Our recent track record

Sector skills research and analysis

We have carried out a variety of assignments in 2007/8 on labour market and skills research and strategy development work for e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for the IT and Telecoms Industries, and for Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the creative audiovisual industries.

Skills strategies

In 2008, we produced a Skills Framework for West Sussex on behalf of the County Council to bring together demand and supply side analysis for 14-19, FE, HE, higher level skills and workforce development. Commissioning this piece of work was a prescient move on the part of West Sussex County Council, given the increased role in education and skills for Local Authorities.

Economic development

We developed a strategy and action plan for the Coastal West Sussex Partnership, working with the board, in support of its aim of regenerating the coastal economy. We also helped to develop the business plan for the West Sussex Economic Partnership.

Evaluations

We have recently completed a major evaluation and impact assessment of the STEP programme for the London Development Agency. STEP aims to get people from disadvantaged groups into the creative industries – a challenging task when these industries are already oversubscribed and entry level skills are generally Level 4 and above. We found that good practice had been developed as a result of STEP among the non-formal learning sector of training providers for the creative industries but that overall economic impact was medium. This evaluation was compliant with the RDA evaluation framework.

In 2008, we also completed a three year monitoring evaluation for the London Borough of Wandsworth, of the STRIVE programme to assist people from disadvantaged groups into business and self employment. We found that overall the programme was having a strongly positive impact on beneficiaries. 80% reported good and excellent customer satisfaction levels, 90% reported that the services were very or extremely helpful to them. This programme was funded by the EC under Equal.

Policy advice and support

Much of this work is confidential but we supplied policy development support to a number of clients including preparing evidence for the Education and Skills Select Committee and responses to a number of education and skills related government consultations. We are currently supporting the NIACE Inquiry into the Future of Lifelong Learning and the UK Commission for Skills and Employment.