A sneak preview of the new national centre that is due to open soon. See http://www.ukdric.org for more details. Funded by GFirst LEP and delivered by Marketing Gloucester
on behalf of
UK Digital Retail Innovation Centre (UK:DRIC) 20.12.2017
TENDER FOR ALTERATION AND NEW WORKS TO FIRST FLOOR EASTGATE CENTRE GLOUCESTER
We are inviting interested contractors to apply for inclusion on the tender list for these works. Application does not guarantee inclusion on the list.
The works involves removals of walls and works to ceiling and floor finishes to the vacant retail and food hall and the creation of eleven small shop units, an open area and creation of back room offices.
A brief schedule of the works to be undertaken include: demolition of brick wall and erection of stud partitions, overhaul and repairs to existing suspended ceilings, new floor finishes and general redecoration. Open front to the units will be secured by open grid roller shutters. Alteration and adaption of existing sprinkler system, the electrical and mechanical systems and provision of new as necessary,
Estimated value of these works is £200,000.00 (two hundred thousand pounds) plus VAT where applicable.
Anticipated programme of project is shown in appendix 1 available at this link> click here
Application to be included for consideration by not later than 9th January 2018.
Invitation to tender 15th January 2018
Tender submission. 31st January 2018
Commencement of works 12th February 2018
Completion of the works 15th June 2018
Contractors interested in being considered for inclusion on the tender list should submit their details by not later than 5.00pm on 9th January 2018.
Company details should provide evidence of being conversant with this type of work including a list of projects undertaken with values, copies of last three years accounts, size of workforce including details of management team, work force numbers and breakdown into direct and self-employed and areas of work normally sublet.
Application should be made to:
Mr Jason I J Smith, CEO, Marketing Gloucester, 27 St Aldate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1RP to arrive not later than 5.00pm January 2018
For further information on UK:DRIC click here
Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, GFirst LEP have announced a funding award of £400,000 to Marketing Gloucester to open a new national centre for digital retail innovation in the city.
The UK Digital Retail innovation Centre (UK:DRIC) will be the national centre for testing and developing disruptive digital innovations that will help shape and inform the future of cities with a special focus on retail.
The centre will be:
- The national independent centre for technology solution providers and retailers to test innovative technologies and work in partnership to enhance and develop new and possibly disruptive solutions
- A supportive incubator and catapult for high growth new retailers, all of whom will have access to next generation technologies and methodologies and will be targeted on rapid testing of their business model and growth
- A centre for upskilling retailers in new and developing retail technologies and methodologies
- UK:DRIC will be based on the first floor of the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Gloucester for an initial period of three years.
Diane Savory, Chair of GFirst LEP, commented “This is an exciting opportunity for Gloucestershire as it further demonstrates that our urban areas are proving to be leaders in the developing of innovation in digital retail solutions. We are delighted to be able to award this funding to Marketing Gloucester and confident that it will lead to further inward investment from the private and public sectors.”
The UK:DRIC promises to be a showcase and testbed for the latest retail technologies and could show off some future innovations such as holographic “virtual employees”, artificial intelligence, 3D scanning and printing of products, drone deliveries, robotic security guards, 360 virtual mirrors and near field communication.
Jason Smith, Chief Executive of Marketing Gloucester (whose team will be driving the project), said “This is a huge opportunity for Gloucester to progress in our ambition to be a showcase and testbed for digital technologies, developing the city of 2050 by 2025. There are huge challenges facing the UK retail sector and the UK Digital Retail Innovation Centre has the potential to be a gamechanger which could have a national impact, we greatly appreciate the investment from GFirst LEP.”
Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council, explained why this new centre was so important for the city saying: “Gloucester is ideally positioned to be a pathfinder for the
development of new technologies, the past few years companies we have shown how innovative we as a city can be. We were the first city to implement the three in one CCTV, Wifi and 4G solution, winning the prestigious Gordon McLanaghan Security Innovation Award; and have built up a wide range of partners such as Google’s Niantic Labs, #WDYT, Rewarding Visits and BT who have tested their technologies in the city. There is huge potential for additional inward investment and additional jobs and this investment from GFirst LEP can act as a catalyst.”
Defining Industry Sector Skills
At the macro level, industry sector skills describe a broad range of competencies, including personal effectiveness, academic, workplace and other industry-required knowledge and skill competencies. In an ideal world, industry sector skill descriptions exactly document the technical competencies required in every economically important industry. From these descriptions, curriculum, qualifications and assessments can be built to meet industry specifications.
Developing an effective industry sector skills model is much like building a structure. Expertise of the sector and workforce is critical to success. Often times, however, experts struggle to articulate skill and competency needs in an effective manner. They will recite qualifications or specific technical capabilities, such as C++ programming or AutoCAD proficiency. But this kind of description typically fails to accurately describe industry workforce competencies at a holistic, macro level.
To achieve a bigger picture perspective, it is better to start with foundational building blocks and then move up to more specific technical and industry-related features. When constructing a competency model, Sector Skills Councils may be a good starting point to seek out current skill/model developments (for a listing visitSector Skills Alliance). In many cases, however, models have already been developed (some across the pond) and may only require slight alterations to be fit for purpose.
The US Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration developed a tool calledCompetency Model Clearinghouse (CMC). Recognised in UKCES reports as ‘lessons from America’, CMC is a very handy starting point and employer engagement tool. Starting with foundational skills such as personal effectiveness, an individual (or more preferably a task force/committee) can navigate through the tool to identify and describe sector specific skills. The content structure of the model is broken into 5 tiers:
- Personal effectiveness competencies
- Academic competencies
- Workplace competencies
- Industry-wide technical competencies
- Industry-sector technical competencies
The CMC contains over 100 predefined competencies and key behaviours to choose from. If a competency or key behaviour is not listed, the user can simply define one to add. Once completed, the CMC produces a full-fledged description of the industry sector skills. The descriptions can be incorporated into research and reports, or used to engage employers to elevate the level of conversation and communication of education and workforce need. Within education, the descriptions can be further used to define and describe curriculum development, focusing specifically on learning objectives and identifying assessable outcomes.
Defining Occupation Specific Skills
Equipped with perspective at the macro-level model, we can now move to the micro-level. We have viewed the forest and now we will inspect the trees. We know that sectors comprise many different occupations, which through coordinated and collaborative tasks produce a product/service for use by a consumer (e.g., a person, group of people, business, government organisation etc.). While businesses can typically describe in great detail the products or service that they produce, the average business struggles to describe the qualities and competencies of those responsible for producing their products or service. This undoubtedly is a contributing factor to the skills gap issue that we all hear so much about in the news.
In Part 1 of this blog series, we discussed these issues as a communication problem. Specifically, how can education or any labour researcher prepare for effective communication with businesses that will lead to clear actionable results? To answer this question, we turned to O*NET. Described at length in Part 1, O*NET provides a measured and descriptive structure to understanding occupation specific skills and competencies. In 2012, a feasibility study published through UKCES evaluated the potential and usefulness of developing an O*NET-style framework, measuring occupation skills profiles. The report notes:
Skills are a major policy priority both nationally and internationally. Yet we only have very imperfect measures of the skills available and in use in employment in the UK today. This report explores the feasibility of the development of a new and comprehensive set of detailed, multi-dimensional occupational skills profiles for the UK which describe the skills required by employers and used by individuals in the modern workplace. These occupational skills profiles can have a myriad of potential uses and users, including providing a much richer and deeper understanding of the changing patterns of the demand for skills in the UK, and informing individuals and those who advise them on the skills that are useful in employment today.
The report goes on to discuss the merits of O*NET and the relevant linkages between UK standard occupation classification (SOC) codes.
The fact of the matter is that EMSI has already developed such a system for use in the UK. EMSI’s knowledge and skill framework describes UK SOC codes at the 4-digit level across 42 different competencies. This enables education and workforce practitioners to develop profiles of occupations to further focus discussion and interaction with business, as well as better design courses and curriculum.
For instance, let’s assume you’re located in Tees Valley (Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees, South Teeside and Darlington) and are working on developing a skills strategy focused on Engineering and R&D. You would have undoubtedly noted that the industries comprising Engineering and R&D have added more than 3,000 new jobs since 2008 (an increase of 65%). What might not be so clear is that three of the top 5 occupations typically require a level 3 NVQ or BTEC at level 3 and comprise 13.5% of the sectors jobs. Specifically, these are laboratory technicians, production, works and maintenance managers and draughtpersons.
Given this impressive growth, one could safely assume that a continued demand for skilled workers is needed. In fact, opportunity for course development, expansion or re-evaluation might even be considered necessary. Skills profiles of the occupation demand would help guide this planning and strategy effort.
Let’s evaluate laboratory technicians. The occupation is growing and the number of job claimants relative to employment is extremely low (e.g., 33 claimants in April 2013 compared to approximately 1,400 workers currently employed across Tees Valley). The estimated annual demand for laboratory technicians is just under 50 for the next several years. Given the rapid historic growth, however, the future could very well exceed these projections. Based on the UK O*NET description: Laboratory technicians carry out routine laboratory tests and perform a variety of technical support functions requiring the application of established or prescribed procedures and techniques to assist scientists with their research, development, analysis and testing. Their top skill attributes include high values in: Chemistry, Mathematics, English Language, Computers and Electronics, Reading Comprehension, Active Learning, Science, Writing, Critical Thinking, Active Listening and Learning Strategies. The radar chart displays the relevant knowledge and skill levels that are typically needed to effectively perform the job tasks.
Armed with the information presented above, a researcher, strategist or planner can now go forth and talk more effectively with businesses in the Engineering and R&D sector about laboratory technician workforce needs. The engager can articulate to businesses in a clear fashion what the ‘preliminary’ results indicate and seek feedback, comment and refinement. Moreover, the skill descriptors can now serve as a clearer foundation for communication of skills need and skill level. (NB: When a business says they need people who can do maths, the level and aptitude of maths required is not quantified. Is the business dealing with simple arithmetic or advanced algebra? Concerns like this must be kept in mind.)
Once education and workforce planners completely engage with businesses and receive feedback they will gain meaningful quantitative and qualitative information about skills and competencies. This information can be leveraged to build micro-level strategies at the education provider level, such as revising curriculum, identifying learning objectives, modifying assessments and so forth. As industry sectors and occupations evolve, maintaining a pulse on emerging business needs will be crucial to an area’s economic health. External outreach personnel within colleges, skills strategy experts within LEPs and sector skills councils can build both macro-level and detailed labour market intelligence into their business engagement efforts.
To learn how others have used this information for workforce and skills decision-making, please visit the following case studies:
- Reshaping Workforce Training
- Labour Market Data for Strategic Workforce Planning
- Sector Strategies
- Improved Cost-Benefit Models and Labour Intel
- Using Data for Regional Growth
- In-Demand Local Jobs and Course Review
Hamilton Galloway is an Economist and Senior Consultant at EMSI. He specialises in economic development, labour research and education planning, having also taught economics at college level for three years. Over the past several years, he has worked on dozens of research and strategic planning projects focused on reemployment, course development, skills gaps and target sector strategies.
If you are currently working in the skills strategy development space and would like more information on the products and services that EMSI can provide in support of these endeavours, please contact (email@example.com). also on Twitter and Facebook.
|LEP||% of establishments with a skill-shortage vacancy||Skill-shortage vacancy density|
|Coventry and Warwickshire||3||28|
|South East Midlands||4||28|
|York and North Yorkshire||2||20|
|Leeds City Region||3||19|
|Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough||4||18|
|Heart of the South West||3||18|
|Coast to Capital||4||17|
|Thames Valley Berkshire||5||15|
|Leicester and Leicestershire||4||14|
|Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire||2||14|
|Swindon and Wiltshire||2||13|
|Buckinghamshire Thames Valley||4||12|
|Greater Birmingham and Solihull||2||12|
|West of England||3||12|
|Cheshire and Warrington||4||11|
|Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire,||3||11|
|Sheffield City Region||3||11|
|Liverpool City Region||2||8|
|Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly||2||7|
For full data http://www.ukces.org.uk/assets/ukces/docs/supporting-docs/local-data/leas.zip. N.B. Darker areas show greater skills shortage per available position.