East Midlands Chamber launches database that gives insight into local skills needs and supply

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Businesses and educators can gain an insight into skills supply and demand at local level using a new online dashboard created by East Midlands Chamber.

Insight Unlocked is a new “collective skills intelligence observatory” pulling together insights from existing data sources around job adverts, occupation projections and qualification levels.

It aims to help people make better decisions around training or studying, assist colleges in how they design the curriculum, and support businesses to find the most effective recruitment routes.

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The observatory was developed as part of the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Skills Improvement Plan, a pilot scheme funded by the Department for Education and led by the chamber along with partners.

Chris Hobson, East Midlands Chamber director of policy and insight. Picture: East Midlands ChamberChris Hobson, East Midlands Chamber director of policy and insight. Picture: East Midlands Chamber
Chris Hobson, East Midlands Chamber director of policy and insight. Picture: East Midlands Chamber

Using a mobile app to engage businesses via short daily surveys on their live requirements for skills, knowledge and behaviours alongside automated data collection, this established a new data-driven approach to understanding what employers need from their workforce and what’s on offer from educators at local level.

Insight Unlocked has since been rolled out for use by other chambers of commerce in Staffordshire, Hereford and Worcestershire, and Coventry and Warwickshire, with potential for it to be deployed by local authorities and local enterprise partnerships in the future.

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Chris Hobson, chamber director of policy and insight, said: “People are front and centre of minds for businesses right now as they grapple with one of the tightest labour markets ever witnessed.

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“This has led to a recruitment crisis that puts a lid on capacity and productivity, which needs to be raised significantly if we are to bring down prices and inflation.

“However, skills gaps are nothing new in many industries, including nationally-critical sectors such as manufacturing and construction, which means we need to start adopting new thinking to tackle deeply-embedded challenges if we are to ever get a different outcome.

“Our work in the Leicester and Leicestershire LSIP was underpinned by this mantra and the data-led approach to how decisions are made across the skills ecosystem led to some fascinating insights that have now been submitted to Government, with recommendations to take these ideas forward.

“It has also enabled us to develop an exciting new product in collaboration with our partners that can have a real-world impact for businesses, colleges, training providers, young people and others.

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“We use data in every aspect of the economy, and now this can be deployed in skills development to ensure we are giving people the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will be needed not just for today’s jobs, but those that will exist in future decades.”

To find out more about Insight Unlocked, visit insight-unlocked.co.uk