ADD2318 Knowledge Hub stakeholder consultation

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2318
Date signed: 
22 January 2019
Decision by: 
Michelle Cuomo-Boorer, Assistant Director of Skills and Employment

Executive summary

Approval is sought for expenditure of up to £30,000 for a consultant to provide stakeholder engagement support, engagement events, and a feasibility report for the Skills and Employment Knowledge Hub.

In the Skills for Londoners Strategy, City Hall has committed to improving dissemination of skills supply and demand data. As such, the GLA has committed to developing a Skills and Employment Knowledge Hub. To determine the minimal viable product, understand stakeholder views, and provide the GLA with an understanding of feasibility of the project, an external contract is required.

Decision

That the Assistant Director – Skills and Employment approves expenditure of up to £30,000 on an external consultant to undertake stakeholder engagement on the Knowledge Hub. This will be funded from the Skills Strategy budget.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Currently, data is not being used in the skills and employment sector to its full potential. Labour Market Information is not aligned with educational outcomes, and the result is an under-supply of skills in some sectors, but a saturation in others. This is something that London can take a lead on by using place-based, data driven commissioning to better align provision with local labour market needs. Therefore, the Mayor has committed to developing a London Skills and Employment Knowledge Hub (hereafter referred to as the ‘Knowledge Hub’).

The Knowledge Hub will be an online tool that will bring together a range of information about skills and employment in London. As a commitment in the strategy, the Skills and Employment Unit are now taking forward the delivery of this tool. The first step is a stakeholder consultation to create an evidence base, which will determine the approach and direction taken to create the Hub.

The GLA has already begun scoping the Hub with stakeholders and gathering data from Burning Glass Technologies. However, in order for the Hub to be a successful resource for Londoners, training providers and employers alike, further stakeholder engagement will be necessary. This will help to refine the scope of the Hub and to ensure that the data provided can be visualised in a user-friendly manner as per stakeholder needs. It will also seek to identify potential options for the sustainability of the Hub.

Objectives and expected outcomes

This consultation will produce insight on stakeholder views and feasibility of the GLA’s proposed approach to the Skills and Employment Knowledge Hub. This insight will be used to:

• Inform the minimum viable product for the Knowledge Hub;
• Understand key stakeholder needs for such a tool;
• Provide insight into feasibility of such an initiative; and
• Inform next steps on the creation of the Knowledge Hub.

Equality comments

As part of our stakeholder engagement, we will engage with a range of groups to ensure that the Hub meets the needs of our target user groups. These will include but are not limited to: hard to reach learners, intermediaries, training providers, colleges, voluntary and community sector, councils, careers advisers, businesses, and policy makers.

We will also ensure that the format and presentation of the Hub meets different user need.

Other considerations

Key to the success of the Knowledge Hub is the system of collecting, storing and presenting the data that it will hold. The Hub should enable the different user groups to be able to easily access the information they need and disseminate it to other interest groups who have not, or will not, use the tool.

The data required will need to be robust and will include data on: current job vacancies and skills required in London, future trends forecasting, skills provision in London and quality of skills provision in London. In compiling this, serious thought will need to be given to where this data is procured from and the level of access and interaction different users are expected to have with it. We should also consider that information that is relevant to one audience, may not be to another. The Hub should be structured in a way that facilitates access to useful information.

The decisions on which data to source and how we expect users to interact with it will have an impact on where and how we procure the data. We will ensure value for money for the purchase of any data for the Hub, by ensuring we purchase the correct type of licence for the way the data will be used.

This is an ambitious and challenging project, which has the potential to have a major positive impact on the way in which learners make decisions and training providers and employers react to the changes in the skills environment. As part of the consultation the GLA will also consider how to measure the success of the Knowledge Hub and how it is evaluated.

These criteria should be measured periodically alongside the pre-determined definition of ‘success’ and reported on so that any necessary changes can be made to ensure the Hub is relevant and useful to its target audience. We want to avoid a scenario in which the Hub quickly becomes underused or goes out of use.

Financial comments

The £30,000 cost of this consultancy project will be funded from the Skill Strategy budget for 2018 19. Following on from the initial consultation stage of the project, an options appraisal / proof of concept will be undertaken, and further costs identified and the scope for external sponsorship to finance such costs will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

The following outlines an indicative timetable for delivery milestones.

• Provide a draft report on the stakeholder engagement events and consultation to the GLA in March 2019.
• Start feasibility study in March 2019.
• Provide a draft report of the feasibility study to GLA end of May 2019.
• GLA to review and revise draft reports June 2019.
• Present to the Skills for Londoners Business Partnership in July 2019.
• Provide a final engagement report and feasibility study by August 2019.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract

January / February 2019

Announcement

February 2019

Delivery Start Date

February 2019

Main milestone – draft report on stakeholder engagement

May 2019

Main milestones – Draft report on feasibility study

June 2019

Delivery End Date

August/September 2019


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