New study into skills gaps in key professions across the place-making sector launched

The Housing and Communities Agency Academy has launched a new study into skills gaps in key professions across the place-making sector. The study will assess how the recession has affected the supply and demand of skills in the sector.

HCA has commissioned ARUP to undertake this major piece of research that will provide the second cross-sector assessment of skills. All practitioners in the sector are invited to take part in the study.

Findings of the report will help assist national and regional decision-makers to understand which gaps still need to be addressed and where to target efforts to ensure that the sector accelerates programmes that meet market demand.
The online surveys will run during December 2009 and January 2010. Results of the research will be published in June. Take part in the research online

This study will update the findings of our first in-depth review of skills 
– Mind the Skills Gap (MSG) – launched in September 2007 and subsequent studies in light of the recession and policy changes. In 2007, MSG concluded that England faced a significant shortage of qualified professionals with the necessary skills between now and 2012.
The market intelligence research will uncover detailed information on current skills gaps by profession and by region so that we can understand how skills issues vary between the regions.
The study will provide the sector with the opportunity to:

  • Understand how the recession has affected skills issues for the place-making sector
  • Identify the numbers of people employed in the different occupational groups
  • Assess the current supply and demand of skills, compare how this has changed since 2007 and establish whether the same range of issues are affecting all occupational groups
  • Evaluate existing training provision
  • Recommend how the market can bridge remaining skills gaps

Gill Taylor, HCA director of skills and knowledge and HCA Academy chief executive said: 'I don’t think any of us predicted that the landscape would change so dramatically since we conducted the first survey two years ago. It’s imperative now more than even to gain a clear understanding of the current skills issues across the sector so that we can support a highly skilled labour force capable of dealing with the upturn.'

The research will explore generic skills such as finance, project management, leadership and communication.
As with MSG, the study will include online surveys of individuals and organisations in the sector and qualitative research that will identify where skills gaps can be met and where there is a shortage of training provision.

In addition, an assessment will be made of the format and quality of existing training. A series of interviews will be carried out to collect case study information to support and validate the study findings, focusing on how organisations are dealing with the recession.

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