Anticipating future of local employment and skills needs
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Anticipating future of local employment and skills needs. Ian Wheeler Head of Research and Labour Market Intelligence. “As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The role of skills and labour market intelligence.

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Anticipating future of local employment and skills needs

Ian Wheeler Head of Research and Labour Market Intelligence

“As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The role of skills and labour market intelligence

Sector wide intelligence: The core SSC remit

  • As a Sector Skills Council we are responsible for developing skills and labour market intelligence for the UK’s health sector

  • Outputs on our website

    • Sector Skills Assessments, UK and for each nation

    • Expert/Working papers

    • Themed research

    • Future oriented work

    • Online LMI tool

Some key issues around developing future oriented insights

  • Planning on workforce issues often falls into the trap of more of the same, difficult to the see the link with the demand for health services

  • Difficult for employers to have local visibility of all that is needed to develop the right people for the services they want to provide

  • Local information/intelligence is valuable but difficult to source

  • Performance and productivity and its linkages to people skills and health needs is critical

Skills for Health’s local intelligence response

Profile of health demand and consumers

Using ACORN Health

ACORN consumer profiling

Health observatory intelligence

Patient satisfaction surveys

Profile of performance

using key performance indicators

derived from SFH Benchmarking database,

NHS Information centre, CQC,

and employers own

Employment and Skills intelligence

LFS, ABI, ESR, staff surveys, skills passport

employers own data

Existing Problems compared to England Average (13%) – North East 30%

Existing Problems compared to England Average (13%) – Yorkshire and The Humber 18%

Existing Problems

  • Existing problems affects an estimated 1.7 million people in the North East and Yorkshire and The Humber region

  • Higher than average incidence of :

    • angina

    • heart attack

    • diabetes

    • high blood pressure

    • cholesterol

    • COPD ( Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

    • poor circulation

    • GERD ( gastroesophageal reflux disease)

Local Level Intelligence – Hartlepool


Benchmarking local health profiles to Local Authorities within UK – North East

  • Gateshead - Highest proportion of resident population with existing problems with 37% similar in health profile to Barnsley and Knowsley

  • Middlesbrough – highest proportion of resident population harbouring future problems with 30% similar in profile to Manchester and Dundee City

  • Darlington has the highest proportion of the resident population indicating possible future concerns with 38% similar in profile to West Lothian

  • Northumberland has the highest proportion of healthy residents with 34% and is similar in profile to Torbay

Benefits and outputs

  • Link between demand for health care, performance of service and the skills and people needed make improvements

  • A collective approach with different institutions in a area - who might deliver services

  • Provides a direction of travel - priorities for skills development and skills utilisation

  • A very flexible approach, eg can look at local workforce in a number of ways

Scenario planning – why do it?How we do it

Plausible, credible, challenging futures

Current state of play

Drivers for change

Business and Economy Class

Emerging economies drive global growth, but the effects are not shared by all, leading to polarisation between the haves and have not’s. A growing older population develops a ‘grey power’ lobby that becomes more influential and looks after its own. As part of a two tier system ‘Robonurse’ links individuals with central monitoring systems so that people can be maintained and supported in their own homes. Spare body parts are readily accessible over the internet.

The future (s)

Business and economy class

United we stand

In this scenario, people take more personal responsibility and there is greater willingness within communities to ‘improve their lot’. Increased volunteering and non-traditional partnerships contribute to healthcare provision. There is stronger cohesion within the EU where Brussels ‘rules’, and the influence of traditional UK institutions is reduced.

Its your choice

Its your choice

Here we see a fragmented self-centred world, reduced influence and number of Quangos. Funding constraints leading to greater inequalities between young and old and between ethnic groups, and decisions on priorities are made locally with no single ownership of health care. Technology and the internet allow people to self-diagnose and take ownership of their diagnostic outcomes.

United we stand

Testing your options









Dependent on scenario


new role?

Give more

responsibility to



skills mix?


Benefits of Scenario development and application

  • Team building

  • Early warnings - Spot early opportunities

  • Reducing risk: preparing for possible changes

  • Robust decision making: puts decision-makers together with topics and issues which they don't normally consider

  • Challenges accepted norms and makes people think about the discontinuities, shocks and changes that are likely to affect them

  • Look beyond the daily fire-fighting tasks

  • See over the official futures


On Scenario planning and development

“I attended one of Skills for Health’s scenario building workshops and I have to say it was one of the best sessions of this type I have attended. I have really learned a lot about the approach and how it can help me think creatively and comfortably about the future.”

Linda Shrewsbury, Head of Workforce, NHS Warwickshire

On complete perspectives approach

“The reports offer us a series of unique insights, including pinpointing disparities between local health service supply and population demand. By using this information to optimise our services for local demand we will increase overall productivity and service quality.”

Adrian Whittle, Head of HR and Organisational Development NHS Cambridgeshire and NHS Peterborough

Research and Intelligence Services

  • Service one – Intelligence on the current and future demand for services in your local area

  • Service two – Scenario planning

  • Service three – expert research on your skills and workforce issues

[email protected]

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