Case Study: The Skills Network

How LMI is helping the organisation fulfil its mission to enrich lives through learning.

Published on Sep 12, 2022

Updated on Jun 16, 2023

Written by Rob Slane

Since its establishment in 2009, The Skills Network has become one of the leading online and skills training providers in the UK. With a mission to enrich lives through learning, the organisation combines the power of training, skills and pedagogy with the use of innovative technology, such as its cloud-based learning management system, EQUAL, and through this the organisation has supported more than 1.6 million learners to develop life-long skills and learnings.

How The Skills Network uses data to support its mission

The Skills Network also uses a number of other innovative tech solutions to support its mission, one of which is Lightcast’s online labour market research tool, Analyst. It contains billions of datapoints describing local, regional and national labour markets, sourced from both government datasets and online employer job postings. This wealth of structural and real-time data has a huge variety of applications, and the organisation is using it to support their mission in the following ways:

  • Creating an evidence-base to support and enhance tendering activity

  • Providing a data-driven approach to funding bids such as Bootcamp

  • Producing quarterly, data-rich career sheets which are distributed to all learners

  • Keeping staff up-to-date via internal newsletters on key labour market issues such as skills gaps

  • Enhancing partnership offers by using data to evidence how they are aligned with local skills needs.

The Skills Gap Trend Report

In addition to the applications mentioned above, The Skills Network also uses Lightcast data to produce regular reports on skills trends. The first of these was a Skills and Employment Trend Report in 2020, which highlighted the most in-demand skills being sought by employers in the UK, and this was followed in 2021 by The Skills Gap Trend Report (which you can download here). Using Lightcast data alongside other sources, the report was targeted at a wide audience including students, jobseekers, learning providers, businesses, LEPs and central government, with the aim of helping them understand how the labour market is changing in terms of how occupational mix varies by region; which specialist and common skills are most in-demand; and how demand is trending in specific sectors such as the emerging Green Economy.

With these examples of how The Skills Network is making great use of the data, the organisation’s Director of Policy, Planning & Tenders, Krysia Wooffinden comments on how Lightcast’s Labour Market Insight has become a vital part of their mission to enrich lives through learning:

Lightcast data is hugely beneficial to us, whether in supporting our tendering activity, evidencing demand for our Bootcamp bids, or profiling learner numbers based on job availability. The information it gives us on salaries and the skills employers are looking for is really invaluable for our learners, as it helps them to plan career goals and also identify the key skills they have learnt with us for job applications and CVs.

What to read next

Learn more about the increasingly skill-based economy by exploring these resources:

• What are Skills?

• Skills Management Solutions

• Lightcast Open Skills Taxonomy

• Skills, Job Titles and Occupations Taxonomies - deep dive