Category Archives: Latest Headlines

Supporting Postgraduates

Postgraduate qualifications help to deliver the high levels of skills and knowledge needed by the modern UK economy.

But, far from growing, enrolments for postgraduate taught Master’s courses have seen a decline in recent years. Therefore, in 2014, the Chancellor announced a new state-funded loan for postgraduate taught study, and in the 2015 Budget the government announced a review of support for research postgraduates.

Pye Tait Consulting was given the task of analysing the data from an important national consultation on the Government’s proposals. Our report will inform next steps in the development of future support.

Central Government Client

Protecting Energy-Efficiency Consumers

Making homes more energy efficient can shrink their carbon footprints and reduce energy bills. The UK Government is encouraging homeowners to install energy-efficiency technologies, via a range of schemes such as the Green Deal and the Renewable Heat Incentive.

But, amidst customer concerns about sub-standard installations, the client commissioned Pye Tait Consulting to assess the strengths and weaknesses of quality assurance in the domestic energy efficiency and low carbon market.

We found an overly complex framework, with clear opportunities to strengthen consumer protection and reduce bureaucracy. Energy assessors and installers have to deal with multiple, complex sets of rules and regulations, while the level of consumer protection varies greatly between Government schemes. Our work also highlighted a number of inconsistencies and gaps in quality assurance measures, including redress processes to correct any sub-standard work.

The full report makes recommendations to simplify the landscape and close the loopholes in the quality assurance framework.

Report on energy efficiency quality assurance

Large Independent Charity

Skills Challenges For Energy

Work which we’ve recently completed for UKCES has revealed skills shortages in a number of key occupations in the energy sector, including shortages of engineers and technicians. The need is to address these gaps and shortages urgently to enable the UK to compete in an increasingly global market.

Our report highlighted the scale of the challenge facing the sector: strong competition for skills from other sectors and countries, an ageing workforce, and poor visibility of the energy industry as a career prospect for young people.

We found that energy employers are reluctant to invest in formal training for an increasingly mobile workforce. Concerns about wasted investment are part of what has led to many employees working on short-term contracts. Yet, by 2022, around 23,000 people in the energy workforce will have retired and the total number of jobs will have grown by over 15%.

Report on skills challenges in energy

Executive Non-Departmental Public Body

Construction Careers

This year sees Pye Tait conduct its third annual review of careers information, advice and guidance in the construction sector. This work involves gathering views from over 2,000 individuals – young people, parents and careers guidance professionals – on the attractiveness of careers in construction.

The findings will be benchmarked against the two previous years’ results, with separate reporting by GB nation, and by respondent group.

National Training Organisation

Energy Efficiency Curriculum

Following a comprehensive scoping study carried out by Pye Tait Consulting in 2014, we have recently been asked to develop a qualifications unit, or set of units, covering energy efficiency knowledge. The unit/s will be used as part of qualifications undertaken by Modern Apprentices in Scotland.

The work involves liaising with training providers, professional bodies and others with an interest in promoting energy efficiency. The resulting units, to be developed in partnership with these organisations, will be designed in line with requirements set by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

National Training Organisation

Intermediate Technical Education

Take-up of intermediate technical education in England has been in decline for the last few years, particularly in subjects such as engineering.

Pye Tait was commissioned to examine the possible reasons for the decline in take-up and to investigate whether there is potential for unmet demand from employers for intermediate technical qualifications.

Offered by Further Education Colleges and Higher Education Institutions in England, intermediate-level qualifications take the form of mainly HNCs, HNDs, and Foundation Degrees.

Research is ongoing.

National Funding Body

Market Research Framework Success

Following a highly detailed and rigorous procurement process run by UK Shared Business Services Ltd (UK SBS), Pye Tait is delighted to announce its high-scoring success on the new pan-government Market Research Framework.

Pye Tait was successful in every Lot applied for:

Lot 1 – Secondary Research
Lot 2 – Strategic Planning and Development
Lot 4 – Performance/Reputation Audit and Customer/Stakeholder Satisfaction
Lot 5 – Communications Evaluation Research
Lot 6 – Research Support Services
Lot 7 – Panels
Lot 8.1 – Specialist Audiences, Young People

The Framework is available to buyers from the public sector in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for high quality, value-for-money market research services.

Apprenticeship Research

We are currently helping a major Awarding Organisation with two studies of Trailblazers and the implications of the Richard Review.

The studies focus on the future role of AOs and the training provider network, and how the recommendations of the Richard Review are being implemented. We are carrying out a full literature review and in-depth interviews with stakeholders and centres.

Should you wish to take part in the research, please contact Clare Vokes, Research Manager, on 01423 509433 or c.vokes@pyetait.com.

Nuclear Sector Supply

Recent research on the construction workforce required us to establish supply-side labour market data and analysis for the engineering construction workforce for the nuclear sector.

This complex research involved three main components:

  • Primary LMI research among a sample of engineering construction companies;
  • In-depth interviews with companies and training providers; and
  • Secondary research to provide context and supporting evidence.

We reported on the current profile of the sub-sector, employment projections, skills and training needs and future challenges, and developed detailed conclusions and recommendations.