Improving understanding of the demand for and supply of skills in the West London labour market

Newton B, Masundire C, Hounsome P, Turner J, Dent A, Cockett J, McGrath D, Williams M |   | Institute for Employment Studies / Rocket Science  | Apr 2021

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The West London Alliance (WLA), a partnership of local authorities, has an interest in influencing the commissioning of appropriate skills provision to respond to employer demand. The area has seen skills shortage vacancies as well as skills gaps[1]. Addressing these is an important part of the WLA’s focus on improving the prosperity of the local economy and of its residents. As part of this improving alignment between employers’ needs and skills provision including training and careers guidance, is crucial.

This report sets out the work led by the Institute for Employment Studies, in partnership with Rocket Science, to deliver insights into skills demand and supply in the West London labour market, and to develop a tool to bring together the available datasets.

The online tool produced for WLA has the capacity to analyse forecast demand by Sector Subject Areas as a yearly average of demand for employment over the period 2021-2030. This summary is based on those data, and what it reveals can initially look quite stark. It is worth stating that when interpreting these data that bringing together demand and supply data in this way has not previously been attempted in WLA so there has been limited labour market intelligence to shape the skills offer. It should also be borne in mind, that the gaps are between funding commitments from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (national) and Adult Education Budget (London) and demand. There is also potential to deepen and sharpen the insights: the tool has not yet captured on-the-job training for employees that employers commission or the provision of private training providers (likely highly employer responsive) and HEIs (which will be concentrated on Level 4+).

[1] Skills shortages are cases in which employers have difficulty recruiting due to a lack of candidates with the required skills, qualifications or experience. A skills gap presents when existing employees do not possess the necessary skills required by the business.