Changes affecting the post 16 sector have been well documented, with a number of substantial reforms to drive up the quality and rigour of the sector having already impacted the sector in recent years set out in the Government’s report on Reviewing post-16 education and training institutions that include:
“introducing reforms to apprenticeships, reforming ‘A’ levels, improving and simplifying the national funding formula for 16-19, and removing 6,000 low-value qualifications from performance tables and public funding”.
More recently, the government set out its ambition to move towards “fewer, often larger, more resilient and efficient providers” through a national programme of post 16 area-based reviews with the premise of providing “an opportunity for institutions and localities to restructure their provision to ensure it is tailored to the changing context and designed to achieve maximum impact” .
In the wider context of discussions around devolution, localism, the northern powerhouse, local outcome agreements, the national expansion of the Apprenticeship programme and introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, it is imperative that colleges are able to identify their position in the skills market and grow and adapt their provision to meet the needs of their economies to support economic growth and prosperity.
This can only be achieved through the delivery of a meaningful and relevant curriculum offer that is aligned with the skills requirements of employers and progression opportunities into further learning or employment in occupations and industries where growth is forecast.
Labour Market information is a vital tool that enables colleges to develop a clear understanding of how they can supply a relevant curriculum that meets the current and future demand for skills. Consequently, Leeds City College’s Business Development & Employer Engagement Unit leads on the curation and dissemination of key intelligence and research that underpins all business and curriculum planning activities. The following page sets out some of the ways Leeds City College uses Labour Market Information.