Can Big Data fill your data vacuum?

vector image of big data

Traditional data sources do not have the timeliness or the level of detail that many organisations using labour market information (LMI) need. NESTA is funding a project on novel sources of data that can yield reliable LMI in real time and at a level of detail (granularity) that can satisfy even local area organisations such as Skills Advisory Panels, Local Enterprise Partnerships and learning providers.

Derek Bosworth from IER is leading this work and would like to invite you to identify your data needs by filling in a very short questionnaire, which can be found here.

Labour market and skills projections: 2017 to 2027

Working Futures report cover

The latest ‘Labour market and skills projections: 2017 to 2027′, undertaken by IER’s Professor Rob Wilson and his team, including IER’s Sally-Anne Barnes, Derek Bosworth and David Owen and researchers at Cambridge Econometrics, have just been published by the Department for Education. Working Futures 2017-2027 is the latest in a series of quantitative assessments of the employment prospects in the UK labour market over a 10-year horizon. It presents historical trends and future prospects by sector for the UK and its constituent nations and the English regions.

The study shows that overall the number of jobs in the UK is projected to rise by around 1 million over the next decade with more of these jobs expected to be taken by female workers than male. The unemployment rate is expected to rise slightly and the expansion of the UK’s labour supply is forecast to slow over the next decade, curbed by slower population growth (than during 2007-2017) and an ageing population. The reports are now available to download.
Follow the LMI for All twitter account for updates on other published outputs from the study, including the release of updated data in the LMI for All database.

Professional identity transformation: supporting career and employment practitioners at a distance

vector graphic online learning

The need for countries to provide appropriate support to all individuals making labour market transitions into, and through, volatile and complex labour markets is uncontroversial.

What is controversial is, despite this, that the professional identity of career counselling and employment practitioners across Europe remains somewhat fragile, partly because of the need to balance tensions around funding targets and reducing unemployment, with the individual needs of clients.

Maintaining professionalism can similarly prove challenging because time poor practitioners find it difficult to update their learning needs, continually, in the face of operational pressures, placing at risk their ability to familiarise themselves with new theories, research and ways of working.

This article by IER’s  Professor Jenny Bimrose and Professor Alan Brown examined how career guidance counselling and employment practitioners can be supported at a distance using technology, to facilitate their professional identify transformation. Drawing on empirical results of European research (2014 – 2018), the article presents findings from an international online learning course designed to support practitioners’ professional identity across Europe and discusses the implications for practice. Fifty free downloads are available here.

Understanding the gender pay gap

We have written before about the gender pay gap in the UK. According to the Office for National Statistics the average hourly (gross, excluding overtime) gender pay gap in the UK for all employees fell from 17.8 per cent in 2018 to 17.3 per cent in 2019.  However, nee research has revealed cross-national gaps vary from as much as -5 per cent in Wigan to 32 per cent in Slough suggesting that only focusing on a national perspective might be overly simplistic.

The Centre for Cities has found that 7 of the 10 cities with the highest gender pay gap are located either in the South East or East of England. They say that “as cities in these regions tend to perform economically better than cities in the North of England, economic performance seems to influence the gender pay gap in cities. In general, cities with higher average weekly earnings (e.g. Cambridge, London, Reading, Crawley, Slough) tend to have a higher gender pay gap.”

Another factor the Centre for Cities things is driving higher gender pay gaps in the south of England is the bigger difference between men and women holding a managerial position. While 5.2 of men and 3.2 per cent of women in the north east hold such a position, 8.1 per cent of managers in the south east are men while only 4.4 per cent are women (data is not available below regional level).”

Six out of the ten cities with the smallest gender pay gap are located in the North of England: Wigan, Burnley, Warrington, Sunderland, Blackburn and Middlesbrough. These cities have weaker economies and lower rates of employment

The Centre for Cities has looked at the industrial composition of the labour market in Warrington and Wigan, finding that both cities have a higher share of jobs in education, human and health activities and social work than cities with higher gender pay gaps such as Slough and Crawley.

The composition of sectors in and around cities is seen as important and since women are more likely to be employed in the public sector, for instance, as teachers, social workers and nurses, the gender pay gap tends to be lower in cities with a higher proportion of public sector jobs such as in Middlesbrough, Blackburn, Swansea and Glasgow.

LMI for All team meets Studiekeuze123

Photo of Studiekeuze123 and LMI for All team

As part of a knowledge exchange and sharing good practice, Sally-Anne Barnes, as part of the LMI for All team, met with the Stichting Studiekeuze123 team from the Netherlands. Studiekeuze123 had just won three #LovieAwards for their website Studiekeuze123.nl, which is the official Dutch platform to support students in their study orientation and choices. Sally-Anne and the Studiekeuze123 team had a great morning talking about careers LMI, course and occupational mappings and widgets! The LMI for All team look forward to future opportunities to work together.