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West Midlands Local Skills Report Annex B - Evidence Base 2022


Scope: Most analysis in this report relates to the three Local Enterprise Partnerships: The Black Country LEP, Coventry & Warwickshire LEP, and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, and the local authorities that make them up. Unless otherwise specified, ‘West Midlands’ refers to this 3-LEP geography. @West Midlands Region’ refers to the wider region

of 30 local authorities, including Worcester, Shropshire, and Staffordshire. Analysis of the status quo for skills is based on the most recent data available, and the 2027 date analysed

in the Department for Education’s Working Futures report is used as an end-point for considering future developments.

Central to skills and education strategy is the prospect for young people in entering the workforce. Consequently, many of the education statistics highlighted here refer to 18 to 24 year-olds.

For further education, primary data on further education course provision, sourced from the Individualised Learner Record (ILR), is available only for the West Midlands metro0politan area, consisting of WMCA constituent members Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and Wolverhampton. It includes those who commute into this area

to study (i.e. it is based on place of study). However, data on qualification levels, apprenticeships, and Higher Education provision are all discussed at the 3-LEP geography.

Supply data is sourced from ILR, which comprises a list of students registered to further education courses in the WMCA metropolitan area, as well as a pivot dataset made available by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. This dataset provides detailed background criteria for each student in the further education system, including age, ethnicity, and area- and district-level postcodes. These data permit us to understand how effectively the skills system is reaching different groups and locations. Apprenticeship figures are derived from the same learner records data, but available for the full West Midlands Region.

Course title, duration, and qualification type are available for each student, making it possible to analyse the skills supply in detail. For analysis of the age, ethnicity, and level of study in further education data for the last full year available (February 2019 to January 2020 inclusive) is used. In comparing course completions and apprenticeships to job postings, the focus is on the last six months for which data is available (August 2019 to January 2020 inclusive). University graduation rates form the most recent academic year available (2019/19) are also contrasted with current job postings.

Demand data is derived primarily from three sources:

  • Business sentiment regarding skills from the most recent (2019) Employer Skills Survey. This consists of responses to a questionnaire about how skills shortages affect productivity and opportunities for businesses.

  • The Department for Education’s Working Futures report (Published February 2020), which projects total jobs growth and changes in qualification levels in the broad sectors of the economy both for the UK and for each English region. Given the extent of the economic impact of Covid-19 in 2020 it should be kept in mind that the projections were made before the pandemic. In this report use is made of the Working Futures forecasts alongside risk factors arising from the pandemic.

  • Job postings data sourced from economic analysis firm Emsi. These data run up to the latest complete month. Emsi produce the unique job postings figures by collecting data from multiple online job platforms before removing any duplicate entries.

It is important to be aware for this data that:

  • Job adverts may not be immediately removed once the position is filled.
  • A large proportion of jobs are likely not posted online, particularly for technical jobs in fields such as construction and manufacturing, and casual customer services work.
  • Some positions may be advertised only internally]
  • The same job may also be posted on and removed from multiple job sites at different times.
  • With these limitations in mind, the data provides a useful profile of change throughout the period of pandemic lockdown, and lets us compare job posting numbers to the supply of qualified entrants from further education courses.