Our unique approach to skills analysis for regional clients like SEEC (who represent South East England Councils) combines our solid understanding of economic data and analysis, but most of all our ability to engage deeply with clients in making sense of findings. Through structured workshops and action-focused conversations, we help our clients understand how the evidence relates to key findings, the relative strengths of different arguments, and this in turn helps them take better decisions and make better arguments.
Our recent study for SEEC is now enabling them to support their arguments for more devolved powers to deliver better and more agile skills programmes locally e.g. to incentivise more students to take up engineering and science.
Over the coming decade every UK region will experience tectonic shifts caused by automation, A.I., Brexit, competition from the global south and east, plus demographic and climate change. For Southeast England, one of the most critical issues will be workforce skills, and how skills funding is secured and spent. The Southeast has the second highest level of productivity after London and the net number of jobs is rising. But the region’s economy is dominated by knowledge-intensive, service-sector activity and regional skill levels and the agility of the education and skills system are now critical factors affecting the future trajectory of the SE economy.
For example the Southeast is becoming almost exclusively a high-skilled economy; today, less than 10% of jobs in the SE are open to those with no formal qualifications, and by 2024 this will have fallen to just 1%. One of the most striking illustrations of this is the near-perfect correlation (as shown in the chart above) between Southeast districts with higher proportions of knowledge-intensive jobs and those with higher proportions of graduate workers. Yet, in 2017 around 10% of 16-24 year olds were not in education, employment or training.