From education to employment

DfE to match skills to jobs with new support for Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs)

DfE want to match skills to jobs with new support for Skills Advisory Panels. This will include £75,000 for each panel, which can be used to employ an analyst to fully understand the local needs better, as well as new guidance to strengthen the link between employers, local authorities, colleges and universities in their areas.

Skills Advisory Panels aim to bring together local employers and skills providers to pool knowledge on skills and labour market needs, and to work together to understand and address key local challenges.

This includes both immediate needs and challenges and looking at what is required to help local areas adapt to future labour market changes and to grasp future opportunities.

This will help colleges, universities and other providers deliver the skills required by employers, now and in the future. Skills Advisory Panels aim to strengthen the capabilities of Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities, or local areas from hereafter, to carry out high quality analysis which will be used to identify their skills and employment needs and priorities, as well as inform their skills agenda, and improve their economic outcomes.

This will assist local areas to develop action plans to address skills issues which, in turn can give more people in the local community access to high quality skills provision that leads to good jobs.

The analysis produced will underpin the ‘People’ element of their Local Industrial Strategy.


The Department for Education’s Skills Advisory Panels programme team, or we from hereafter, have developed this toolkit to improve consistency and support local areas to produce robust evidence to inform local decision-making on skills needs and priorities.

This toolkit includes a detailed framework and methodology to ensure the analytical outputs produced by local areas meet the standards set out in this document. The structure of this toolkit is as follows:

  1. Actions for Quality Outcomes – actions to support effective follow-up of the identified skills and employment priorities.
  2. Standards – indicators to ensure high quality local skills analysis incorporates full consideration of skills landscape and labour market thinking.
  3. Analytical Framework and Methodology – 5-stage model indicating areas of consideration to enable an in-depth understanding and analysis of local skills systems.

This document includes a glossary of key terms the reader can refer to for the definition of some key terms and concepts we use throughout this toolkit. A supplementary document ‘Skills Advisory Panels: Data Sources’ is available. This document lists publically available data sources that may assist local areas when using this toolkit.

This toolkit has been designed in partnership with:

  • the Cities and Local Growth Unit,
  • the Department for Business,
  • Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and
  • the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

In developing Skills Advisory Panels, we have worked with seven areas:

  1. Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  2. and West Midlands Combined Authority
  3. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly,
  4. Greater Lincolnshire,
  5. Lancashire,
  6. Leeds City Region, and
  7. Thames Valley Berkshire LEP

In developing this toolkit, we have also sought the views of all Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities.

Alongside this analytical toolkit, we have published governance guidance5 which sets out how the government will support Skills Advisory Panels, and its expectations as to their role, structure and governance.

This toolkit helps local areas produce high quality analysis of local skills and inform decision making on skills needs and priorities.

The analytical toolkit will help Skills Advisory Panels (SAPs) in local areas to build evidence on local skills, employment shortages and priorities to inform their skills agenda.

It sets out quality standards and a framework to enable consistent in-depth analysis of local skills systems. The evidence and action plans produced by SAPs will ultimately inform local industrial strategies, helping local areas improve their productivity and achieve their potential.

Alongside this toolkit, the department has released a document with a list of publicly available data sources to assist analysts to produce high quality local skills analysis.


Skills Advisory Panels: analytical toolkit

Ref: DFE-00345-2018PDF, 398KB, 21 pages

Skills Advisory Panels: data sources


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