Settle for a job or aim for a career? How LMI for All can help you

Paul McKelvie is a UKCES Commissioner and works on the LMI for All project. In this blog post he explains how LMI for All can be used to help people develop a career.

Is a ‘career’ a string of jobs which we retrospectively say were all part of a masterplan? I don’t think so, certainly not for most of us. For me, the key element which makes a string of jobs a career is the affirmative decision at the outset: the chosen occupation, the pathway to it, and the overriding motivation to pursue it. These are unique to each and every one of us.

Yet when we weigh up a career, we visualise in terms of concrete information as well as values and purpose. We ask: how much will I be paid? How many hours will I work? How many opportunities will there be? How do I get into this occupation?  This is the information that helps us make well informed career decisions.

LMI for All exists to help with that part of the decision. It is an open access data service, which brings together robust national sources of labour market information (LMI) and makes these freely available to web developers. The aim is to inform careers decision makers by providing accurate and reliable intelligence about jobs.

LMI for All compiles and quantifies data from multiple sources – the Labour Force Survey, the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, and UKCES’ own Working Futures to name but three. LMI for All puts these varied datasets into one place and indexes them by Standard Occupational Code (SOC), a system for classifying job titles.

This is then made freely available, with no charge and only the most necessary terms and conditions.

Why is it so important to allow free and uninhibited access? Because allowing data to be accessed and re-used freely ensures that creative developers can use it to power apps or websites that present labour market data in innovative, striking ways. Open data means that everyone, from an established tech company to an aspiring young web designer can experiment with LMI, and discover new, better ways of presenting it.

The virtue of free, open access is evident in the variety of ways our users have presented LMI for All data. Plotr, icould, and SACU are among the users of LMI for All and all have found different ways to showcase the data.

Tomasz Florczak, the winner of our CareerHack competition, created a ‘Career Advisor’ app which uses data from LMI for All to compare careers based on geographical area. This, incidentally, has just been released onto the market.

Schools and colleges can directly access information via our LMI for All ‘Careerometer’ widget. It’s free, customisable and easy to insert into your webpage with just a few lines of computer code.

With a focus on robust, reliable data and regular new features, campaigns and users, LMI for All will continue to supply young decision makers with the information they need to turn that string of jobs into a fulfilling, successful career. Can I encourage you to make best use of it

LMI for All Report

March, 2015, marked the end of the second phase of development for LMi for All. The report of the phase two work summarised the outcomes as follows.

Overall, the first three years of pilot development of LMI for All has been successful in achieving three key goals:

  • The development of a comprehensive data offer;
  • the implementation of robust, secure, fit-for-purpose technical infrastructure;


  • An increased awareness and understanding throughout the stakeholder community of its existence as a high quality, free resource.

Whilst the database has been developed to a level where it can be, and is being, harnessed by a range of stakeholder groups for various purposes, further areas for development include: updating current databases and adding additional databases relevant to supporting decisions about learning and work; further enhancement and testing of the technical infrastructure; and additional work with stakeholder groups to ensure the potential, together with the likely processes of engagement, are understood and can be implemented within organisational contexts.

You can download the full report here: LMI_for_All_Final_report.