Addressing local employment challenges through Labour Market Insights

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While the labour market has started to recover from the impact of the pandemic, the expectations of both jobseekers and employers have changed. With health concerns and demand for flexible work now playing a significant role, it has never been more important to understand local labour markets and effectively match jobseekers to available roles.

Despite the year-on-year increase in job postings through our platforms and the continued abundance of roles in sectors including hospitality and retail, these vacancies can sometimes be challenging to fill.

To address this, we’re working to challenge preconceptions about what careers in key sectors might entail.

In Scotland and the Midlands, we’re running insight sessions for programme participants to challenge their expectations of roles working for leading UK recruiters including the NHS, and in occupations with high volumes of vacancies, such as the care sector and construction.

In Wales, we have been developing new ways of influencing the recruitment processes used by employers, making them more accessible by utilising the expertise of our Community Partnership Network (CPN) members. For example, in South Wales, we’ve responded to an increase in customer service roles by working with CPN partner, Passport to Employment, to deliver training that leads to a guaranteed interview with a major local employer.

Meanwhile our partnership with multinational restaurant chain Tim Hortons in Scotland has seen significant numbers of Fair Start Scotland participants supported into sustainable employment, many of whom face significant barriers.

Our approach recognises that not all barriers to finding work are linked to skills. We’ve started working strategically with local authorities to overcome transport difficulties for customers in remote areas and facilitate job starts with employers, for instance through supporting the introduction of shuttlebus services.

Understanding local labour markets

Underpinning this work is an increasingly sophisticated approach to Labour Market Intelligence. In order to support participants more effectively in their journey back into work, we have established a Labour Market Intelligence project to better understand current recruitment trends.

To achieve this, we’ve analysed how local teams across the business are using existing LMI data and are investigating ways to make this more user-friendly for advisors on the ground. This will facilitate more meaningful return-to-work conversations with participants and help to match job goals to current labour market conditions.

To build on our existing expertise, we recently introduced the digital platform, Jobsfeed, which provides live, searchable vacancies from the UK job market for our colleagues, enabling us to effectively match participants against live roles. The platform also equips our business with insights on which sectors are recruiting most intensively, along with key skills requirements and geographical insights.

Adapting our approach for the future

The labour market continues to change. After two challenging and problematic years, we expect to see an uplift in hospitality and events, with the revival of night-time economies in major cities.

In the warehousing and logistics sector, we’re seeing a move away from agency hiring; which is creating further opportunities to position ourselves as a strong, strategic partner for employers.

Aided by enhanced labour market insights, we are committed to helping UK businesses to recruit from a diverse pool of job-ready candidates.

If you would like further support addressing local employment challenges and meeting your recruitment needs, contact our employability team.

28 February, 2023