The main obstacle to (more) young people getting new jobs is competition in the market place. Half of recruiting employers who had not recruited young job applicants had opted instead for older candidates who were better placed; in this instance young people who applied for these jobs may have been suitable, but the recruiters opted for a candidate over the age of 25 to fill the role. Where young applicants were not considered to meet the requirements of the role, the main reasons cited were lack of skills and experience, and sometimes both. Three in five recruiting employers (61 per cent) who had not recruited a young person said they had had no applications from young people. The reasons why some young people were not successful in their job applications mirrored the reasons why some employers were disappointed with the preparedness of recruits entering the job market in their first roles since leaving education. Most employers find the education leavers they take on to be well or very well prepared for work, although as many as four in ten employers taking on school leavers at 16 from schools in England, Northern Ireland or Wales described the recruits as poorly prepared (as do three in ten employers in Scotland taking new recruits from Scottish schools between the ages of 16 and 18).
The sample analysed for Scotland in this report comprises establishments (i.e. individual sites of an organisation) where at least one person is employed. It encompasses establishments across the full geographical spread of Scotland, in all sectors of the economy (across the commercial, public and charitable spheres). It should be noted that the presence of establishments from multi-site organisations in the survey means that in some instances interviews will have been completed with more than one site of the same organisation. A stratified random approach was taken to sampling the core UKsurvey, using population statistics from ONS’s Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR), and setting quotas for establishment size crossed by sector. All of the employers interviewed for the follow-up surveys had previously been interviewed as part of the core survey (and had given their permission to be contacted for further research).
I’m writing to let you know about the UK Commission’s Employer Perspectives Survey, which will start fieldwork interviews early in summer 2014. The UKCES is a publicly funded, industry led organisation providing strategic leadership on skills and employment issues across the UK. Our employer surveys are long standing research tools which support the development of government policy and help inform strategic economic plans at a local level. It is crucial to the success of the Employer Perspectives Survey that organisations like [COMPANY NAME] take part, so that the findings accurately reflect the views of businesses both large and small.
Mid Wales stands out on a number of measures. As noted when discussing regional breakdowns, the size distribution of sectors across Wales is uneven, and the concentration of small establishments in Mid Wales should be borne in mind. Despite having the highest levels of skill-shortage vacancies, and the lowest levels of training, employers in Mid Wales were no more likely to report having staff who were not proficient at their jobs than the other regions in Wales. This could be because employers in this region, knowing they do not have the capacity or budget to train staff, are more selective about who they employ thus skill deficiencies in the region present themselves as skill- shortage vacancies, rather than taking people on who are not sufficiently skilled and causing a skills gap. It could however be indicative that employers in the region are less aware of employees skills needs and issues have passed unidentified. The survey findings can only report those employers that are aware of the skills gaps they face, and other evidence of a low-skill equilibrium within the UK (for example see the original paper on this subject by Finegold and Soskice, 1988) suggests that many employers not registering problems may be doing so because of a lack of desire to build up skills, innovate, grow and move up the value chain. Hence the surveyresults on the extent of skills gaps, in combination with the evidence that, for example, establishments in this region are the least likely to have annual review for staff or processes in place to identify talent supports this latter hypothesis.
For the vast majority of establishments, demand for skills is met through successful recruitment (or through their current workforce, as will be explored in the next chapter). Four per cent of establishments reported having vacancies at the time of the survey that they were having difficulties filling due to a lack of skills, qualifications or experience in applicants for the role (a “skill-shortage vacancy”). This is slightly higher than the level measured in 2009 (three per cent) and in absolute terms equates to 85,500 vacancies resulting from skill-shortages, again higher than in 2009 (Figure 4.5). However the proportion of all vacancies in England that are caused by skill shortages is 16 per cent, the same level as seen in 2009 (and indeed lower than the level recorded prior to 2009). This suggests that, as with the figures for all hard-to-fill vacancies, the increase seen in the incidence and volume of skill-shortage vacancies can be attributed to the increase in vacancies overall (i.e. as the number of vacancies has risen, the number of skill-shortage vacancies has risen by the same proportion); it is not that the issue of skills shortages in the labour market has become any more concentrated in the past few years, on the whole, but there are areas of the economy which are seeing increased concentrations, as discussed below.
This report presents findings from the 2014UKCommissionEmployer Perspectives Survey (EPS), the third biennial survey in this series. It provides insight into the thoughts and behaviour of over 18,000 employers across the UK as they make decisions about how to engage with training providers, schools, colleges and individuals in the wider skills system, to get the skills they need. Key areas covered in this report include: training; work experience; collaboration with schools, colleges and universities; Apprenticeships and recruitment, including of young and old people.
As levels of training have not increased over this period, hypotheses for why skills gaps have fallen might be that perhaps fewer people have been moving jobs and so have had time to become proficient in the role they are performing. More pessimistically, it could be that due to the recession, establishments have been less likely to innovate their working practices, to introduce new technology or to introduce new products or services that would require employees to improve their skills and may be reflected in transient skills gaps while they get up to speed. The reduction in skill gaps could also reflect the impact of downsizing since firms are most likely to lay off staff not fully proficient in their jobs first. Even though skill gaps characterise a relatively small proportion of establishments and workers, they were more prevalent than skill-shortage vacancies. Skill gaps can adversely impact on business performance by increasing cost, hindering innovation and delaying the development of new products and services. Thus, the development of high value added business strategies in parallel with effective skills use and development by firms in Northern Ireland are critical to avoid such mismatches and remain competitive in the global economy.
In August 2013, Government introduced a new scheme in England open to 16 to 23 year olds not in work and looking to get a paid job. The scheme offers the opportunity to undertake substantial work placements alongside support with basic skills such as Maths and English to help them progress on to an apprenticeship or secure other employment. EPS 2014 canvassed employers’ awareness of Traineeships and found that around two- thirds of employers in England (68 per cent) had heard of the scheme, although the proportion that had at least some knowledge of what the scheme involved was much lower, at 39 per cent. By size, large establishments with 100 or more employees were slightly, but significantly more likely than those with five or fewer staff to have heard of Traineeships (72 per cent compared with 67 per cent). These differences by size increased when focussing on employers’ knowledge of the scheme (47 per cent compared with 37 per cent). Employers in the Non-Market Services sector were also far more likely to both be aware (74 per cent), and have some knowledge (49 per cent), of Traineeships than the average, with employers in the Public Administration sub-sector driving these differences (80 and 52 per cent respectively).
The most common reason given, as found in the previous skills surveys conducted in each country of the UK, was that they consider their staff to be fully proficient and / or that their staff did not need training. This was mentioned spontaneously by almost two-thirds of non-trainers (64 per cent): this figure falls with the size of the establishment, from 66 per cent of non-trainers with fewer than five staff, to 58 per cent of those with 5-24 staff to 41 per cent of those with 25 or more employees. Predictably those that identified skills gaps amongst their staff were less likely to give this response, though a third (34 per cent) of employers with skills gaps that did not train gave as their reason that training was not needed, suggesting there is still work to be done persuading employers of the benefits of training for tackling skill deficiencies. However, it should be noted that just over half of establishments (53 per cent) not training for the reason of staff being seen as fully proficient and / or the employer not seeing the need for training, did provide the kinds of informal workforce development discussed earlier in the chapter (see the „Broader development activity‟ section), suggesting that many of these employers do seek to develop the skills of their staff, though not through activity that would be identified by the employer or employee as training.
ESS2015 is the third time the skills surveys of the four nations of the UK have been brought together into one survey. It builds upon the findings of the same survey conducted four years ago ESS2011, this was also conducted by IFF (job number 4932). UKCES are partnering with the department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in England, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Department for Education and Learning in Northern Ireland (DELNI) to get a UK-wide measure of the skills landscape. ESS2015 is part of a wider research series into skills for the workplace, and is a sister survey to the Employer Perspectives Survey, which was last run by IFF in 2014. ESS2015 is designed to be “inward looking”, that is, it asks about areas relating to the respondent’s own establishment and internal procedures; the sister EPS survey is “outward looking”, examining their experience of government initiatives and external assistance. Together, the surveyresults are used to help inform learning provision in the UK so that it meets the skill needs of employers.
Taylor and Spencer’s (1994) qualitative research found that previous experiences of a school system that ‘streamed’ pupils into different classes according to ability had left some with negative attitudes towards learning – they argue that even among older adult learners, perceived barriers can often be traced back to negative attitudes to learning formed at school, while fear of ‘failing exams’ was a major disincentive for some disadvantaged young people. Ball et al.’s (1999) research with young people in disadvantaged urban areas similarly found that some specifically sought low-skilled jobs with few progression routes – these young people’s ‘educational inheritances’ had resulted in negative attitudes to learning, so that the promise of ‘no more learning’ in the workplace was actually valued by some. Crowder and Pupynin (1993) also point to the importance of prior experience in shaping motivation. Low-skilled employees can sometimes see little scope for development in their field of work and therefore can see training as ‘getting in the way’ of their work, while those with no experience of training are less likely to envisage themselves taking up skills development activities. As suggested in Section 2.4.3 below, the same issues have been identified as barriers to participation in formal HE and FE sector learning. For example, it has been argued that non-traditional learners considering HE participation can encounter ‘dispositional barriers’ related to previous negative experiences at school and perceptions that they do not ‘fit’ in HE environments (Forsyth and Furlong, 2003; HEA/IAS, 2006).
From 2016, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will be required by EU law to produce health accounts. These are a set of statistics which analyse healthcare expenditure by different types of function, provider organisation and financing method. The data produced for this output will provide a rich source of information on the structure of expenditure in the UK healthcare system.
Ageas’s award-winning track record continued during the period, being awarded Insurance Company of the Year for the second year in a row at the Bodyshop Awards. In terms of service, Ageas achieved an ‘outstanding’ rating for Personal Lines service following a recent ‘Investors’ in Customers’ survey of brokers and was voted by brokers as ‘top’ for Personal Lines Underwriting Service and second for Personal Lines Claims Service in the most recent Insurance Age Sentiments survey (November 2013). Ageas has also been shortlisted for a number of forthcoming awards at this year’s Insurance Times Awards including Personal Lines Insurer, Claims Initiative, Customer Service Initiative and Brand Campaign of the Year.
of these events is certainly not to eradicate differ- ence one of the most positive results I have observed from Constant Flux shows is that they encourage ac- cess to experiences and practices for people with learning disabilities which are often not allowed to them; such as watching a band, paying to attend, buying a drink, meeting new friends (often fellow music fans), on the same terms as people without learning disabilities. I felt that the crowd was very integrated and that, as these events continue, I’ve observed increased communication between audience members with and without learning disabilities. In this respect I can see very real and very positive effects from integrated events. The extensive media coverage of The Fish Police tour shows that there is widespread interest in the work of Constant Flux and I feel that the first two tours are the beginning of a very important body of work that is nothing less than revolutionary. I am very grateful that I was able to be involved with the tour and found the experience fun, exciting and stress-free - the watertight organisational skills of those at Constant Flux meant that the common stresses of the local promoter were alleviated at this event. Everything was in place and all plans had been made well in advance. I’m very glad that in these austere times the Arts Coun- cil are supporting work as important as this which is notably improving the lives of individuals with learn- ing disabilities; it is essential that this support continues and I hope that I can also continue to be involved! - Andy Auld (Promoter in Brighton)
The profile of this recession for the construction industry is turning out to be an odd one. In the normal course of events the expectation would have been for a period of decline, followed by a recovery. However, after a relatively short period of contraction – only two years – the industry has bounced back, at least in real terms, in 2010, but is then projected to go back into decline in 2011 and possibly 2012. The reasons for this are threefold. The first is a statistical one, in that the strong deflation seen in 2010 is distorting perceptions for that year. While deflation means that clients have been able to obtain more work for their money, for contractors and professional practices it often means cutting margins to the bone. For those working within the industry, 2010 will not have seemed like a recovery period. Secondly, the effects of severe public capital expenditure cuts will be felt most strongly in 2011/12 and 2012/13, that is the early part of the forecast period, and this will depress public housing and public non-housing output in the short term. Departmental capital budgets, which were announced for the period 2011/12 to 2014/15 in the October 2010 Spending Review, show falls in planned budgets of between 14% and 51% between 2010/11 and 2011/12 across the main capital spending departments except for Defence. Third, the effects of public expenditure cuts will spill over into the private sector, affecting the construction industry directly through government and local authority contracts, and indirectly through further rises in unemployment and continued economic uncertainty impacting on household spending. Indeed, large projects aside the current uncertainty impacting on consumer confidence might present a significant barrier to growth in the short-term.
It has become increasingly more difficult to quantify the current number of roles requiring digital skills as said skills have become increasingly needed across all sectors and service areas. Most industries and sectors recognise that as they become increasingly digitised there will be greater demand for staff in general to have varying degrees of digital skills. The UK forum for Computing Education expects that in a sort amount of time m2st of the UK workforce will require ‘digital citizenship skills’, estimating that “approximately 16.5 million people will need the appropriate skills to become ‘digital workers’ and ‘digital makers’” (page 25). Despite these requirements, the report estimates that 23% of UK adults do not have the basic online skills to meet the needs of the digitisation od UK business, figure 1 below shows how interviewed stakeholders felt about the current skillset of potential recruits.
The approach to this research question therefore develops the analysis to examine the interrelationships between skills in employment and the other innovation inputs and outcomes. The further analysis includes the responses of innovation to skills, conditional upon the other innovation factors, such as activities and information flows. We proceed through modelling the relationship between innovation indicators, notably goods, services and process innovation as well as wider or organizational innovation and the employment of specialised skills, though regression models that relate indicators to inputs, including skills. The dependent and explanatory variables are all taken from UKIS2011, that is, they are observed over the same three-year period. There is, therefore, no implication of a causal relationship, but rather the equations represent patterns of linked resources and conditioning factors associated with innovations. This analysis puts the human capital element in the context of other determinants of innovation propensity and intensity. Here, propensity is a binary variable represented by whether or not firms have introduced a new good, service or process, and the relationship controlling for other innovation relevant variables is estimated using probit models. Intensity is measured by the degree of novelty of these innovations, also using probit models and, further, for product innovations, by the share of new and improved products (goods or services) in turnover. Here the statistical technique is ordinary least squares.
None of the above Communicating in a foreign language Written Welsh language skills Writing instructions, reports etc. Oral Welsh language skills Basic numerical skills Manual dexterity Complex numerical / statistical skills Advanced or specialist IT skills Reading and understanding instructions, reports etc. Adapting to new equipment or materials Solving complex problems Computer literacy / basic IT skills Knowledge of how your organisation works Knowledge of products and services offered Specialist skills or knowledge None of the above Sales skills Making speeches or presentations Setting objectives for others / planning resources Instructing, teaching or training people Customer handling skills Managing or motivating other staff Persuading or influencing others Managing own feelings / handling those of others Team working Ability to manage own time and prioritise tasks
In addition to these self-reported tangible skills, we also investigate differences in other skills. The residuals from a regression of first job earnings are computed to proxy the unobservable skills of graduates. 10 Since skills obtained during degree are included as covariates, the residual term is by construction orthogonal to the observed skills. These residuals measure characteristics that are perceived by the employer such as motivation, punctuality, but not by the econometrician. This term also incorporates a `luck’ component reflecting the conditions of labour market entry that may affect earnings permanently (at least for the period of time covered by the dataset). Most of the coefficients had the expected sign and are therefore not discussed here. 11 In Figure 3, we report the distribution of the normalised residuals separately by over-education group. These differ for the three groups with the distribution being normal for the matched graduates and under-dispersed for the over-educated. Moreover, the mean fluctuates from 0.095 for the matched graduates to -0.127 for the apparently over-educated and -0.255 for the genuinely over-educated, all differences being statistically significant. Hence over-educated graduates differ from matched graduates not only in their observable skills but also in some unobservable component that we can attribute to intangible skills, career expectations and luck.
The grouping of the four items from the Critical Thinking scale was somewhat problematic. Firstly the item root asked students to reflect on the ‘coursework’, and it was unclear for some students what ‘coursework’ actually meant. Students found some of the items were either inter-related or that each item was too similar to the others. Also, some responses pointed to the fact that the difference between ‘analysing’ and ‘evaluating’ was not clear, particularly for students outside of the social sciences and humanities. After these items had been rephrased in modified versions of the survey, students seemed to have less doubt about what was being asked in each of them. Simpler, more direct and shorter questions appeared to have been preferred by all students, whether they were from the natural sciences or from the humanities. However, it is important to mention that disciplinary differences were noted in students’ understanding of these four items.