composites, Nuclear and Renewable
energy and Creative Media. Annex 3b provides a summary demand analysis and Annex 3c provides
an analysis of current investment in skills. The principal reports are set out below as links. (Press
Control and click the report title to access an individual report).
Regional Employment and Skills Analysis 2010 Report )
Professional and Financial Services Cluster Report
Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals: A Future Skills Review with Recommendations to Sustain Growth in
Strategic Skills Assessment for the Digital Economy
The Engineering Construction Industry - Strategic Skills Cluster Report
Low Carbon Cluster - Sector Skills Assessment Report
Skills and the future of Advanced Manufacturing
Asset Skills: South West Factsheet
GoSkills: South West Factsheet
Cogent South West Factsheet
Lifelong Learning UK: Lifelong Learning in the South West
Construction Skills Network - Ensuring the capacity to build a sustainable future (ConstructionSkills)
Technology Counts IT & Telecoms Insights (e-skills UK)
South West England SSA Stages 1-3 Report (Energy & Utility Skills)
South West England SSA Stage 5 Report (Energy & Utility Skills)
GoSkills Sector Skills Assessment England Report
The Food and Drink Manufacturing Industry in the South West of England
Logistics Sector Profile: South West (Skills for Logistics)
Sector Needs Analysis of the building services engineering sector in the South West (SummitSkills)
South West Data for Training Needs for the Building Services Engineering Sector
Automotive IMI Data
South West Impact and Footprint : Creative and Cultural Industry (Creative Choices)
Skills for Business Intelligence Network Research Calendar
Skillsmart Retail: Regional Background Brief
SkillsActive: Labour Market Assessment
Skillset: Creative media in the South West
Skills for Health: Skills and Labour Market Intelligence (Skills for Health)
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UK Financial Services: Five Years Forward (Financial Services)
The Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism Sector in the South West (People 1st)
Sector Definition Sheet - Glass (Pro Skills)
Engineering Skills Balance Sheet (SEMTA)
Environmental and land-based industries - Labour market information (Lantra)
Engineering Skills Balance Sheet for the South West (Semta)
Sector Footprint (Skillsactive)
Sector Operations Group Pre-meeting Report: Care Sector (Skills for Care and Development)
South West Regional Background Brief (Skillsmart)
Other Regional Reports:
South West Services Industries Alliance Group Projects
SWRDA Low carbon rural economy
Expertise and Excellence in NINJ Technologies: South West (GHK)
South West Regional HE Profile http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2010/10_15/SouthWest.pdf
National SSC Reports
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South West Demand Analysis
Economic and business demand for skills has three pillars:
1. Providing the skills that will support growth sectors and technologies and a move
towards a low carbon economy,
2. Addressing skills shortages, gaps, replacement and re-skilling the workforce across all
3. Skilling those without qualifications or with low and no longer relevant skills to the needs of
the economy, to raise the level of skills overall.
Since 2008 local South West Employment and Skills Boards have been forming in order to
increase business and employer participation in employment and skills decision making. These
Boards, facilitated by local authority economic development departments and arms length bodies e.g.
Gloucestershire 1 , are developing detailed statements, and in some cases skills and employments
strategies. There is a high level summary in Annex 4, which supports the analysis below, but more
importantly demonstrates the diversity of the South West. This work will ensure that during the
transition to Local Enterprise Partnerships, business and employer demand for skills continue to be
1. Skills for growth sectors and technologies
1.1 The South West has been designated as a Low Carbon Economic Area and is developing the Low
Carbon Economy. To respond to this most jobs will require adaptation to the low
carbon/green agenda. This will necessitate adapting current qualifications and make them
responsive to the green agenda.
1.2 Our Key Stage 4 attainments although better than the England average, suggest that almost half
of all 16 year olds do not attain a Level 2. It is critical that at this stage students are laying the
foundations for STEM skills which are the building blocks for the medium and future term
growth of the economy. Emphasis should also be placed on developing STEM skills at 16-18
and post 19.
1.3 Detailed analysis of sectors for economic opportunity has identified the following as being of
importance to the South West: composites, digital, renewable energy including marine (wind,
wave, tidal), civil nuclear, industrial biotechnology and nanotechnology. For some of these
sectors, demand is uncertain (both in terms of job numbers and types of jobs) due to their early
stages of development.
1.4 Renewable energy will require core STEM skills at all levels although most requirement will be at
levels 3, 4 and 5. Specific skills sought are engineering disciplines (e.g. mechanical, marine,
geotechnical, and electrical engineers), turbine technicians, occupational health and safety
experts and project management, leadership and management.
1.5 Microgeneration skills are required for small micro generation businesses across all sectors.
Some of this may require development of new skills; in other cases it means integrating current
courses with understanding of renewable energy and their installation
1.6 The advanced manufacturing which comprises composites, biotechnology and nanotechnology
requires high level technical skills as a key enabler to develop the sector in addition to a
competent technical support staff. Non technical skills are needed to commercialise products
(sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, cross disciplinary fertilisation). STEM skills are critical to
support technological research and development. Aerospace prime companies are predominately
located in the north of the region, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Yeovil while the marine sector is
located in the south, Cornwall, Plymouth and Dorset.
1.7 The nuclear sector is dependent on a broad range of engineering skills including safety experts.
There is also a need for decommissioning skills at Levels 3 and 4 (e.g. mechanical and instrument
technicians and engineers). If the Hinkley development goes ahead, construction skills will be
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required in the initial phases. When operational skills will be required for civil works, cleaning,
painting, basic steelwork, cable pulling (Levels 1/2), drivers, riggers, security, canteen, inspectors,
pipe fitters, foremen (Levels 2/3 ) crane operators, welders, electricians, instrumentation, chemists
(Level 3/4) clerks, secretarial, reception, (Levels 2/3). Nuclear installations are located in Hinkley
Point, Somerset and Oldbury in South Gloucestershire.
1.8 As Next Generation Access is rolled out to provide improved broadband access (digital), there
will be initial requirement for cable laying technicians (Levels 2/3/4) thereafter, there will be need
for ICT sales, maintenance and software engineers and supplier and service management.
2. Workforce demand
2.1 Technical skills shortages are prevalent at Levels 2 and 3 in key employment (rich) sectors, there
contribution to regional GVA varies (Retail (11.7%), Hospitality (3.3%), Health and Care (7.7%),
Construction (7%), Manufacturing (13.1%), Land Based (1.3%)); some of these shortages are
currently being addressed through migrant labour.
2.2 Skills gaps are intensifying and are present across all sectors but they are more prevalent in
low/middle level skills occupations (skilled trades occupations, sales and customer service
occupations, personal service occupations and elementary occupations) and less so amongst
higher level occupations. Sector specific technical/practical skills are required and there is strong
need for generic skills. Sectors most affected are Hospitality, Retail, Health and
2.3 Demand to replace the current ageing workforce spans across all sectors. As with expansion
demand, largest requirement is found in higher level occupations (Level 3 and 4) though
replacement demand spans across all occupations. In the case of growth sectors and
technologies this presents a major challenge to the regions FE system, requiring up-skilling of the
current labour force through units of training.
2.4 Although the South West has a significant proportion of its working age population qualified to
Level 4+ 30.2%, the region has lower productivity than might be expected (GVA indexed: UK
+100; South West = 9; 2007). There is evidence of skills underutilisation and a possible mismatch
between the Level 4+ skills available and those needed. Leadership and management skills are
required to improve skills utilisation, improve business performance, enhance competitiveness
and drive innovation across the economy. Such skills are vital to an economy with high levels of
self-employment. The region has the highest rate of self employment of all English regions.
2.5 Forecast demand for the medium term (2017) suggests expansion across service sector jobs.
The need will be most pronounced in higher level skills roles (Level 3 and 4 occupations).
2.6 It is expected that in light of the area being designated a Low Carbon Economic Area, emphasis
will be placed on greening all skills and jobs. For example, there will be a growing need for
general up-skilling of all parts of the construction and property supply chain addressing the whole
delivery cycle (before, during and after execution of work on site).
3. Raising skills levels
3.1 Our economy operates at a low value-low skills equilibrium; the presence of knowledge intensive
employment is below the national average. This is evidenced not only through our GVA but also
the significant proportions in the workforce who are qualified below Level 2. There is a need to
grow the numbers of Level 3 + skills to help support new jobs in our economy.
3.2 High levels of employability/generic/transferrable skills are demanded by employers to make
their businesses competitive. Many young people going into their first job lack employability skills;
and they are major reasons for skills shortages and skills gaps. Typical requirements are for
customer handling, team work, communication, problem solving, management and
3.3 Working age people in the South West are reasonably well qualified in relation to other English
regions. However, progress is slowing down and if continued as a region we will not increase
the skills base in the South West. Greatest challenges are present amongst the working age
population in Bristol, Swindon, Plymouth and Torbay.
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3.4 Nine percent of the adult working age population have no qualifications. Introduction to learning
through programmes that engage the non learner will be required. Lack of qualifications is more
prevalent across rural areas
3.5 Although progress has been made with functional literacy, the region needs to travel some way to
improve levels of functional numeracy where progress has been slow. These are significant
causes of skills shortages and gaps.
3.6 Unemployment has grown in the last 18 months, doubling since 2008. Many of the unemployed
possess no qualifications or have low level qualifications. Unemployment has affected
disproportionately those working in elementary occupations and those aged 18-24. There is need
to engage such individuals in learning/training to ensure they can get back into work. This
needs to be linked to a good system of Information, Advice and Guidance to minimise the risk
of such individuals failing to re-enter employment.
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Analysis of skills investment and provision
Private Sector Investment
Private sector investment by both individuals and businesses has always been an important element
of skills funding policy. There are, however, few/no reliable studies into the scale and models of
investment to quantify current levels of private invest. We need to understand how the private sector
invests, to know what role current public investment should play.
An indicator of preparedness of employers to invest in training can be seen in the in Business Link
indicative full cost referrals and investments for the South West. For the last full contract year 2009 –
2010, actual referrals exceeded targets by just under 7,000, total referrals 14,895, associated
investment exceeded the target by under £1.5 million, total indicative investment £3,992,574. This
indicates that given the right advice there is a demand for provision and willingness to invest. It
should also be noted that with further advice and guidance more employers would invest.
Skills Funding Agency
The analysis below is entirely based on data provided by the Skills Funding Agency. Data has been
disaggregated by provision for Young People (16-18) in FE, Adults (19+) in FE, Apprenticeships (all
age groups) and Employer Responsive (19+).
Analysis for Young People (16-18) in FE (excluding Apprenticeships)
Young people learner responsive (YPLR) total starts have been constant over the last three years
whilst numbers for adults have been declining . Highest levels of enrolments for young people have
been in Hospitality (Skills Active and People 1 ), IT (e-skills), Land based (Lantra), Construction
(Construction Skills, Summit Skills), Health and Care (Skills for Health, Skills for Care, CWDC),
Habia, and Creative and Cultural Skills. There is far less take up of Retail (Skillsmart Retail, Institute
of Customer Service) or Manufacturing (SEMTA, Proskills, Improve) – sectors with skills gaps and
shortages and across sectors for growth and competitiveness (Cogent, Energy and Utility Skills,
Maritime Skills Alliance). Take up of Management (MSC) is negligent for this age group. Starts for
YPLR are predominantly at Level 3.
Enrolments at GCSE have reduced over the last three years. Most prevalent are GCSEs in
Science/Maths, Language/Literature/Culture and Arts/Media/Publishing. (Although not possible to
establish from the data, it is most likely that many of these qualifications are repeats.) At AS/A2
enrolments are most prevalent in Science/maths, Arts/Media/Publishing and
Language/Literature/Culture. Over the three years, there has been growth in Business/Law/Admin,
ICT, Language/Literature/Culture and Science/Maths.
Analysis for Adults in FE (excluding Apprenticeships)
Adult learner responsive (ALR) starts have a slightly different profile in terms of spread across sector
to that of YPLR. IT (e-skills) are by far the most popular sector (especially at Level 1/Entry). This is
followed by Health and Care (Skills for Health, Skills for Care and Development, CWDC), Hospitality
(Skills Active, People 1 ) and Education/Training (Lifelong Learning UK, ENTO, TDA). Other well
subscribed sectors are Land based (Lantra), Financial Services, Habia and Creative and Cultural
Underpinning this statement is a detailed set of data and information on the take up of skills training
by industry sector (by both the sector qualification and SIC footprints)in the region, produced by the
Data Services from Skills Funding Agency learner data. This sectoral analysis is not currently
available as part of the Government’s published Statistical First Release, and therefore cannot be
referenced or included within the Statement. For further regional information from the Statistical First
Release, please visit hhtp://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statisticalfirstrelease/
It is recognised that there has been a move towards more substantive programmes of learning
which have impacted on the number of starts.
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Skills. There is limited take-up of provision for Retail (SKillsmart Retail, ICS) as well as Management
(MSC) – although take up is higher than it is for YPs. As with YP, starts in sectors for growth and
competitiveness are very limited. Higher levels of starts in ALR are to be found at Level 1/Entry. It is
worth emphasising that whilst it is possible to map qualifications against a sector footprint, this does
not mean it is directly related to employability in that sector.
Across both age groups (YPLR and ALR), starts show significant gender stereotyping: in particular,
enrolments in Construction (Summit Skills, Construction Skills) are predominantly male; Health and
Care (Skills for Health, Skills for Care and Development, CWDC) are predominantly female;
Manufacturing starts (SEMTA, Proskills, Improve) are mostly men, starts in HABIA are mostly females
and SkillsActive starts are mostly for men. For e-skills more starts are taken up by females at ALR
whereas this is the opposite for YPLR.
Females constitute a higher proportion of starts in both YPLR and ALR. Females also are the group
that has higher proportions taking up higher level provision.
Just under a fifth YPLR starts are undertaken by persons who consider themselves as having some
disability (this proportion is even higher for males) but in ALR this figure falls down to approximately
one sixth (again, the proportion is higher for males). Starts for both YPLR and ALR are in line with the
distribution of BMEs in the south west. One sixth of provision is taken up by the 50-64+ age group; an
underrepresentation of this age group in the working age population.
Across both YPLR and ALR provision there is a notable gap between starts and achievements.
There has been an overall growth in Apprenticeship framework starts in the last three years. Largest
growth has been in Apprenticeships (Level 2) followed by Advanced Apprenticeships (Level 3). Higher
level apprenticeships ( Level 4+) starts have been limited in number and static over the last three
years. Growth has not been equally spread by age group: whilst there has been an overall growth in
apprenticeships taken up by adults (19+) there has been a decline in numbers for the 16-18 age
Apprenticeships starts are highest in Construction (Construction Skills, Summit Skills), Hospitality
(People 1 ), Manufacturing (SEMTA, IMI), Health and Care (Skills for Health, CWDC) and Retail
(Skillsmart Retail, Institute for Customer Service), IT (e-skills) and Hairdressing and Beauty (Habia).
The most popular frameworks are for Construction, Hospitality and Catering, Engineering,
Elecrotechnical, Hairdressing, Customer Service, Business Administration, Retail, Health and Social
Care, Children’s Care Learning and Development and Vehicle Maintenance and Repair. Frameworks
in sectors for growth and competitiveness such as Environmental Conservation, Aviation, Engineering
technology, Engineering Construction, Marine industry, Pharmacy technician and similar are limited in
the number of starts they generate as are frameworks in areas of skill shortage (Land Based).
Most apprenticeship starts are for Level 2 . There are a very limited number of higher level
apprenticeships to date. From the data available it is not possible to determine what proportion of
learners progress from Level 2 Apprenticeships to Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeships.
Achievements in some sectors/frameworks are well below comparable levels of starts. However, it is
important to recognise that success rates are very high; the south west being the region with highest
completion rates of all the nine English regions.
In contrasts to other provision (YPLR and ALR), males tend to take up apprenticeships more
frequently than females do. There seems to be some underrepresentation of people with learning
disabilities/difficulties as only around a tenth indicate having some difficulty/disability (compared to
higher proportions in YPLR and ALR provision).
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There is strong gender stereotyping across frameworks. In terms of age groups, there is particularly
low take up of apprenticeships in the 31-49 age group.
Employer Responsive provision
Over the last three years, Employer responsive provision has grown significantly whilst ALR has
Investment in employer responsive provision has more readily supported large numbers of Level 2s
which has resulted in a significant delivery of qualifications at this level. (Much of this is possibly
accreditation of prior learning) There is some take up of Level 3 whilst Level 4+ starts are very few in
number. As with Apprenticeships, from the data available, it is not possible to evidence progression
from Level 2 to Level 3 qualifications. Employer responsive stars are especially prevalent in Health
and Care (Skills for Health; Skills for Care and Development). Other sectors with significant starts are
Construction (Construction Skills), Retail (Institute of Customer Care) and Transport (Go Skills and
Skills for Logistics). Go Skills and Skills for Logistics are heavily dependent on ER provision for
training their staff – Apprenticeship starts in the sector footprints are non-existent. This also applies to
starts in Management.
Some sectors with current skills gaps and shortages seem to have comparatively few starts:
Manufacturing (Summit Skills), Hospitality (Skills Active, People 1 , Retail (Skillsmart Retail) and Land
As with Apprenticeships, Employer responsive starts tend to be more frequent amongst males. There
are very few people with learning disability/difficulty that start Employer funded provision . Moreover,
less than one fifth of starts are in the 50-64 age group (which is below the proportions of this age
group in the working population: 27%).
Provision for the Low Carbon Cluster (including Cogent, SEMTA, Improve, Proskills, Energy and
Utility, Go skills, Skills for Logistics, Asset Skills, Construction Skills and Lantra) is significantly
dependent on Employer Responsive funding and ALR. Apprenticeship starts for the cluster footprint
Enrolments for Skills for Life across different funding streams have grown over the last three years.
Starts in numeracy continue lagging behind starts in literacy although starts for numeracy are
significantly below recognised need. Starts for language are comparatively low.
There is a growing number of providers delivering ALR and Employer responsive provision whereas
numbers delivering apprenticeships have remained fairly static.
National Skills Academies
In line with the new skills direction, National Skills Academies (NSAs) enable employers to collaborate
to drive and shape the design and delivery of training in their sectors. In the future this could include
further focus on the ambitions for apprenticeships and for developing an appetite for higher level
skills. Typically, the NSA delivery model utilises a network of national and regional specialised
providers. In the South West the following NSAs are relevant to emerging sectors that will support
growth across the region:
Manufacturing NSA (advanced engineering)
Nuclear NSA (civil nuclear power generation)
Construction NSA (civil works and new build projects)
IT NSA (digital technology)
Power NSA (offshore tide, wind and wave power generation)
Process Industries NSA (composites and biotechnology)
Environmental Technologies NSA (green building services)
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There are 12 higher education institutions (HEIs) in the South West: eight universities, three university
colleges and one college of higher education. The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, which is
based elsewhere, also has a campus in the region. In addition there are 28 further education colleges
In total, there are 170,580 full person equivalent students studying on higher education courses
(equating to 127,390 full-time equivalents). Of these, 133,010 students are taught at HEIs in the
The HEIs range in size from the University of the West of England, Bristol with 28,275 students, to the
Royal Agricultural College with 860 students. There are also 13,745 students taught at FECs in the
region, and 21,635 students who are domiciled in the region and are studying via distance learning.
Higher Education in the South West is dominated by the ‘traditional’ student, that is to say the majority
are aged under 21 and study full-time for an undergraduate first degree. The South West has the
lowest proportion of overseas students of all regions in England.
Higher Education application to South West HEIs has increased between 2001 – 2008. Unfortunately
Maths, Informatics and Science and Mass Communication have declined. There have been
significant increases in subjects allied to medicine, Biological Sciences and Creative Arts, with more
modest increases Engineering and Business Administration. It should however be noted that 43 per
cent of young, full-time, first degree, HEI-taught students from the South West remain in the region to
study; this falls only slightly below the England average of 44 per cent. There is a net flow of these
type of students into the region (that is to say the South West takes in more young, full-time, first
degree students from elsewhere in England than it exports to HEIs in other regions).
HEFCE recurrent funding allocated to HEIs in the South West totalled £526 million in 2009-10. Of this,
78 per cent was for teaching funding, 20 per cent for research, and 2 per cent for business and
community engagement. More than 80 per cent of the region's funding for research was allocated to
Since their introduction, there has been massive growth in the take-up of Foundation Degrees.
Foundation Degrees are developed jointly with employers based on skills needed in the workplace. In
total, there were over 11,800 students studying FDs in the South West in 2008/09, three times as
many as in 2003/04, around 14% of the total across England as a whole. The growth, however, has
been slower than the national average, but overall that national target of 100,000 starts will be easily
met demonstrating demand for Foundation Degrees.
Universities South West the regional association has supported collaborative working between
Universities and with other partners, this has resulted in many successes, these include:
Graduate Internships programme
Graduate for Business
Low Carbon High Skills
Spark (Bristol and Bath Science Park
Creative industries iNet
Higher Level Skills Pathfinder Project
Job Centre Plus
Skills investment and provision
Skills support to Jobcentre Plus customers is mainly delivered through Skills Funding Agency (SFA)
funded and procured provision. Currently Skills Funding Agency provides funding for the following:
Employability Skills Programme ( basic skills delivery is embedded in the delivery of
generic employability skills such as communications at work)
Response to redundancy (SFA procured but ESF funded programme; supports
customers under notice of redundancy or out of work and claiming a benefit. Training
relates to skills development and relate to a sector with current vacancies)
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Support to JSA customers aged 19+ and unemployed for 6 months (target group are
customers able to undertake Level 2 or 3 qualifications and who have a significant need
to up-skill or re-skill. It is expected that the customer will complete the qualification in the
workplace after securing employment)
Work focused training for JSA customers aged 18-24 and six months unemployed; (this
forms part of the Young Person's Guarantee with the aim the same as for the six month
offer support above)
Young Person's Guarantee - Routes into Work ( aimed at customers aged 18-24 and
unemployed for six months; initially linked to a recruitment subsidy which has since been
removed the aim is to provide up to eight weeks training to fill actual or imminent
vacancies in nationally agreed priority sectors. Customers receive a Training Allowance).
Adult Nextstep provision
Learn Direct provision, particularly for basic skills support.
Jobcentre Plus, on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions, also works closely with the SFA
training provision delivered in ESF funded programmes ( Competitiveness and Convergence) in the
Jobcentre Plus directly funds a small amount of training to support Lone Parents and those made
redundant utilising the Rapid Response Service.
All of these programmes contribute to the main Jobcentre Plus performance target on off flows. This
is the movement of people from benefits and into work.
At the present time the Department of Work and Pensions is developing the Work Programme. This
programme will replace a large number of the existing programmes which support those out of work.
What is not clear at this point is what skills provision will be available to support this programme.
South West England Regional Development Agency
Over the period 1999 – March 2009 on skills projects was just under £40 million; this excludes capital
skills projects and any projects with a skills element.
European Social Fund Investment
Funding in the South West is administered to two distinct areas Convergence covering Cornwall and
the Isles of Scilly and Competitiveness covering Devon; Somerset; Wiltshire; Swindon; Bournemouth,
Dorset and Poole; Gloucestershire and West of England.
Progress to date has identified an overall good level of performance in the Convergence area.
£25,190,861 has been spent at February 2010 and is 81% towards the required spend.
Tackling barriers to employment (Priority 4) delivery is at, or above, profile. It appears that those most
disadvantaged are still being offered opportunities through ESF which is a welcome finding. Over
3000 participants within the NEET group been given opportunities to move into employment,
education or training and in excess of 1900 participants have moved into employment.
Improving skills of the workforce (Priority 5) delivery continues to show improvement. Outputs and
results for Level 3 remain strong, reflecting the demand for higher level technical and other skills.
Level 2 performance is also good.
Progress is well underway for HE delivery and emerging work is providing a solid foundation for the
second half of the Programme.
This programme continues to perform very well having exceeded the spend targets and continually
making good progress towards the outputs and results. These compare well with the other English
regions. £29.3 million has been spent to date.
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Performance in Extending employment opportunities (Priority 1) for both adults and the NEET group
and in Developing a skilled and adaptable workforce (Priority 2) performance at Level 3 is a notable
achievement with programme targets being exceeded
Overall it should be noted that nearly 70,000 individuals in the South West have been helped to
improve their employment and skills prospects with the support of the programme. With some 18,000
individuals having either entered work, training or gained a qualification in just over 2 years of
Rural Development Programme for England
The South West is predominately rural; as such it is in receipt of RDPE funding which includes skills
development. The themes are:
1. Agriculture, Food and Forestry Businesses for all adult persons dealing with agriculture, food and
forestry matters; and
2. Economic actors in rural areas including businesses, social enterprises, charities and other
formally constituted groups.
Specific themes under 1 above include:
Management skills, including (though not limited to) those needed to run collaborative ventures
effectively and to take forward new product development effectively;
Business skills, for land-based businesses including forestry businesses, including (though not
limited to) those aimed at introducing innovation;
Practical and technical livestock, crop and non-food crop husbandry skills;
ICT and the use of other new technology specific to agriculture/forestry;
Animal health and welfare;
Supply chain efficiency;
Climate change adaptation and mitigation;
Resource use, including waste reduction, waste management, water use (including diffuse water
pollution), energy efficiency;
Bio energy, information on production and utilisation, including training; environmental land
management topics, including environmentally sensitive methods of harvesting bio energy and
avoiding disturbance to protected species;
Training to support primary processing in the agricultural and forestry sectors.
The skills development element of the programme is valued at £7.13 million; £4.7 million has yet to be
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South West England Summary of Skills Priorities Statements by Local Employment and Skills Boards
Area Workforce Priority Sectors Pre-employment Skills Policy Shifts
Gloucestershire ESB identifies following key labour 1. Advanced Engineering The ESB has identified the following 1. The ESB has consulted widely and believes that
market issues: 2. Mechanical Engineering issues to support employment there needs to be a significant shift away from
1. Cross cutting technical skills 3. Professional & Business Services progression: national and regional commissioning of
development in digital, low carbon, 4. Construction Personalised support, coaching and employment and skills activity to the sub-region to
systems integration and leadership 5. Retail & Distribution mentoring linked to work trials with ensure supply is properly linked to need and
& management 6. Tourism, Leisure & Hospitality post-employment aftercare demand on the ground
2. Generic skills including sales, Dedicated graduate apprenticeship 2. We feel that adult skills and employment
marketing, customer services, team linked to SMEs including post provision is inherently local in how it relates and
working graduate training to encourage impacts on the labour market and economy. It
3. Development of skills base at retention in local economy should logically be part of the responsibilities that
intermediate & supervisory levels Establishment of ‘Employer the new Local
(L3) due to retirement of significant Development Partnerships’ between Enterprise Partnerships are tasked with delivering,
areas of the workforce investors and LEPs to link planned working closely with HE, FE and other
4. Approx 25% without full L2 employment opportunities with local stakeholders.
qualification – particularly focused in residents 3.Both the SFA and JCP need to work through
Gloucester City and Forest of Dean Opening up of the Adult Responsive ESBs and partnership structures in developing
5. Higher level adult Budget to VCS and smaller providers responsive local provision
apprenticeships (L4) linked to key who are well placed to engage and
sectors progress hard to reach and
vulnerable groups in the labour
West of England 1. ICT skills to maximise the 1. ICT 1. Employability skills, particularly 1. Place a much stronger emphasis on the link
opportunities afforded by new 2. Creative industries communication, and self- between skills development and economic
technologies and increasing 3. Environmental management. competitiveness in the formation of Local
globalisation. 4. Finance & Legal 2. Basic Skills i.e. literacy and Enterprise Partnerships.
2. Adaptation of engineering and 5. Advanced Engineering numeracy. 2. Develop alternatives to Apprenticeships to meet
construction skills to meet the 3. Motivation and confidence. wider workforce development needs.
emerging needs of the Low Carbon 4. Focus on key employment sectors 3. Give capacity to employers (as well as learners)
economy. for the workless to shape provision at local level.
3. Entrepreneurship and innovation Retail
skills to improve the corporate and Construction
individual response to rapid change Health & social care
in market and employment
Swindon 1. Technical– NVQ Levels 3,4 and 1.Digital Technology (especially 1. Laying GCSE’s in STEM subjects
higher level skills wireless and semi-conductor) as foundation for priority sectors.
2.Leadership 2.Advanced Engineering 2. Uptake of related diplomas and
/supervisory/management 3. Environmental and Low Carbon apprenticeships
For higher value added jobs Technologies 3. Appropriate Careers Education,
3. Plus adaption skills across all 4. Finance and Business Services Information, Advice and Guidance
sector jobs with the low (CEIAG) for these priority sectors
carbon/green jobs agenda 4. NEETs, including 18 – 24 year
4. Commercialisation skills olds appropriate (CEIAG)
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(entrepreneurship, sales, marketing) 5. Adult and community – English
5. Research and Development language, Literacy and Numeracy
skills, ICT skills. and CEIAG.
Wiltshire 1. Demand for higher level skills First cut priority sectors for Wiltshire 1. New young labour market entrants Strategic Objective 3 of the emerging Strategy for
2. Succession planning for skills - comprise: lack skills needed for employment the Development of the Wiltshire Economy is to
Skills losses through retirement are Advanced manufacturing 2. Lack of skills in team working, oral Improve the skills and employability of Wiltshire
difficult to replace Bioscience communication, technical skills and
based workers and unemployed residents. This
3. Skills related to productivity e.g. Creative Industries also lack of motivation
Leadership & Management, skills 3. Skills needs around basic skills will be achieved through:
utilisation, higher level skills (literacy/numeracy) confidence and Establishing clear strategic direction for
Food and Drink
4. Skills aligned to future jobs Financial and Business Services self esteem of young people and employment and skills and developing strong and
growth. ICT other labour market entrants effective leadership;
Tourism 4. Skills required for employability Encouraging and enabling people to enter and re-
To be discussed depending on how e.g. self-management, thinking and enter the labour market;
solving problems, working together
the merging economic strategy Raising the basic skills levels of Wiltshire based
and communicating, understanding
develops. the business, using numbers workers; and
effectively, using language Extending higher education access and provision.
effectively, using IT effectively and
having a positive approach.
Somerset Somerset’s ESB has identified the 1. Aerospace & Advanced Somerset’s ESB has identified the Successful delivery of local priorities will depend
following workforce priorities in its Engineering following priorities to reduce upon a robust evidence base; strong and effective
draft Employment and Skills Plan. 2. Food & Drink worklessness in Somerset. Work is local leadership and alignment of resources.
Work is ongoing to further refine 3. Tourism ongoing to further refine these
these priorities in 2010/11. 4. Environmental Technologies priorities in 2010/11.
Skills for Life and Employability 5. Creative Industries Encourage appropriate jobs growth
Intermediate Skills Encourage local employment
Higher Level Skills Improve in work sustainability
Leadership and Management demand & supply
Tackle confidence, self-esteem and
Bournemouth, Business Start Up Support 1. Advanced Engineering Access to Employment Interventions Support for greater integration of employment
Dorset and Poole Graduate Retention 2. Creative Industries to tackle worklessness (including business support) and skills provision
Level 3 including technical skills Digital IAG (including IAG)
STEM skills 3. Renewable Energy/Green 14-19 STEM Skills Joining up of responsibility and accountability for
Leadership & Management Knowledge Economy 14-19 Employability provision that meets sub regional priorities within
4. Care national context
5. Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Developing genuine business support offer
(including start up support – this could be lost with
proposal re business link)
North Devon Northern Devon ESB is producing a 1. Hospitality Northern Devon ESB is producing a Northern Devon ESB would welcome an approach
local statement of priorities for jobs 2. Retail local statement of priorities for jobs based on evidenced local and sub-regional
and skills, which will be based on 3. Land-based and skills, which will be based on priorities.
detailed local evidence. SLIM has 4. Food and drink detailed local evidence. SLIM has
been commissioned to produce a 5. Marine and leisure been commissioned to produce a
detailed evidence base for the area. 6. Renewable energy detailed evidence base for the area.
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This is now in draft and the draft 7. Advanced manufacturing This is now in draft and the draft
local priorities statement will have local priorities statement will have
been prepared for the Board been prepared for the Board meeting
meeting in September. in September.
Exeter and Heart of Exeter and Heart of Devon ESB is Key Sectors: Pre-employment priorities: Exeter and Heart of Devon ESB would support
Devon producing an Employment and Skills
1. Construction and Building Services Employability (and transferrable, policies which:
Plan based on detailed local 2. Professional and Business Services generic skills that reflect employer Allow local employers to have a stronger voice in
evidence. The ESB will use the plan 3. Transport and Logistics needs) shaping skill and employment opportunities
to promote local investment in 4. Retail and Hospitality STEM Skills Award more localised, sub-regional decision
relevant skills and to support the 5. Food and Drink Enterprise and innovation making powers based on functional economic
ESB’s vision of creating a more Alternative routes to employment areas.
highly competitive economy, with Emerging sectors: (i.e. apprenticeships, internships,
more employment and skill 1. Advanced Engineering work placements)
opportunities and a workforce 2. Bioscience and Health
whose skills reflect the requirements 3. Low Carbon and Environmental
of local employers. Goods and Services
Workforce themes: Refer to the EHOD Economic
Future workforce Development Strategy (2008-13) for
Up-skilling the current workforce additional key sectors.
Developing Skill Level 3+
Leadership & management skills
Torbay and South A Work and Skills Plan is currently Key sectors Torbay Development Agency, via the Torbay and South Devon ESB would support
Devon being developed and will become 1. Tourism & hospitality Torbay and South Devon ESB, is policies which challenge the public sector funders
the refreshed Employment and 2. Retail currently developing a Workless and locally based training providers to provide
Skills plan for Torbay and South 3. Healthcare Strategy and Action Plan to review relevant and appropriate training and skills that our
Devon Employment and Skills 4. Advanced electronics existing plans, identify any areas of residents want and our businesses need to
Board. 5. Building and Construction duplication and any gaps that may generate new opportunities and to become more
exist within workless provision in the competitive.
The plan will be based on evidence Emerging sectors area.
of local need and will use a variety 1. Creative industries,
of research sources for relevant and 2. Business services Once reviewed a way forward will be
timely information, including 3. Low carbon economy developed through an effective
Torbay’s Economic Strategy 2010- action plan for delivery. This
2015, the Local Economic strategy will be aligned to our work
Assessment and the SLIM Work on promoting greater economic
and Skills Analysis 2010. participation which has three main
strands of activity which have been
This plan will provide the basis for developed based on evidence of
future activity for the ESB and will local need.
continue to strengthen the aims and 1. To support employers to
objectives of the Board, namely to implement initiatives and adopt more
raise the skills, aspirations and inclusive recruitment practices.
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productivity of the Torbay and South 2. Widening access to employment
Devon workforce in order to support and training opportunities, especially
the growth of a vibrant and disadvantaged residents.
successful local economy. 3. Supporting workless individuals.
Key strategic goals of the Board are Key themes
as follows; o To influence appropriate pre-
o Raise the skills levels and employment training and support to
capabilities of the current workforce assist the unemployed back into
o Increase the skills and work, particularly in the most
employability of those not in disadvantaged areas and those who
employment but seeking work are furthest removed from the labour
o Increase the skills levels and market or faced with significant
opportunities for young people barriers to employment.
o Increase skills qualifications at o To assist local residents to
level 3 and above improve career prospects and reach
their full potential by developing
skills, raising aspirations and
providing opportunities to assist the
unemployed secure long-term
Plymouth Plymouth ESB is producing a 1.Advanced Engineering Plymouth ESB is producing a Plymouth ESB would welcome an approach based
localised statement of priorities for 2.Business Services localised statement of priorities for on provision for evidenced local and sub-regional
skills and worklessness, which will 3.Creative Industries skills and worklessness, which will priorities.
be based on detailed local evidence. 4.Marine Industries be based on detailed local evidence.
Further research has been 5.Medical and Healthcare Further research has been
commissioned to produced a 6.Tourism and Leisure commissioned to produced a
detailed evidence report for the detailed evidence report for the
travel-to-work area, and further travel-to-work area, and further
Employer surveys have also been Employer surveys have also been
commissioned to ensure that the commissioned to ensure that the
detail is sufficient to produce high detail is sufficient to produce high
confidence levels in localised confidence levels in localised
evidence. We believe this approach evidence. We believe this approach
is essential to securing local is essential to securing local
economic and employment growth. economic and employment growth.
Plymouth ESB reports are available
Cornwall and Isles Apprenticeships Food & Drink Three key priorities: ongoing need to integrate employment and
of Scilly Progression from level 2 to 3+ Retail employability skills (i.e. teamwork, skills activities into a programmed approach (aka
Continue developing level 4 Hospitality & tourism communication, following Cornwall Works).
Focus on the creation of level 4+ Construction instructions, timekeeping, negotiation Shorter term working (3-4 day weeks) ‘freeing’
jobs to match the skills available Environmental/sustainable energy skills etc) including of 18-24 year time for training/diversification
Level3 and 4+ skills in ICT/Digital olds, despite qualifications Flexible working
installation and technologies for Creative basic skills - literacy, numeracy, Apprenticeships and brokerage, relevance.
Green jobs Marine IT, budgeting Expand Young Apprenticeship programmes at
Innovation and research for SME Agriculture and Fishing customer service skills - this Schools to create improved progression route into
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and Micro businesses Social Care would then link into a range of employment
QCF (Qualifications and credit Health and Biotechnology sectors and employment Training for older workers and harness the
framework) to maximise the benefit Engineering & manufacturing opportunities ‘experienced over 50s’
(including aerospace) skills for care Progression from levels 2 & 3: barrier
Transport Plus additional: assessment
Business services Create an employer-led Cornwall Target those with no qualifications and those
Academy to improve employability needing second relevant level 2 & 3
skills for 14 – 19 years through Continue on worklessness and employment
improved vocational experiences agendas
STEM businesses – skills are available, but
not the work
Continue to move away from low skilled and
low productive jobs
Improve the promotion of jobs and
employment skills that are of a higher value and
long term benefit to the economy
Policy focus between ‘lower value’ elements
of the green economy (e.g. manufacturing) and
‘higher value’ based on knowledge
Move to a stronger low carbon focus
Embed ‘green’ skills generically in training and
Supply chain development within Cornwall
FE/HE provision needs to be employer led
Continue to drive the CUC and the UCP
(Unlocking Cornish Potential) project
Leadership and Management skills for SMEs
and major employing sectors such as retail
Skills/employment transfer between SMEs &
Room for ‘organisational innovation’ in micros
(including lack of R&D capacity because there are
no Head Quarters in Cornwall.
Benefits system reform
Focus on a productive economy that can
Developing a productive economy not
necessarily based on spatial reliance/activity.
Level 4 focus is on public sector employment
Understanding the value that work hubs may
be able to add to rural employment or innovation
Define and plan the emerging jobs and skills
requirements for renewable energy expansion.
Define and plan the emerging knowledge
economy based jobs and skills needs.