Category: Skills & Capacity

Factors driving area-based analysis

Derrick Johnstone presented on the theme of ‘Identifying the drivers behind the demand for area-based analysis: making the connections’ at the Association of Regional Observatories networking event in Birmingham on 25 June 2009. This provided an opportunity to reflect on our work in Educe on local analysis and research over the previous two or three years, drawing out key issues for regional observatories. Derrick’s presentation can be downloaded here.

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Customer Insight and LSPs

‘Customer Insight, LAAs and CAA’ was a workshop faciliated by Derrick Johnstone for East Midlands Improvement and Efficiency Partnership on 9 June 2009. It was designed to explore how customer and citizen intelligence help tackle local priorities, with the emphasis very much on partnership dimensions. Sessions focused on customer-focused strategy and service improvement, the use of customer segmentation tools, ‘circles of need’ and customer journey analysis.Derrick’s slides can be downloaded here ( pdf 1539KB). These include several sides which capture feedback from discussion groups. The event built on a previous briefing on ‘Customer Insight and LAAs’ prepared by Educe for Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands.

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Local Improvement Advisor

Educe Director, Derrick Johnstone was recruited as a member of the national panel of Local Improvement Advisors (LIAs), specialising in leadership and partnership development, performance improvement, local economy/worklessness and data sharing. Support from LIAs was available through Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships to support local authorities and Local Strategic Partnerships in improving public services and gaining efficiencies. Assignments, funded by Communities and Local Government, between 2009 and 2011 included:

  • data sharing to tackle worklessness: CLG/DWP pilot programme with Kent, Leeds and Liverpool
  • review of regional research and intelligence capacity in the East Midlands, and subsequent role in support of a follow-up regional project on customer insight and research (for the East Midlands Improvement and Efficiency Partnership)
  • locality working in West Cumbria (for Allerdale, Copeland and Cumbria local authorities)
  • workshop facilitation to review progress by national partner organisations on recommendations made by the ‘Supporting Local Information and Research’ report (for CLG)
  • research into the use and impact of Working Neighbourhoods Fund (for CLG)
  • Customer Insight Skills Audit, for Humber Innovation Partnership
  • advising on the development of the Doncaster Work and Skills Plan

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Inspire East Enabling Panel

Derrick Johnstone was a member of Inspire East’s Enabling Panel between 2008 and 2010, providing IE’s Enabling Service. This offered independent advice and guidance to sustainable communities projects to help them overcome difficult issues and improve results, especially through involvement at critical early stages in project lifecycles.Enablers were drawn from a range of professional backgrounds with specialist expertise to offer. Their role was, for example, to assist local partners in developing a project brief; advising on procurement or project set-up, or providing guidance and help where a project may have stalled. Enablers were expected to help the local ‘client’ progress the project, rather than actually undertaking those tasks on their behalf. One assignment involved Derrick working with Richard King to assist Southend partners take stock of their aspirations  for a regeneration project near the town centre, their requirements, discuss and agree actions needed  deliver a mutually acceptable and affordable scheme.
Inspire East have published a legacy document which illustrates the number and range of schemes that have received help from these services and capture what has been learned by those who have been involved, the experience of panel members and the feedback from users.

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Partnerships and the Learning and Skills Sector

National policy seminarPartnerships: benefits, limitations and doing it better ( pdf – 203KB) – paper commissioned by the Learning and Skills Development Agency (predecessor to the Learning and Skills Improvement Service) for a national policy seminar on 6 November 2003.

Partnership skills training in the Learning and Skills Council
Partnership skills training for the Learning and Skills Council in Kent and Gloucestershire, involving needs research, programme design and delivery, follow-up evaluation. (With Makesfive ltd).

Colleges and Partnership Working
Learning needs analysis tool, Competence and Competitiveness – Colleges and Local Economic Development ( 138KB) for Further Education Development Agency (FEDA) – now the Learning and Skills Network. Highlighted outward-looking partnership skill needs which complemented the work of the FE National Training Organisation on teaching skills. Also chapter in FEDA book, “FE – Aspects of Economic Development” (1998).

Also facilitation of joint board event (Eastleigh College and Barton Peveril Sixth Form College)

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Voluntary sector and skills

‘Mutual Advantage: Working with Voluntary and Community Organisations on Learning and Skills’ – Action research and case studies voluntary and community sector involvement in learning and skills, to help strengthen the sector’s role in partnership with Local Learning and Skills Councils. A DfES Education and Training Development Agenda project, with Hampshire, Sandwell and Wigan Training and Enterprise Councils.
South East Compact for Learning and Skills – research and development project for SE LLSCs and RAISE (the regional voluntary sector network) investigating progress being made by LLSCs and voluntary/ community sector against the key messages in the ‘Mutual Advantage’ report and facilitating the setting up of a compact and action plan relating to strategic engagement of the sector in the regional learning and skills agenda.
Voluntary Sector Skills Strategy – advice and facilitation of regional consultations on the Voluntary Sector Skills Strategy, linked to the Home Office review of Voluntary Sector Infrastructure and Capacity Building (for Voluntary Sector Skills/ NCVO).

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