Strengthening Collaboration between Further Education and Local Employers

Published on Nov 3, 2023

Written by Mariana Marques

The Heart of Worcestershire College (HOW) is the largest further education college in Worcestershire County, in the West Midlands of England. It was established in 2014 from the merger of Worcester College of Technology and North East Worcestershire College, and spreads across four campuses: Worcester, Malvern, Redditch and Bromsgrove. The College has a strong focus on addressing the skills needs of local employers through innovative education. 

The challenge faced by The Heart of Worcestershire College

To meet its goals of boosting local skills in order to meet the demands of local employers, HOW needs to collaborate closely with local businesses, understand their current and future needs in terms of skills and roles, and feed this back into its curriculum and learning strategy. 

However, the College has noticed that employers in Worcestershire, particularly SMEs, often don’t have enough insights into workforce trends, so they don’t know where to start on developing future skills and workforce plans. 

Partnering with Lightcast to understand the Worcestershire labour market 

Knowing that local employers are finding it challenging to understand what their focus should be in terms of acquiring the most suitable skills for their businesses, HOW has commissioned Lightcast to produce data to drive them in the right direction. 

This granular data gives projections for what the sector subject areas (SSA1 and associated SSA2) might look like in 5 years, taking into account past and current trends. It includes the number of relevant jobs available in this region, projected number of job postings in five years, average job postings over the time period and median advertised salaries. 

Lightcast also identified the top sectors with the largest growth potential and most in-demand job titles in the region, which enables businesses to get a clear picture of where their sector is headed, and Further Education providers to inform their curriculum planning strategy to meet local employer demand. Lastly, Lightcast provided a supply and demand, and market share analysis of the region to identify potential gaps in provision. 

From data to action

HOW then presented the data and findings to local employers. With this data, businesses can build out hiring and workforce plans to acquire the skills and roles that will keep them ahead of competitors and enable them to adapt to emerging trends swiftly. But the College plays a pivotal role in boosting local skills, too, by matching its curriculum to skills needs. 

“The College will then support leaders and managers in priority sectors to help them prepare for emerging and future business opportunities and identify the skills they will need to succeed,” shared Michelle Dowse, Principal and CEO of the Heart of Worcestershire College

If you’re an FE college looking to strengthen your partnerships with local businesses or review your curriculum to meet LSIP goals, Lightcast data can give you the evidence you need to take the best course of action. Equally, Lightcast data can support governmental organisations in ensuring that businesses and educational institutions are working collaboratively to achieve the best results for their region. Get in touch with our team below if you would like to explore our data in more detail or see other resources.

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