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West Midlands Local Skills Report Annex B - Evidence Base 2022


This evidence base aims to understand in detail how the supply of skills in the West Midlands Region matches up to current and future demands. This analysis will support the West Midlands Skills Advisory Panel, which is intended to provide valuable insight to the Government’s Skills and Productivity Board.

It will look at the skills system at each level, from secondary school to further education, apprenticeships, and graduate outcomes. It will form an evidence base to understand the reach of the skills system, both to different parts of the region and to different population groups, as well as how the system can be improved to meet the goals of the Local Industrial Strategy and other regional priorities. This will be essential to:

  • Develop policy to respond to the current economic headwinds and move the growing number of young claimants towards suitable training and work opportunities.

  • Anticipate long-term trends and future challenges in delivering skills.

  • Identify bottlenecks in skills provision to all ages, informing future strategic plans and requests for new funding or powers.

  • It aims to assess the supply and demand for skills at all levels across the West Midlands (3LEP) region, and to meet the Department
    for Education’s requirement of providing a
    full analytical toolkit to the new Skills and Productivity Board, where it can support their analysis at the national level. The evidence base includes publicly available data, labour market information from economic insight firm Emsi, and insights from the Individualised Learner Record (ILR), a collection of records of students’ participation in the further education system. In terms of structure, it considers first supply, then demand, and finally the interrelations between the two. Given the rapidly evolving nature of the jobs market in the current pandemic, data on current and future economic impacts stemming from the pandemic will be considered alongside skills supply and demand for each stage of education.

WMCA Productivity & Skills aims to tackle the challenges we face in skills provision in the region, through collaboration with the further education sector to develop high quality tailored support to young people entering the workforce and retraining workers alike.

The WMCA aims to:

  • Prepare our young people for future life and work
  • Create regional networks of specialist, technical education and training
  • Accelerate the take-up of good quality apprenticeships, across the region
  • Deliver inclusive growth by giving more people the skills to get and sustain good jobs and careers
  • Strengthen collaboration between partners to support achieving more collectively

It aims to achieve these goals by:

  • Moving more people into employment
  • Moving more people into higher skilled jobs
  • Making more skilled employees available to support business growth and productivity
  • Ensuring all communities benefit from the region’s economic growth
  • Developing an agile and responsive skills system that is more aligned to the needs of business and individuals