There are a range of partners already working within and across the employment and skills arena. It is essential that the work of the UK Commission adds value, is pertinent to policy development, avoids duplication and builds on the existing evidence base. We are therefore strongly committed to partnership working, both within the UK and drawing on experience and expertise internationally too.
Who we work with
We are committed to working with partners across the UK to develop an authoritative evidence base, to pool expertise and to maximise the influence of research and labour market intelligence over policy and practice. We have strong links with researchers, policy makers and practitioners in key government departments and agencies and amongst the wider research community.
We are members of and/or developing links with, a number of important national committees and research groups, not least:
We are a key partner on, and users of, a number of specific research and LMI projects, for example:
The National Adult Learning Survey: This is a survey of participation in adult learning in England commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The UK Commission is on the Steering Group and has championed the use of conjoint analysis or the stated preference technique.
The surveys provide information on the learning experience, motivations and barriers to learning. National Adult Learning Surveys have been conducted in 2005, 2002, 2001 and the first in 1997. Caroline Berry is the UK Commission’s representative on the Steering Group.
UK-wide Employer Skills Survey: The UK Commission, in partnership with Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland, Scottish Government and Welsh Assembly Government, is aiming to run a harmonised UK-wide employer survey in 2011 of around 80,000 employers. Susannah Constable is the UK Commission’s project manager.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation Skills, Poverty and Inequality (Future Labour Markets) programme: The UK Commission, in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, has also commissioned a programme of research to examine the interrelationship between skills and employment; and poverty and inequality. The research seeks to increase our knowledge and understanding about if and how improved outcomes in terms of employment and skills can and will impact on inequality and in particular income inequality and poverty. Further information on this project can be found on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website. Abigail Gibson is the UK Commission’s representative on this programme.
Sharing lessons with international partners
International benchmarking, undertaking comparative analysis and learning lessons from abroad about what works, and sharing what we know with international partners, is another element of our work. For instance, we have strong links with colleagues in Australia and Singapore. These partnerships provide the opportunity to share research and policy insights, through joint projects and case studies.
The UK Commission is very pleased to be the UK's partner on a number of projects with the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) programme.
- The Training and SMEs project identifies ways to overcome the barriers to workforce development in SMEs. This has involved working in collaboration with the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development within the OECD. The research comprises industry surveys, case studies and study visits.
- The Skills for Competitiveness project identifies effective policy interventions which upgrade the supply and demand for labour and skills within local labour markets, particularly in areas experiencing a ‘low skills equilibrium’. A diagnostic tool for understanding local labour markets will be developed and case study research will help identify and analyse effective policy interventions to increase local competitiveness.
- In addition, the UK Commission is acting as an expert advisor on the OECD Skills Strategy. We are also partnering on two projects which will feed into the Skills Strategy. One project will develop indicators on skills, mobility and job quality in local labour markets, which will allow local labour markets in the UK to be benchmarked with other advanced industrialised economies. The other, the Skills Strategies for Youth project will explore how local joined-up approaches can facilitate school-work transitions for young people particularly at risk in the current economic downturn with a particular focus on career cluster systems.
We have been working within the European Union including the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training which promotes the development of vocational education and training. We have participated in pan-European projects, for instance, contributing to the development of a common pan-European employers' survey tool for identifying skill needs across European countries. We also offered support to the European Commission European Skills Assessment, New Skills for New Jobs. This sought to investigate and report on future skills requirements in Europe up to 2020.