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Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

What is LMI for All?

The LMI for All service comprises an online data portal, database and widget that the UK Commission for Employment and Skills developed. It is now funded by the Department for Education. LMI for All brings together existing sources of labour market information (LMI) that can inform people’s choices about their careers.

The LMI for All service seeks to make LMI data freely available. The first version was released in May 2013 after extensive testing and evaluation. A final version of the data portal was released in April 2015 and since that time the development team, including the Warwick Institute for Employment Research and Pontydysgu have continued to extend the database and improve the technology.

LMI for All is a service that allows you to develop your own applications or websites, and embed data in an existing website rather than provide a direct search interface to labour market data.

Who is providing the LMI for All service?

LMI for All was originally funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). UKCES closed down in early 2017 and the project has been taken over by the Department for Education (DfE). The contract is currently awarded to a consortium led by the Warwick Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick with technical development being undertaken by Pontydysgu.

What services do you offer?

As part of the LMI for All project, we maintain a database of labour market data, which is made available through an Application Programming Interface (API). We provide support and advice on accessing the database, the data and careers labour market information. If you have a query, please contact us on LMIforAll.dfe@education.gov.uk

Who should use LMI for All?

The LMI for All service is primarily aimed at those organisations wanting labour market data to support careers service delivery.

The LMI for All database provides access to labour market data that can answer the questions people commonly ask when thinking about their careers, including ‘will there be jobs in the future?’, ‘what do people get paid?’ and ‘what type of person does that job?’ It includes data about the characteristics of people who work in different occupations, what level of qualifications they have, how much they get paid, and allows people to make comparisons across different jobs and regions. However, the labour market data provided in the database first needs to be converted into a form that can be used. Whether it is required for use directly by clients/customers, or with the support of career practitioners, it must be developed into applications that focus on the career and information needs of particular client/customer target groups.

Individual career organisations or sole traders will decide on their particular priority target groups. For example, this might include Year 12 school pupils making decisions about progressing into the further education or university students completing degree study and wishing to move into the labour market. Other priority target groups could be people who have recently been made redundant, or those who wish to have a mid-career change. To bring the labour market data to life, it is likely that the technical developers will need to work with a careers expert who can mediate the labour market information requirements for different client/customer groups. In this way, developers will understand what data would be useful for these groups, who are at a particular stage of their career journey.

The LMI for All service is available for anyone to use within the confines of the Service Level Agreement and our Terms and Conditions.

I’m an individual looking for careers advice, is LMI for All for me?

The LMI for All service does not offer careers advice. We provide labour market data to those providing careers advice.

Does it cost to use the service?

The LMI for All service is provided free of charge to encourage open use for careers guidance. We have some technical limits in place so that data requests don’t overwhelm our servers. If you perform a great number of queries for sustained periods of time and hit those limits, contact us to arrange massed query capacity for your institution or company.

This is an open data project, which supports the wider government agenda to encourage the use and re-use of government data sets. Please note that, where you use the data, we ask you to acknowledge that it is ‘Powered by LMI for All’. Please check the Terms and Conditions for more information.

Can we publicise our application on the LMI for All website?

We are keen to draw attention to websites and applications using data from LMI for All. Please check out the case studies of some of the LMI for All users. If you would like to tell us how you are using LMI for All, please drop us an email. LMIforAll.dfe@education.gov.uk

How is LMI for All licenced?

LMI for All is licensed under a UK Open Government license. The full details can be found on our Terms and Conditions of use page.

How many people use LMI for All?

Since we released the database and API, usage has grown substantially, necessitating a major upgrade to our infrastructure. In March 2017, we were receiving about 200,000 queries to the API each day.

The Working Futures data provide a picture of future employment in different occupations; it is the most popular data set in LMI for All. This is followed by the pay data.

Where can I go to find out more?

If you have any questions, or need any further help, please use this FAQ space initially. Your feedback is an important part of the ongoing development of this service. Please get in contact using our email LMIforAll.dfe@education.gov.uk

 

LMI for All data questions

Where do the data come from?

The data are sourced from existing official labour market statistics. The data have been specifically chosen to help answer some of the questions people might have about the labour market, future job prospects and career choices. They bring together, collate and organise the key data sets that have previously been under-utilised in this field due to a lack of awareness and lack of technical knowledge among potential users.

The data included are from robust sources only. Most of the data have been collected for quite a number of years, but LMI for All brings these sources together for the first time. This provides a robust baseline of labour market information that people can use alongside wider intelligence. Where applicable, the data have been anonymised for privacy reasons – some of the original source data may be more detailed than what is provided here. Data source providers include:

How reliable are the data you provide?

We are confident that the data we provide to you are of the highest quality and reliability. The data we use are from several high quality data sets, which have undergone tests for quality and reliability before being released for us to use. We have a rigorous quality procedure to check data before they are released live on the API to ensure they are consistent with the original data sets.

For geographical areas smaller than a region or for the more detailed levels of job classification, the degree of uncertainty in the data is greater. This is because of the fewer observations upon which the statistical estimates are based. For this reason, most data sets available via this service provide information only down to NUTS-1 regional level.

When will the data be updated?

The data are updated on a rolling cycle as each of the data sets is released to us. For more information on how often data are available and updated, please refer to the data documentation.

How are LMI for All data linked together?

Most data provided through LMI for All are linked through their classification using the UK Standard Occupational Occupation 2010 (SOC2010) system. In some cases where the data cannot be directly linked to 2010 we use search technologies to find the nearest match. For more information on SOC2010, go to the Office for National Statistics website.

How can I find out about different occupations on the LMI for All website?

All the data in the LMI for All database are structured around detailed occupational categories, based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC2010) 4-digit level. See the example below:

For more information on SOC2010, go to the Office for National Statistics website.

What can I do with LMI for All that goes beyond wages and hours?

Although many people looking for future education and training or for employment will be focused on potential wages and hours of work, there are many other aspects for employment and the labour market that can be explored through LMI for All. For example, the database also provides information on the number of jobs available currently and in the future. Also, in addition to the total number of jobs in each occupational category, information is provided on job openings and vacancies.

On the LMI for All website, why not have a look at current users of LMI for All, and read the case studies from those who have shared the story of their developments using LMI for All.

What is O*NET?

The O*NET data provide information on the skills and other characteristics associated with different jobs. This information is based on US data, which therefore assumes a strong correlation between similar occupations in the US and UK.

The US data are based on a major annual survey of skills and interests in different occupations undertaken in the United States. This includes mappings of job specific tasks to a common framework of detailed work activities. The Warwick Institute for Employment Research has mapped the US O*NET database to UK Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC2010) and this is made available in the LMI for All database.

I would like to find out about my local labour market – can I do that with LMI for All?

Due to the limitations of sample size and data creation, the labour market data sets in LMI for All are only available at a UK region or country level. Also, no more detailed occupation-specific data for smaller geographical areas is available from other sources.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Department for Work and Pensions produce a range of data sets relevant to understanding local labour markets. Unfortunately, up-to-date local labour market data is not classified using the Standard Occupational Classification (so cannot be added to the LMI for All database). Some applications have been developed by merging data from LMI for All with data from the 2011 Census of Population, available through the ONS API. Nomis also provides access to many of these data sets via its own API interface.

Accessing the apprenticeship data?

The Apprenticeship data is coming; we are currently putting it through a rigorous testing process to make sure it is working to the standard we require. If you cannot wait for the data to become freely available, don’t worry; as long as you are willing to test data for us, we can consider opening up access to data for you in advance.

Can I change the distance covered when I search for job vacancies?

The live job vacancy data in LMI for All are supplied to us directly by the Universal JobMatch API, provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. The limitations of this data set means that the search distance cannot be changed.

What is the Change in Pay Indicator?

The ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (where we get our pay data from) does not have a sufficiently large sample size to enable robust estimates of pay in every occupation. For that reason, we use statistical methods to calculate estimates of the pay, which are constrained to match published data. Because of this methodology, data extracted via the API cannot be used for comparing one year with another (i.e. to create a time series of data). To overcome this, we produce an annual change in pay indicator, which can be used to compare earnings in occupations from one year to another. For further information see Understanding pay data and how to understand the change in pay indicator.

Do I need to acknowledge or cite LMI for All data?

We ask that users of LMI for All data please acknowledge the use of our data in applications or websites where appropriate. LMI for All is a source of credible and robust national labour market information, and we know that many end users would view an acknowledgement as a sign of quality assurance. We ask that you include the statement ‘Data powered by LMI for All’ somewhere on your application or website. We ask that you include a link to this website, to enable end users to access information regarding the provenance of the data.

Why are there restrictions on caching data from LMI for All?

We do not generally allow data from LMI for All to be cached or stored in any form. This is to ensure data integrity, confidence, privacy regards, provenance, and respect of the agreements of data-source agreements. If you wish to cache data you must ask us beforehand and explain their usage on request.

For more information please read our Terms and Conditions.

I have an idea for additional data, which could be provided through the LMI for All API.

Please email us: LMIforAll.dfe@education.gov.uk. We are always looking to see how we can improve LMI for All.

Technical questions

What do I need in my website to use the data?

There are no specific needs for a website or application to access the API.

What skills would my web developers need to use this?

The LMI for All data API (or application programming interface) works exactly like many other APIs that are commonly embedded in websites, such as the Google, Twitter or Facebook APIs. Your developers will commonly need knowledge of:

  • HTML;
  • Javascript (+ any libraries your website uses to access and process the APIs, such as jQuery);
  • JSON; and,
  • anything else that your website front end needs to work.

These are fairly low technical requirements. Note that querying the API is made even simpler by the fact that you cannot change or update the data, so your developers can get by entirely on GET requests.

What is the API intended for?

The API (or application programming interface) is intended to allow website and app developers to access and where required visualise labour market information for different groups with particular careers information needs.

How can I add LMI for All to our website?

In general, you will need a developer to help you integrate data from LMI for All into your website.

There are two ways you can add LMI for All to your website. First, we provide a widget, Careerometer, which can easily be added to any website running with a modern Content Management System. This provides access to limited information. Second, to access more information that can be tailored to your target groups, you should consider using a developer to provide a bespoke service.

How can I use the widget, Careerometer?

The widget can be used to access and compare key information about occupations to help with exploring potential careers. The Careerometer widget provides access to a selection of headline data relating to pay, weekly hours of work and future employment prospects. The data are organised by occupation; simply type in the title of the job you are interested in and the widget provides a series of options from which you can select the most relevant to you. To build your own widget and get the code to embed it on your organisation’s website, visit the Careerometer Builder.

Can you recommend a developer to help us use LMI for All?

We are sorry, we do not recommend developers.

Why developers use the LMI for All data explorer?

The data explorer is a tool developers can use to help embedded LMI for All data into a website or app development. For example, developers can select a data set, parameters and filters in order to get http response messages, which are then used as building blocks for a development.…

How can I gain an initial understanding of the data that are available?

If you’re interested in the data LMI for All offers you can use the API Explorer. On our main menu, under ‘Documentation’ select ‘API Explorer’. This takes you to the data sets menu – you’ll see the ten data sets, presented with a forward slash in front (e.g. /hesa is the Destination of Leavers survey, supplied by the Higher Education Statistics Agency). Selecting any of these data sets will take you to search options or smaller data sets, a description of which is along the blue bar on the right hand side. The best thing to do first is to go to /soc > /soc/search, and type in the job you’re interested in. The information will appear beneath the search bar in the yellow box. In the yellow box, you’ll see a number of occupations – choose the one which corresponds with your intended job, and take note of its four digit SOC code (e.g. type in ‘Plumber’ and the following will be displayed:

”soc”: 5314, “title”: “Plumbers and heating and ventilating engineers”

Once you’ve got the SOC code, you can go into any of the ten data sets from the main menu and type in the SOC code (for a Plumber this is 5314) to get the information you want.

How can I get more help?

The website should be able to provide much of the information you need. However, if you are still unsure or want to know more please contact us: LMIforAll.dfe@education.gov.uk. We also run periodic workshops and webinars which are advertised on the website.

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