UK Employment Rate Rises To 72% (Infographic)

The latest UK labour market statistics from Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that UK employment figures have risen to 72% with the corresponding percentage of unemployed falling to 7.4%. In August to October there were 30.05 million people employed in the UK, an increase of 485,000 the same time last year.

The Bank of England recently froze interest rates until unemployment falls to 7%, however these latest figures show employment has risen much faster than they had predicted. This has raised concern over the stability of future economic recovery if interest rates increased earlier than expected.

Out latest labour market infographic gives a snapshot of UK employment and unemployment statistics. (view full size)

labour market dec 2013 sml

Read the full Labour Market Statisics report >

Our Previous Labour Market Infographics

November 2013October 2013September 2013 |  July 2013 | June 2013 |  May 2013 
April 2013 | March 2013 | February 2013

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<a style="border: none;" title="UK Labour Market December 2013" href=""><img alt="Infographic UK Labour Market December 201" src=""></a><br/>Infographic by <a title="Macleod Associates" href="">Macleod Associates</a>

Tor Macleod 10:39

Further Education And Skills Sector Has Raised Its Game Says Ofsted

Further Education & Skills: Percentage of providers rated for overall effectiveness.

The Further Education (FE) and Skills Sector has “raised its game” says Sir Michael Wilshaw Chief Inspector for Ofsted.

This optimistic appraisal comes from the latest Ofsted annual report that reveals 71% of providers are now rated good or outstanding. This is an increase of 7 percentage points, showing definite signs that hard work to improve the quality of FE is paying off. 

These improvements within the sector are despite public funding allocations being £100 million less than in the previous year (around £7.78bn in total).

In the past year around 3.7 million learners took part in government-funded education or training in the FE and skills sector. Although the battle is being won, there are still many remaining barriers that our education system needs to overcome to compete to a global standard. These key issues, highlighted by Ofsted, have come up time and again in discussions and reviews of provision.

Apprenticeships and Training for 16-24 Year Olds

There is now an urgent challenge to schools and the FE and skills sector to ensure that young people are equipped to benefit from the opportunities that apprenticeships and similar programmes provide.

The report tackles the topic of apprenticeships, traineeships, and the need for quality and effective training for 16 to 24 year olds. Yet with a proposed 17.5% funding cut for provision for 18 year olds, this will prove more challenging coming the next years. As the AoC's Julian Gravatt Comments “No one can budget on air".

Meeting Local Employer and Labour Market Needs.

Every provider has an important role in ensuring that its courses are both matched to local needs and make a real difference to individuals.

The key to success is in matching training to local skills demands.  However with many providers struggling to understand the priorities of their local area they are unable to evaluate how well they have tailored their provision. This is due to insufficient data (or access to data), poor communication, and /or lack of local accountability for provision.

The report suggests that the sector would benefit from local authorities taking further accountability for provision and a more active role in training within their geographical region.

Destination and Outcome Tracking

The ability to judge the true effectiveness of provision will depend, among other things, on the availability of robust data on learners’ destinations."

To be more responsible for provision within your local area and you need to understand the ‘true impact’ of training. You cannot react if you do not know what your priorities are.

Collecting data on destinations and job outcomes as well as surveying learners can give training providers a reliable indication of their influence, successes, and failures.  In a recent survey of FE colleges 71% revealed that tracking progress and outcomes was a key barrier to successful delivery.

Ofsted comments that gathering this data on a national level (as well as locally) would give the sector a greater understanding of the situation as a whole and how best to tackle it. This would also provide the Government with accurate data on where their funding is most needed, of greatest impact, and best spent.

Responses From The Sector

157 Group:

 “It is good to see today's report acknowledging a significantly improved profile of teaching, learning and assessment in FE Colleges…Leaders and lecturers have given stronger attention to the quality and impact of what happens in student learning with clear results. As always colleges have risen to the challenge.

We welcome Ofsted's acknowledgment of the need for local accountability frameworks and for more effective links with employers and skills needs." - Lynne Sedgmore, executive director of the 157 Group. (source)

"It is rewarding to hear a much more constructive tone coming from Ofsted this year in regard to Further Education colleges. We are powerful strategic players in the skills agenda and hubs of community learning, and our role in providing high quality vocational teaching and learning is critical.” - Peter Roberts, chair of the 157 Group and chief executive of Leeds City College. (source)


“It is encouraging that there is optimism across the sector and that more providers are performing better than last year. 

“The report also found that too much provision is not sufficiently responsive to local employment need, regardless of the quality of teaching and that the Apprenticeship system is still failing to meet its full potential." - David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE. (source)

Association of Colleges:

“The report, which highlights the importance of moving young people into sustainable employment, looks at the role of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in providing good quality employment and earnings data, so that there is the prospect of a better match between college supply and local skills needs.

“Colleges have been given a mountain to climb in redressing the failure to achieve at GCSE in English and maths at 16 - after 11 years of school - into a success...We must make sure we have the tools – financial, human and curriculum - to respond to this challenge.” - Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges. (source)

Tor Macleod 12:24

NEET Numbers At 12%: Latest Stats

The Department for Education and the Office for National Statistics have published the latest details of UK NEET numbers.

neet1 neet2 The latest data shows that the proportion of 16-18 year olds NEET (not in education, employment or training) increased by 1.4 percentage points on last year reaching 12.2%.  This increase could be explained by last years NEET statistics were unexpectedly low compared to yearly trends.

Northern English regions (North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humberside) show comparably higher NEET rates to rest of the country. In contrast, London and East Midlands revealed the lowest NEET rates.

Read the full statistics on >

Tor Macleod 10:35

Skills & Employability Review Issue 9


Check your inboxes! Issue 10 of the Skills & Employability Review is out now.

In this issue: 5 steps to successful employability provision, highlights from the AoC conference and recommendations to boost engineering skills & training. (Plus our latest labour market infographic.)

Read Issue 10 online >

Join our mailing list to receive the monthly Skills & Employability Review by email.

Previous Issues

  • Issue 9 - Welcoming Paul Edsall, AELP comments on the big FE & skills challenges, 20 further education leaders to follower on twitter...
  • Issue 8 - What Do You Need To Know About New FE Funding Rules, Guidance On Skills For Growth & Our Latest Labour Market Infographic...
  • Issue 7 - SFA Funding For Work Placements, The Education & Training Foundation Launches & New Infographics...
  • Issue 6- Meeting GWP Memebers, A Business Case For Education Reform & Skills Shortage In Marketing & Media Sector...
  • Issue 5 - Using Careers Advice To Tackle Skills Gaps, 6 Challenges To The Skills & Employability Sector...
  • Issue 4- Tips To Motivate Learners, Research Into Creating An Agile Curriculum & Our Latest Infographic...
  • Issue 3 - LSIS project - Getting People Back Into Work , A New Streamlined Funding System & The Need For Destination Tracking...
  • Issue 2 - Infographic: The UK Labour Market, Guide to FE Learning Technology & Making the Skills System More Responsive to Employer Demand...
  • Issue 1 - The Missing Link Between Education & Employment, INFOGRAPHIC: Skills for Life Survey...
Tor Macleod 09:23

The Growing Demand for Healthcare Professionals

Image courtesy of flickr

In addition to the increasing number of jobs in the construction sector, today’s economy is also experiencing a tremendous growth in the healthcare industry.

Last year, the Huffington Post predicted that this sector would be able to provide more job opportunities, amounting to 5.6 million before 2020.

[Editors note: Recent UK labour market statistics show human health and social work sectors producing increasing numbers of job opportunities. There were 117,000 more workforce jobs in June 2012-13, compared with the previous year.]

In August, Modern Healthcare honoured 40 healthcare companies that shown a positive outlook in increasing job placements for temporary and permanent positions.

There’s a catch

Citing a Forbes report, how2become founder Richard McMunn said that there’s a catch in the “booming” number of job opportunities. While the demand continues to increase, there is also a need for a stronger skill set, compelling employers to search for candidates with an exemplary educational background and experience.

From the recorded 81% in 2010, the demand for training and post-secondary education in the industry is expected to rise up to 82% in 2020. The same also applies for professional and technical occupations where it’s predicted to reach a 94% increase in six years.

Filling the skills gap

Nowadays, the most successful health practitioners exhibit the essential transferable skills. These skills make physical and occupational therapists highly desirable, especially in far-flung areas that are deprived of proper medical attention. According to Net Places, this level of excellence is the fundamental factor in a successful community program. Here are some of the most common transferable skills:

  • Manual Dexterity

    Medical professional with skills in manual dexterity have the ability to move their hands with coordination. This skill comes in handy during pressing conditions, especially when performing vital operations. This skill is best depicted by dentists, wherein their motor control works in unison with their hand-eye coordination.
  • Communication Skills

    Aside from their patients, clinicians must be able to communicate clearly with their colleagues, managers, and patient’s family. A strong communication skill also comes with the ability to provide an accurate and concise medical documentation, detailing a patient’s status
  • Leadership

    Healthcare is a profession that relies mainly on teamwork. Leadership skills must not only be exhibited by the team supervisor, but by every member of the team. This skill is best exemplified in the operating table, where each member’s effort is vital to the success of the whole team.

The most in-demand jobs

Forbes has released its annual list of the most in-demand career specialties in the health sector in August. For the 7th year in the row, family doctors have topped the list, due to their less expensive medical assistance in outpatient settings. This is in strict accordance with the Affordable Care Act, which aims to give quality service despite the lower cost of medicines and consultation.

Debuting the list are the nurse practitioners, with the ability to prescribe medications and run small clinics. This coincides to the  2012 Georgetown’s Center On Education And The Workforce report that revealed nursing occupation is primed to grow the fastest. Local hospitals are also now demanding nurses holding a bachelor’s degree, or at least an associate-level education.

Potential problems

Like any other expanding industry, the healthcare sector is also confronted with dilemmas, especially on the part of legislators, care providers, and CEOs. Fortunately, Open Forum notes that these problems, whether huge or small, are solvable.

  • Time and money

    The sector is in need of more investors, who will provide the financial assistance, to replace old medical apparatuses that are highly needed in rural areas. Fortunately, the industry is swamped with initiatives to change the delivery of health care. A good example is the WellnessMart, a one-stop shop where patients can get travel vaccines and doctor consultations.
  • Shortage of doctors

    The lack of family doctors and paediatricians boils down to the issue of salary. With a salary of $138,000, [ roughly £85,000] family doctors are pursuing specialization for higher pay – general surgeons ($225,000) and orthopedic surgeons ($315,000).

With the phenomenal growth in the medical industry, job seekers are able to find their niche, where their wide skill set and multiple degrees are called for.

What do you think of this sudden boom in the healthcare industry?

About the Author

 Zoe Allen is a graduating college student with a degree in Health Sciences. She plans on venturing the healthcare industry to maximize the skills and knowledge she earned in the university. In preparation, she reads Richard McMunn’s How2become a Paramedic: The Insider’s Guide. Zoe would love to hear your thoughts, so follow her on Twitter.

Zoe Allen 08:13


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