Aptem Dashboards – Insights to track and manage your programmes.

Access to data that is visualised in an easy to consume way is critical to understanding insights. That’s why Aptem has built-in dashboards allowing users at all levels across an organisation to effectively learn, track and manage their programmes.

Aptem’s single-page dashboards provide an instant snapshot of key analytics and reports of a users programme.

Learners, Tutors, Participants, and Work Coaches, are provided with an interactive page containing analysed data funnelled through reports, charts, and graphs, all tailored to meet the individual user’s needs.

The four dashboards – Tutor Dashboard, Learner Dashboard, Work Coach Dashboard, and Participant Dashboard are reviewed in detail below:

 
Tutor Dashboard
Summary: Gives an effective, single-page overview of the learner’s progress providing the tutor with the tools to keep on top of their learners.
  • Title – The first card shows the name of the learner, their employer, manager, and mentor. You have the option to view the learner’s profile from here.  
  • Learning Plan Activities – Breakdown of activities highlighting – completed, submitted, remaining, and target. These help to ascertain whether a learner needs prompting. 
  • Upcoming Review -Highlights upcoming reviews which can be navigated by clicking start.
  • Timeline – Indicator shows the learner’s current stage in the programme, along with milestone dates. 
  • Progress – If a learner is enrolled on multiple programmes, you can track the progress of each programme with flags indicating areas for concern. 
  • Of-the-job-Hours – Shows a breakdown of OTJ hours with a forecast displaying the sum of completed OTJ hours and all future planned OTJ hours. 
  • RAG status -To quickly identify if a learner is on track (Green), at risk of falling behind (Amber), or if they have fallen behind (Red).
  • Require Attention – Highlights areas a tutor needs to focus on, with the ability to click the text buttons to navigate to the relevant pages.
  • Skills Radar Report – If the organisation uses a Skills Radar, you can see a summary of the learner’s Skills Radar scores,  illustrating the learner’s skills and competencies, and progression over time through a scoring system numbered 0-10. 
  
Learner Dashboard  
Summary: Gives a single, reliable overview of the entire programme that helps the learner take ownership for keeping their learning on track.
  • Title – The first card shows the name of the main programme. If the learner has a tutor, a mentor, or an employer contact, their names and contact information is listed. If the tutor is listed on this card, you will see the option to send them a message.
  • Learning Plan Activities – Breakdown of activities highlighting – completed, submitted, remaining and target. In the visual shown here, the score 12 out of 24 indicates that the learner has completed 12 out of 24 learning plan activities.
  • Upcoming Review – Lists the upcoming reviews, Learners can navigate to a review by clicking ‘Start’.
  • Timeline – This card has a visual indicator showing the learner their current stage in the programme, along with other milestone dates.
  • Progress – If a learner is enrolled on multiple programmes, they can track the progress of each programme with flags indicating areas for concern. 
  • Off-the-job Hours –Shows the planned and completed OTJ hours for each month. The forecast hours are the sum of completed OTJ hours and all future planned OTJ hours.
  • RAG Status – Learners can identify whether they are on track, at risk of falling behind, and if they have fallen behind.
  • Requires Attention –This section shows the various items requiring the learner’s attention including overdue activities and tasks, feedback received, unread messages, signatures required etc. In this section, the text buttons allow learners to navigate to the relevant pages.
  • Skills Radar Report –  If the organisation uses a Skills Radar, learners can see a summary of their Skills Radar scores,  illustrating their skills and competencies, and progression over time through a scoring system numbered 0-10. 
 
Work Coach Dashboard 
 
Summary: Gives work coaches instant access to key analytics to support clients with their re-employment programmes. 
  • Overview – Provides work coaches with instant access to key analytics to support clients with their re-employment programmes. 
  • Title – Shows the participant’s/job seeker’s name, their main programmes, and access to their profile. 
  • Action Plan Activities – Breakdown of activities highlighting – completed, submitted, remaining and target. Activities include creating a CV and undertaking a mock interview.
  • Upcoming Review – Lists the upcoming reviews, participants can navigate to a review by clicking ‘start’.
  • Timeline – Indicator shows the participant’s current stage in the programme, along with milestone dates. 
  • Job Finder Activity – Shows a summary of the number of jobs viewed and jobs applied by the participant. Work Coaches can see this in two views – current week and all-time. 
  • The Resource Centre – Usage figures indicate the interaction with available resources, with percentages indicating an increase or decrease in assets viewed in a 7-day period.
  • Requires Attention – This section details the required areas to focus on. Activities and tasks can be prescribed by the employability provider. Open trackers include open cases where something could require fixing.
  • Skills Radar Report – Measures soft skills for employability. This can be based upon Aptem criteria or integration from Workstar.
 
Participant Dashboard 
 
Summary: Enables participants/jobseekers to keep track of their programme progress using tools such as the Job Finder Activity, Action Plan Activities, and the Skills Radar Report.  
  • Title – The first card has the name of the main programme and the name of the participant/jobseeker. Participants can see their Work Coach’s profile and also message them here. 
  • Action Plan activities – Breakdown of action activities, highlighted by completed, submitted, remaining and target. In the visual shown here, the score 12 out of 24 indicates that you have completed 12 out of 24 action plan activities.
  • Upcoming Review – Lists the upcoming reviews, participants can navigate to a review by clicking ‘start’. 
  • Timeline – Visual indicator showing participant’s current stage in the programme, along with other milestone dates.
  • Job Finder Activity – Participant’s summary of the number of jobs viewed and jobs applied. This can be viewed by current week and all-time. 
  • Jobs posted today – Shows the number of new jobs posted that matches the participant’s profile. 
  • Resource Centre Usage – Shows participant’s activity; assets opened and time spent on the resource centre. The panel also shows a percentage increase or decrease on both those parameters as viewed over a 7-day period.
  •  RAG Status – If the participant’s organisation uses RAG status, their RAG status is available to view on this card.
  • Requires Attention – This section shows the various items requiring your attention – overdue activities and tasks, unread messages, signatures required etc. In this section, you can click the text buttons on the card to navigate to the relevant pages.
  • Skills Radar Report – If the participant’s organisation uses Skills Radar, you can see a summary of your participant’s Skills Radar scores on this card.

Data Masterclass output – Moving away from being Data Rich Insight Poor

Mark Abrahams, Head of Research at Aptem, joined Kerry Boffey from the Fellowship of Inspection Nominees (FIN) to host a Data masterclass for 23 organisations. The focus of the session was how to move away from being a ‘Data Rich Insight Poor’ (DRIP). Most of the participants were relying on Excel to process, analyse and present data, with some moving towards Tableau or PowerBI. The merits of these and other analytics tools were discussed.

Organisations worked through using data to support their Covid story, identifying the types of data they needed to support their statements for regulatory bodies like Ofsted. While most organisations are easily able to articulate what actions they have taken, data provides evidence of the impact of the action taken.

A core focus of the session was the learner journey and the importance of building a story around the data that is collected. Mark shared a diagram that walked organisations through the data points that are captured along the route and asked “what’s missing?” Together, organisations discussed the business questions they need to ask. The importance of triangulation was presented to ensure claims are evidenced using robust, accurate data.

Operational challenges were worked through across a range of perspectives including learners, tutors, quality and compliance and finance. Solutions using data to identify and solve organisational pain points such as identifying learners at risk, marking behaviours of tutors, patterns of tutor behaviour – both positive and negative – and past, current and future performance, were presented and worked through.

Two data exercises were undertaken by participants to test their learnings on dummy data. A discussion followed about the importance of data visualisation and which tools to use for data analysis and presentation. Tips were given on how to present data in a consumable format, which metrics were important, and how to automate to reduce manual effort and errors. The session ended with the value of benchmarking data, and the importance of using freely available tools such as the Aptem Intelligence Dashboard, to identify growth areas, opportunities and threats at an organisational level.

Feedback from this masterclass was extremely positive:

· “The training was comprehensive and clear. Detailed slides to continue to develop as an organisation from the training” Real Skills Training Ltd.

· “Very informative, firm, and good fun – if stats can ever be that!” Professor Christine White, De Montfort University.

· “Short but packed with information, interactive, networked with others. Useful with lots of take-away thoughts” Jenny Scrivens, Achieve Training.

Aptem, in partnership with FIN, runs a range of thought-leadership masterclasses throughout the year. These masterclasses are available to all Aptem customers at a discounted rate. Customers are contacted in advance of these sessions via email.

Employability and Skills: Plan for Jobs

The UK government has introduced an array of initiatives around employability and skills. Over the past year, and  as a result of the pandemic, it produced its Plan for Jobs, followed swiftly by the Skills for Jobs white paper, which  brings together long-term policy objectives with more localised and targeted support to manage the current crisis. 

The speed of policy change can be hard to navigate, so we have put together an ‘at a glance’ guide to the keynote policies.

Plan for Jobs

 WHP JETS 

Launched in October 2020, JETS (Job Entry Targeted Support) is aimed at helping individuals who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.                                                                                                                                                                         

Key features are:

 Provides light employability support that includes things like transferable skills analysis, CV writing, job search, interview skills, self-efficacy and confidence-building in the post-pandemic environment. Participants will receive 182 days of continuous support.

 For participants of working age who are receiving benefits and motivated to find work.

Participants must be of working age, in receipt of universal credit or new style JSA, have been unemployed for 13 weeks or more, have been receiving benefits for 13 weeks or more and are not on any other DWP scheme.

Participants will have travel costs covered to any WHP JETS related appointments and childcare costs if it poses as a barrier to the participant entering employment within the first month of attendance.

Backed by £238 million investment from the government and delivered in partnership with the Shaw Trust.

Kickstart 

Officially opened to applications in September 2020, Kickstart is an employability scheme that provides 6-month placements of 25 hours per week for 16-24-year-olds in receipt of Universal Credit. 

Key details are:

It provides funding for employers to offer work placements, and it covers 100% of the National Minimum Wage for the period of the placement, associated employer National Insurance and pension contributions, and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. Employers can top up this wage.

Employers will also receive £1500 to help pay for training, uniforms and other set up costs.

Backed by £2 billion of public funding.

Employers can either apply directly or through a Kickstart Gateway (a group of employers) already working with the Kickstart Scheme.

Young people will be recruited through Jobcentre Plus.

Participants will be paid the national minimum wage or the national living wage depending on their age.

Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.

Initially open until December 2021.

 Restart 

Launched in November 2020, Restart is a £2.9 billion scheme managed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that provides up to 12 months of tailored support for people who have been out of work for at least 12 months and may need additional support. 

Key features are:

The scheme will last for three years and will be delivered by providers (initially Tier 1 providers) through the Commercial Agreement for Employment and Health Related Services framework (CAEHRS).

For participants in receipt of Universal Credit and have been out of work for 12 months

Referrals will be made through work coaches.

The scheme is expected to benefit around one million individuals, who will get personalised support depending on identified need.

It will be delivered on a payment by results basis, incentivising providers to prioritise outcomes.

The DWP has awarded contracts and the scheme will go live in Summer 2021.

  Apprenticeship upgrade – The Plan for Jobs announced new support for apprenticeships. 

These are:

£3000 employer payment for each new apprentice they take on between 1st April and 30th September 2021.

This funding is in addition to existing payments for 16-18-year-olds, people with  disabilities or young people leaving care.

It is possible to progress from Kickstart to an apprenticeship.

The employer needs to pay the National Minimum Wage (or more) and possible 5% of training and assessment costs depending on the size of the business.

T Levels  

T Levels are the skills equivalent of three A Levels, and they offer a mix of classroom learning and an industry placement of around 45 days. Three T Levels are currently available at selected schools, colleges and other providers in England. A further seven will be available in 2022-3.

Learners can progress from T Levels to employment, an apprenticeship or higher education.

In the Plan for Jobs, financial incentives of up to £750 are available for providers in selected regions for the 2020 to 2021 academic year

Employability and skills: Skills for Jobs

The UK government has introduced an array of initiatives around employability and skills. Over the past year, and as a result of the pandemic, it produced its Plan for Jobs, followed swiftly by the Skills for Jobs white paper, which brings together long-term policy objectives with more localised and targeted support to manage the current crisis. 

The speed of policy change can be hard to navigate, so we have put together an ‘at a glance’ guide to the keynote policies.

Skills for Jobs

Skills for Jobs is a white paper, meaning that the measures are draft policies in preparation for legislation. That means the detail is yet to come. However, it puts employers at the centre of technical skills delivery. 

Here are the core areas the report covers: 

  Lifelong Loan Entitlement 

•  Intended to echo provision of loans for degrees 

• Equivalent of four years, post-18 education. 

• Flexible, and available for a variety of skills training options.

  Apprenticeships

• Support more people into apprenticeships. 

• Make them work in more sectors and allow levy-payers to transfer funds. 

• Address fall in apprenticeships among non-levy payers. 

• 2021-2 £2.5 billion to support apprenticeships. 

• Flexible on the job training across multiple employers in a sector. 

• Front loading training, accrediting of prior learning and experience, better routes of progression from traineeships and T levels to apprenticeships. 

 • Identify and prioritise most successful and necessary apprenticeships.

    Traineeships 

Plans to link to apprenticeships in growth sectors in construction and digital. The scheme will last for three years and will be delivered by providers (initially Tier 1 providers) through the Commercial Agreement for Employment and Health Related Services framework (CAEHRS).

Maths, English and digital training 

• Plan to focus on access for SEND people, those with Education, Health and Care Plans and English for migrants.

Technical skills 

 Expanding Institutes of Technology to increase higher-level qualifications in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Twelve in existence, eight more planned for agreement in summer 2021. • Continue to roll out T Levels, with a review to see how they can be more effective.

• Level 3 advanced technical qualifications to be reduced in number and aligned to T Levels.

• Reform higher technical education, so that L4/5 based on employer-led standards. 

• Clear progression routes for higher technical qualifications, backed by metrics for progression outcomes.

• Employer-led digital bootcamps – £8 million for employer-led short training courses lasting 12-16 weeks. First areas for delivery are West Midlands, Greater Manchester/Lancashire, Liverpool City Region, West Yorkshire, East Midlands, and the South West.

Adult education

• £2.5 billion National Skills Fund to help reverse decline in adult education.

• As part of Lifetime Skills Guarantee, any adult can access a L3 fully-funded course.

• National Skills Fund – £3.5 billion, including £95 million in 2021-2 for adults to receive L3 qualification.

  Skills infrastructure 

• Government will fund the High-Value Manufacturing Catapult’s ‘Skills Value Chain’, which assesses skills needs in manufacturing and delivers programmes of study for providers. It also supports SMEs.

• Local Skills Improvement Plans will shape provision around local labour market needs. Piloted in Trailblazer local areas. Strategic funding available from 2021/22 for colleges to reshape provision as agreed with employers.

• Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education lead alignment of majority of post16 technical education with employer-led standards. Call for evidence as to whether L2 can be employer-aligned and made more suitable for SEND learners.

• College Business Centres – proposals for these to be invited through the Strategic Development Fund.

• Move to multi-year funding, strengthen governance of colleges and new ministerial power of intervention for non-effective delivery or non-delivery of local skills needs.

• Funding from 2022 to test flexible and modular learning.

Employability inequality- the new normal?

2020 was a year of unprecedented change and transformation.

The coronavirus crisis catapulted the world into rapid change. Globally, populations entered lockdowns, businesses closed, and organisations were suddenly faced with the prospect of delivering their entire service model online. This necessitated a rapid transition into remote work, the adoption of new strategies, the move to new communication styles, and widespread behavioural changes. The embracing of the “new normal” was powered by a technological transformation that we might not have seen if not for the pandemic. New technologies were invested in to help support the remote-working model. Companies found themselves revaluating their existing internal cultures and trying to find ways to maintain employee participation, resilience and morale, in what was one of the most challenging periods many will ever face.

The rapid transformation brought many positives, the flexibility of working from home helped many people return to the labour market, and new emergent technologies helped accelerate the digital transformation of many businesses. However, for some, the pandemic worsened existing inequalities.

Gender 

During the pandemic, many women faced disproportionate effects of the crisis. A report from the Women’s Budget Group found that while women make up around 47% of the UK’s labour force, they represented 52% of all people furloughed. The report then went on to extrapolate data from HMRC which showed that by the end of February 2021, there were 2.3 million women furloughed in comparison to 2.1 million men. For many women, the pandemic brought unique struggles. They tended to absorb more of the unpaid work of the crisis and struggled to balance the demands of motherhood and work while also facing higher rates of redundancy and furlough. 

Old, ingrained stereotypes about women and their position in the labour market contributed towards women being worse off as a result of the pandemic. Assumptions around where the responsibility of care should be, who should juggle home-schooling, any wider family care requirements and work are deeply engrained regardless of the working status of both parents. Employers can and should be working to mitigate the imbalances found in work. This could take the form of flexible parental leave and guarantees that fathers who take time off work will not face repercussions in their career.

Race and Ethnicity 

The pandemic has had startling effects on young black workers. According to analysis conducted by The Guardian, more than 40% are unemployed, almost three times as many as white workers. Between October and December 2020, 41.6% of young black people were unemployed compared to 12.4% of white workers within the same age group. 

Historical inequalities across society also affect the employment market and it seems that young black workers are shouldering the brunt of the economic downturn. Before the crisis, many black workers were in jobs that held less contractual security such as zero-hour contracts, fixed-term contracts and cash-in-hand roles. With the pandemic forcing many of these insecure roles to disappear as well as the stringent requirements needed to qualify for furlough schemes, many people instead ended up unemployed and further from the labour market.

More work needs to be done to reduce barriers to entry for young black workers. The implementation of specialised, tailored support would be beneficial, alongside more research into understanding some of the structural barriers that may be preventing young black workers to return to employment. Issues such as structural racism and the higher likelihood of young BME people being from lower-income backgrounds directly affect employment outcomes.

Disability 

For many disabled people, the pandemic has caused a silent jobs crisis, while the disproportionate effects of the coronavirus crisis on other groups have been spoken about widely, often the plight of disabled people over the last year has been ignored. 

Research Fellow Vera Kubenz, from the University of Birmingham, commented that disabled people had been widely “excluded from [the government’s] plans” in the response to the pandemic. Furthermore, she discussed the “worrying lack of data on how disabled people have been affected” by the crisis which has led to policy that doesn’t take the unique needs of disabled people into account. 

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), between April and June last year, the unemployment rate for disabled people was almost double that of the rest of the population. Many disabled people relied on more insecure forms of work before the pandemic as those were the jobs that offered the most flexibility in terms of hours and availability, as we moved towards a remote-working model these jobs disappeared.

As the economy reopens and these jobs reappear, disabled people will face intense competition for these roles as unemployment is so high across the population.

Employers have a responsibility to ensure they are prioritising the needs of disabled workers and jobseekers if the new normal consists of a mix of office-based and remote working, and organisations must ensure they are taking the opportunity to encourage more disabled workers into the workplace as this pandemic has proven that flexible and accessible working is possible. 

There is hope on the horizon: according to the latest statistics from the ONS, the UK’s unemployment rate fell slightly in the last quarter (January- March 2021) and the employment rate rose for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. However, the number of people in long-term unemployment rose between January and March 2021 compared with the same period last year. While we may be seeing signs of early recovery, there is still much work to be done. As the restrictions across the country lift, and the threat of the new Covid-19 variants still looms, there may be more extended periods of uncertainty and disruption. In order to truly build back better, we must address the heightened inequality and find ways to make further progress to ensure everyone is represented in the new normal.

Tackling the Employability crisis

Despite widespread economic turbulence, unemployment may not reach the crisis levels predicted last year. But issues such as underemployment, a hiring slowdown and inclusion look set to impact economic growth. Dr Deborah Talbot talks to Tony Wilson, Director of the Institute for Employment Studies, about economic and employment trends, and what a holistic employability strategy might look like.

Dr Deborah Talbot: Unemployment has been a huge source of concern over the past year. What are the macro trends currently?

Tony Wilson: The good news is that we’ve almost certainly avoided an unemployment catastrophe. Last year many of us were fearing unemployment levels of above three million, maybe even reaching five million, which would have been devastating. Largely because of the job retention scheme, the latest forecast for unemployment is suggesting that it’s going to peak at about 2.2 million, which is still 800,000 higher than it before the crisis, but far, far below what it could have been especially because given GDP shrank by 10% in 2020 – the biggest contraction on record.

However, there are three big warning signs at the moment. One is that long-term unemployment is rising because people who became unemployed or started to look for work last summer have had very little chance to get back into work. The second issue is that there are signs that the crisis may be causing existing inequalities in the labour market to widen, with black and Asian young people, those with disabilities and lone parents faring worse. And thirdly, there are growing signs of job insecurity and underemployment, and people being stuck in work that’s a lower occupational level than their skills. In any recession there’s a growth in what you call ‘second choice jobs’ – jobs you take because you need the money – and we need in the longer term to help people find the right job for their skills level.

Deborah: Brexit has caused difficulties with trade, although some say it is only temporary. How will that affect unemployment?”

Tony: It is a risk, yes, particularly if we were to look at what was missing from the budget. The budget retained the job retention scheme and that’s welcome. But the main challenge for the year ahead is not the firing but hiring. If we don’t get hiring up to well above pre-pandemic levels, we won’t reduce unemployment, we won’t improve job security and job quality and so on. And both the pandemic and Brexit look likely to affect hiring decisions.

We all know that once the economy opens up, we’re going to see more people out spending money, travelling around, seeing people and taking domestic holidays, so there is a lot of pent-up demand and a lot to be optimistic about. But the budget is gambling on a strong private- sector jobs recovery in the second half of the year, and that may not happen. Brexit will be one of the big factors which hold that back, alongside the spare capacity in the labour market as people come back to work from furlough.

There is much that the budget could have done to help hiring: reducing the national insurance burden for employers, introducing a hiring subsidy for employing unemployed people as examples.

Deborah: The government has many initiatives around skills at the moment. What do you think the strategic underpinning of these policies are and what does that say about where they’re taking the economy and the Plan for Jobs?

Tony: To the government’s credit they have introduced an enormous range of measures in their Plan for Jobs to support employment and skills. The government moved far quicker last summer than we did during the 2008-09 recession and they invested a lot more than we did back then as well.

Within three months of the crisis, we’d had a pretty comprehensive Plan for Jobs and significant investment, and we will see the benefits of that with more work coaches in Jobcentre Plus, and through the Restart programme and Kickstart jobs. In time, I think we’ll see improved access to apprenticeships and traineeships for younger people too.

What’s missing is how all this hangs together, and how we make sense of this for individuals, employers, service providers and local communities. Government initiatives can be quite rigid and quite difficult for employers to access; for example, if you’re not prepared to release somebody for a full Level 3 course or you’re not prepared to take on an apprentice, there’s relatively little for you so far.

On the broader labour market planning, there is a risk that we end up with a lot of provision and delivery but strategic confusion about who’s looking after the individual, who’s working with that employer, who’s supporting local growth in that area or industry. So we’ve advocated for a better joined-up approach at the local level, and by that I mean local economic areas (cities and regions).

Deborah: Is it an issue of how well we tie labour market demand into skills training, that is, use good data?

Tony: I think labour market data is a major issue, and there are a few projects that have been in development for a while although they haven’t evolved quickly enough to be directly useful to this crisis. For example, the LMI for All21 initiative and work by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) have both been looking at how to make better use of data to support local labour markets. And, of course, there’s now a pretty vibrant private market providing labour market insights.

Useful though this is, we need more central coordination and management so we can get a consistent and single version of the truth that can be used to support all areas with the insight that they need. And our funding systems, our public policy, don’t really incentivise having really good labour market intelligence (LMI). Unlike the US, our skills system is not outcome-led in terms of jobs; its success is measured in enrolments and qualifications. That’s not a criticism, and there are strengths to taking that approach, but it means that there just isn’t the same demand for good-quality LMI within public services as you see in some other places.

Deborah: It’s likely that there will be a significant restructuring of the economy post-pandemic and because of Brexit. What sectors do you think should be prioritised to either help them survive or grow that would most benefit the UK’s economy and culture?

Tony: It’s clearly crucial for any economy to have an industrial strategy, and the fact that we wound up the Industrial Strategy Council is a worry as it means that we are once again revisiting and reinventing what the UK approach should be.

For me though, any strategy needs to be focused on how we can maximise employment opportunities, support job growth and reduce disadvantage, so it needs to try to take a ‘whole economy’ view and not just focus on specific favoured industries, many of which ultimately don’t employ a lot of people.

One positive that we can definitely build on, though, is that employment grew by four million in the 10 years before the crisis, and over 3.5 million of those jobs were in highly skilled work. I think the challenge therefore is how we help more people get from lower skilled to higher skilled work quickly.

Deborah: The ladder of progression.

Tony: Yes, exactly.

Deborah: If there was one policy that you think would make the most difference to employability, what would it be?

Tony: I think the most important policy would be one-to-one personalised individual support for people who are unemployed or underemployed to improve their lives. That won’t always be about a rapid re-entry into employment; it might be about social connections, it might be about learning, it might be about helping to address a health condition or other things that might be making their life hard.

Deborah: Functions that, for example, the Sure Start Centres used to perform for parents.

Tony: Exactly.

Deborah: What does the IES have planned for 2021?

Tony: Our first priority is evidence-based practice around labour market recovery and improvements to employment policy. Our second area will focus on how to make work better, particularly as we move to hybrid forms of working, and in particular thinking about how we ensure that supports health and wellbeing, productivity and inclusive growth.

And then the third area for us is to support a more inclusive and diverse labour market. I don’t think anyone could have lived through the last year and not been impacted personally and professionally by the Black Lives Matter movement and in the past month the death of Sarah Everard. These events have been a wake-up call for all of us, I think, in looking at how we recognise and promote diversity and inclusion in our lives and in our workplaces too.

Deborah: That sounds very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us.

Lifetime signs up to Aptem to deliver integrated learning experience

Lifetime, the largest training provider in the UK, has signed up to EdTech SaaS platform Aptem to deliver apprenticeships and Kickstart programmes. The contract was signed in March 2021 and Lifetime and Aptem are working closely to onboard Lifetime’s apprenticeship programmes, alongside the successful implementation and launch of Kickstart in April 2021.

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Mental health and wellbeing, resilience and the pandemic

Since the pandemic started, global mental health has declined significantly. Alongside the stresses caused by chronic uncertainty, isolation and grief, rising unemployment has contributed to a drop in mental wellbeing in populations around the world.
Here, we examine how mental health has changed as a result of the coronavirus, how this converges with experiences of unemployment, and what jobseekers and employers can do to safeguard themselves and others.

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