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LMI for All
Application developers are involved as users/Career organisations, developers, schools, further education colleges, higher education institutions, recruitment agencies and jobsites represent the wider national stakeholder community.
LMI for All is a research and development project that has been underway since 2012; the primary rationale was to gather high quality, reliable and robust publicly funded data into one place that can be used to support individual career transitions using labour market information.
The database is an open access data service, which makes its LMI freely available to any web developers who are able to make use of the data’s potential to build applications which work for the specific needs of certain target groups in the context of career guidance. The database is used to improve the effectiveness of careers support services and tools, relating to the way they embed online LMI into their wider guidance on learning and work.
Using LMI for All data has allowed career services to bring context to job profiles with current trend data, informed forecasts and localised live vacancies to support decision making processes. Drawing these data from an independent, impartial, and reliable data source adds the stamp of credibility and reassurance expected from professional guidance practitioners, who assess information with a great deal of scrutiny.
LMI for All looks to collate information from various different sources which can answer the most common careers questions. It brings together existing and distinct sources of national LMI data and cross references them to make one single searchable and usable API.
LMI data involve:
- 369 occupations
- 75 industries
- employment status,
- highest qualification held
- details on employment differences across UK regions
- gender differences
- details on pay
- details on skills required
The API infrastructure of ‘real time data’ also means that any updates to the unique data sources can be streamed through the API, and therefore also into any apps/websites that use the LMI for All data
The role of ICT is associated with the technical infrastructure and software of the API, ensuring that data is reliable, up-to-date and flexible so as to allow external users to search the database. It is the developer's responsibility to identify how end products, namely mobile apps and career websites, can use the data in delivery of career guidance.
In terms of numbers, the API tracked 11 411 hits between 1st May 2015 and 30th March 2016; however, as LMI for All does not interact with people making career choices directly and so the impact on the ultimate end-user is difficult to assess.
The overall long-term qualitative impacts of the practice are associated with the advantages of making robust, useful data accessible to those making career choices. This includes raising awareness of issues like pay, opportunities, supply and demand of labour. The potential benefits for end users are varied, as the data can be used to develop apps and websites that support workers of a specific sector in finding employment in a specific geographical area, or by school students to support their education around the labour market realities. The LMI for All case studies (pictured) demonstrate several examples of how the data can be used in specific cases of career realted tools, see: http://www.lmiforall.org.uk/case-study_intro/
Evaluation process: informal feedback is gathered at dissemination days and through users' case studies.
- Consistent and innovative in response to addressing evolving political agendas and common needs across a wide range of stakeholders;
- Comprehensive data offer;
- Implementation of robust, secure, fit-for-purpose technical infrastructure;
- Increased awareness and understanding throughout the stakeholder community of its existence as a high quality, free resource.
Technical barriers associated with expanding the infrastructure of the API.
Stakeholder engagement – increasing the number of apps developed using the API.
Potential problems associated with reliability of data.
In terms of government agenda, the practice has been mostly influenced by:
- the Open Data White Paper, setting out clearly how the UK will continue to unlock and seize the benefits of data sharing in the future in an effective, creative and responsible way;
- the “Competitiveness Agenda”, a plan aiming to put the UK on a sustainable path of economic growth.
Over the lifetime of the practice the government has invested an approximate figure of GBP 1 000 000; the creation of an app would take developers approximately 5-10 working days at a cost of between GBP 7 000 and GBP 13 000.
Around 21 experts have contributed during different phases of the project, representing three different strands of expertise: data researchers (10 IER researchers), technical infrastructure (8 technical staff) and stakeholders group (3 subject experts from IER).
- A stable and reliable technical system;
- The availability of reliable, robust, comparable sources of national and regional LMI, and a willingness of all owners to combine different data sources into one API;
- Engagement and involvement of app developers.
The practice requires a national response and a demand from central government. With regards to implementation it also requires:
- strong stakeholder networks and dissemination opportunities to encourage development apps;
- willingness of the career guidance industry/professionals to embrace ICT tools in their practice and develop the end-user apps.
- Expanding the LMI for All database with a range of other sources;
- Potential to be used for other services beyond helping people looking for careers guidance and advice;
- Technical experts will have to ensure that the infrastructure of the database can cope with these developments;
- Take a more differentiated approach to stakeholder engagement to support increased uptake from schools etc.;
- Replace estimates with ‘real’ data collected through surveys.