Understanding the skills deficit now

The skills deficit in the UK is not a new challenge. As reported in our recent skills-focused white paper, in 2019 a quarter of all vacancies were skills-deficit related, with 60% of these in medium- and high-skilled roles. ONS data from October 2021 reveals a record high number of job vacancies between July and September 2021, indicating the re-opening of many sectors. Yet, as pointed out in the Big Issue, much of the positive news around employment relates to low-skilled, temporary and insecure work; a gap is preventing people from finding secure employment to match their skillset and their needs.

This article explores a pan-sector skills gap, the influence of Brexit and coronavirus on the skills gap, the current talent pool, and the future of employment in the UK.

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How have the government schemes performed at a local level?

The government has taken a sector- and skills-specific approach to tackling unemployment across the UK, rather than forming their response to specifically meet challenges as they are presented at a local level. So, how have these schemes performed locally? Have local authorities and businesses been provided with the tools they need to successfully kick-start local economies? And what should their next steps be?

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Sunak’s Autumn Budget and Employability Services

Announced on 27 October, Rishi Sunak’s autumn budget is as interesting for what it includes as for what is omitted. Given the proximity of the announcement to COP26, the budget has been criticised for a lack of emphasis on green initiatives and the government’s net-zero plan. The cost of long-haul flights is set to rise (with climate change cited as the reason), yet duty on domestic flights has been cut. Overall, as reflected in this particular example, the budget is a mixed bag, offering some causes for celebration, and others for commiseration.

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Traineeships explained

The government introduced traineeships in 2013 as a stepping stone for young people leaving school to either get into an apprenticeship, or directly into work. They offer a means for school-leavers to gain valuable work experience while filling in any academic gaps with the core subjects of maths and English. Provided by businesses and aimed at young people who are unemployed or have little or no work experience, traineeships give 16- to 24-year- olds a clear pathway into work.

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Digitalising employment services to survive local authority budget cuts

Local authorities around the country are struggling to meet budget-cut demands as they struggle to make do with much less and residents feel the impact. The digitalisation of employability services will be key as local authorities and housing associations struggle to provide the same support as they did pre-pandemic, and for an increased number of jobseekers.

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First findings ahead of the furlough scheme ending

The government’s furlough scheme is scheduled to finish at the end of September. As we near that date, we take a look at hopes, fears and predictions for the millions of people still being supported by the scheme, and the steps the government can take to safeguard the recovery of our economy.

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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 user’s 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.