Prof. Jenny Bimrose and Dr. Alan Brown, University of Warwick
Our consultations with PES in UK and Slovenia have resulted in a very clear message from the user engagement process. The very good news is that the PES do want support for identity transformation, but the support they want is slightly different from what we were expecting when we drew up our initial description of work, so all facets of the project will now need to respond in an agile way. One of the major requests from DWP (the UK PES) was the need to work on labour market information (LMI) / data so we can help the LMI specialists to coach PES practitioners to use this in ways which could transform their practice.
With this emphasis we could update what we will be doing in the project as follows:
The project supports the learning process of PES practitioners and managers in their professional identity development by supporting the efficient use of technologies to provide accessible labour market information and new forms of engagement with employers, practitioners and individual clients, in ways which make use of advanced coaching, reflection, networking and learning support services. The project focuses on scalable and cost effective technological developments that empower individuals and organisations to engage in transformative learning practices, assisting their capability to adapt to rapidly changing pressures and demands.
We will still be using coaching, reflection, networking and learning support (MOOCs) but the major shift in identity transformation will be in relation to the efficient use of technologies to provide accessible labour market information and new forms of engagement with employers, practitioners and individual clients.
On 23rd September 2014 the European Commission welcomed the official launch of the Public Employment Services Network, a new cooperation structure helping Member States further coordinate their policies and actions against unemployment and reinforcing the European economic governance framework.
Upgrading the support provided by Member States' public employment services to young people is particularly important for the practical implementation of the Youth Guarantee, the ambitious EU-wide reform aiming to help all jobless people under 25 to find employment. The new network's Board met on 23rd September for the first time in Brussels.
This new Network is based on a Council and European Parliament Decision to maximise the efficiency of public employment services through closer cooperation adopted in May 2014, in line with the 2012 Employment Package.
The new structure will provide greater opportunities for: comparing public employment services performance against relevant benchmarks,
identifying good practices, and
improving co-operation, including through mutual learning and peer to peer assistance programmes.
The new structure represents an upgrade on the previous structure of Heads of PES meetings. It can be taken as another indicator of how PES are viewed and modernising the services offered is high profile: see http://ec.europa.eu/social/
A key role for many staff working in Public Employment Services is assisting and coaching people in making important decisions about their participation in the labour market. This extends from pupils in schools, to students in vocational education and training and Higher education institutions and individuals at every stage of their career and learning journeys. Whether these individuals are in transition from education and/or training, in employment and wishing to up-skill, re-skill or change their career, or whether they are outside the labour market wishing to re-enter, high quality and impartial labour market information (LMI) is crucial to effective career decision-making.
LMI is central to the European Commission sponsored Public Employment Services Network. Upgrading the support provided by Member States' public employment services to young people is particularly important for the practical implementation of the Youth Guarantee, the ambitious EU-wide reform aiming to help all jobless people under 25 to find employment.
Linking and opening up careers focused LMI to optimise access to, and use of, core national and European data sources is one approach to improving that provision as well as supporting the Open Data policy agenda increasingly being adopted by Member States. Career focused LMI can be used to support people make better decisions about learning and work and improve the efficiency of Public Employment Services and labour markets by helping match supply with demand, and helping institutions in planning future course provision. LMI is also important for PES staff co-ordinating with employers and with education and training providers.
The Employ ID project team is seeking to develop a Labour Market Information Tool. The aim is the co-design an LMI mash up tool bringing together LMI from official sources and local Labour Market Information. This work will be initially undertaken with the DWP in the UK but if successful can be extended to include other Associate Partners and countries. The Expected outcome in year 1 is a Beta release of LMI dashboard for the UK PES (DWP).
The work will include:
- Meetings with PES staff re needs for LMI tools / dashboard
- Design of dashboard
- Exploration for adding Labour Market crowd sourced intelligence to data based Labour Market Information
- Development of wireframes
- Production, testing and evaluation of first prototype
- Exploration of LMI needs and potential data sources in other partner and associate partner countries
- Exploration of feasibility of present database design for use with data from other countries
- Research into potential of European Labour Force Survey as common data source.
Two meetings have been held with representatives of the DWP Labour Market Information team to explore the development and piloting of an online social networking tool for the DWP labour market specialist staff through the Employ ID project.
The first phase would be based on the UKCES LMI for All API - http://www.lmiforall.org.uk/.
This would potentially include LMI data on:
- Present employment by occupation
- Future employment by occupation
- Pay by gender, hours and decile
- Job vacancies
- Skills - rated in terms of levels and importance – through the O*Net survey data
- Hard to fill vacancies
- University course destinations
The data is presently 'linked' through the SOC2010 classification system. Other data could be included through the NOMIS API.
The system would include social networking functionality by allowing searches to be saved and discussed, using DWP internal discussion systems. The initial system would be for desktop use.
Future development could include functionality for DWP labour market specialists to add labour market intelligence (crowd sourcing).
The DWP would like a beta launch by February 2015, as an integral part of a training offer to a specified group of practitioners who have responsibility for employer engagement. It has been agreed that a design workshop be organised with DWP technical developers and with end users in early November to develop requirements for the system.
The next stage will be to explore the LMI needs and potential data sources in other partner and associate partner countries. It should be noted that PES staff in Germany have access through the Bundesagentur Fuer Arbeit to the relatively sophisticated online Arbeitsmarktmonitor, although this is not available to the wider public. At present we have few details on the availability of LMI in other member states.
At European level there are a number of developments in this area, with seemingly greater emphasis being placed on this work, particularly on the articulation between skills and employment.
The European classification of skills, competences and occupations (ESCO) is a new set of standards for identifying and categorising three pillars: skills/competences, qualifications and occupations, using constant terminology in all EU languages as well as an open format for use by third parties' software (see https://ec.europa.eu/esco/
The EU has also set up the European job mobility portal (EURES4) with the purpose of providing “information, advice and recruitment/placement (job-matching) services for the benefit of workers and employers as well as any citizen wishing to benefit from the principle of the free movement of persons.” The European vacancy monitor (http://www.newskillsnetwork.
There is also standardised information on skill needs such as provided by PIACC for OECD. CEDEFOP has been working on skills profiles – see, for example Cedefop (2013). Quantifying skill needs in Europe. Occupational skills profiles: methodology and application. Luxembourg Publications Office. Available from Internet: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/
Eurostat collects information on labour markets in Europe. A list of relevant data sets can be found on the CEDEFOP website:
The Eurostat data (largely based on the European Labour Force Survey) has the advantage of being comparative throughout the Member States, but is less detailed or granular (especially at regional level) than much of the national data.
It should also be noted that the degree of commitment to and implementation of Open Data varies across Member States. Even where there is a strong commitment as in the UK there may be issues arising from non-disclosure based on full survey data. Furthermore much data may require considerable effort in cleaning and normalisation, and is often published in formats which are difficult to manipulate (e.g. PDF).
A useful next stage would be to undertake a survey of Employ ID partners and Associate partner member states to ascertain demand for LMI tools by PES and their access to LMI. Together with the development of a beta system for DWP in the UK, this would form the central actions for the second phase of the work by the Employ-ID LMI tool team.