Using Lightcast to Create a Portfolio for a New University Hub

Published on Dec 5, 2023

Written by Mariana Marques

Nottingham Trent University’s Mansfield Hub has been developed as part of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and delivers courses and training to students in the region of Mansfield. It aims to bring more opportunities and prosperity to this region, and represents the University’s ambition to be a champion for the communities it serves. 

The challenge 

The Market and Insights team at NTU needed to support the creation of a course portfolio for NTU Mansfield from scratch. Since NTU Mansfield crosses both the Higher Education and Further Education fields, this project has been a considerable undertaking. The Market and Insights team needed a data source that was granular and reliable, enabling them to look at emerging industries in Mansfield, as well as which graduate jobs were available for students and the skills they required. 

Building a course portfolio with Lightcast 

Nottingham Trent University began partnering with Lightcast in 2021 to use our unparalleled labour market data to provide insights to various teams. One of the key projects that relied on Lightcast data was NTU Mansfield. With the Levelling Up agenda in mind, there has been a stricter requirement that its portfolio meets the needs of the local labour market, and that students are taught the right skills to match employers’ skills demand in the region. 

Using Lightcast data, the Market and Insights team was able to extract a list of leading industries in Mansfield, drill down into their graduate occupation groups, and go even further to explore the most in-demand specialised and common skills for each group, as well as top employers and job titles. These findings were then used to inform schools on employment-aligned provision for the Mansfield project.  

How Lightcast helped successfully build NTU Mansfield’s portfolio

The research findings were crucial in informing various teams and stakeholders of local labour market demand and trends. This in-depth research helped course leaders design courses that meet the needs of Mansfield’s labour market, ensuring that course content is in line with what employers are looking for, and boosting the employability of their students.

Both the school and stakeholders responded very positively to the research. The data was easy to digest and understand, giving stakeholders more confidence to action the insights from the data. 

Commenting on the success of this project, Kathleen Barilla, Portfolio and Insight team at NTU, said: 

“The type of data we worked with is quite quantitative, so when presented to stakeholders, it can be intimidating. Presenting Lightcast data in a very transparent way helped boost the credibility of our research, and gave stakeholders the confidence to translate the anecdotal knowledge of what is happening in Mansfield into something more concrete.”

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