New business

AI experts to support the new business skills program


Experts from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are supporting a pioneering program to help pave the way for the way skills programs are delivered.

The Leiceter and Leicestershire Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) pilot project will put Leicestershire employers at the center of the skills supply, strengthening links with local colleges and training providers.

Run by the East Midlands Chamber, it is one of eight “pioneer” estates funded by the Department of Education. LSIPs aim to address concerns that employers currently do not have enough influence over the skill supply available in their locality and are struggling to find staff to fill their skills gaps.

The DMU AI team will analyze data from daily surveys provided to companies in three industries: logistics, manufacturing, sports and human health.

Businesses will be invited to download a mobile app, which will ask short questions every day. Participants will be asked to answer one or two short questions each day of the week for a maximum of four weeks. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes a day.

The information from these rapid surveys will be compared against larger datasets to create a real-time picture of what employers need, when they need it – instead of the usual snapshot which can be out of date by many. month.

“Where this project differs from all the others in the pilot project is in its use of artificial intelligence,” explained Dr. Mario Gongora, associate professor of software and computer science and head of the research team on DMU Company Improvement (RiSE). “We can use the data to learn more about the trends in the gaps, and as he’s trained on the data, he’ll also be able to make predictions about future skill gaps. ”

Chris Hobson, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, said: “We often hear that there is a gap between training providers and employers when it comes to the supply of skills, and how this puts companies at a disadvantage when it comes to filling vacancies. – ultimately preventing them from increasing their productivity, from growing and in turn from creating more jobs.

“Participants will play a vital role in ensuring that future knowledge, skill and behavior requirements are met in Leicestershire. “

The data will be collected throughout the first few weeks of 2022 before being used with larger datasets to inform the LSIP, which is expected to be completed by the end of March 2022.

Chris added, “Our approach is very different from what has happened before and leverages technology in ways past approaches have not. By testing the data collection through regular but less intrusive surveys via a mobile phone app, as opposed to traditional focus groups or one-off in-depth surveys, we hope to be able to get a more accurate and better idea. timely business sentiment around what knowledge, skills and behaviors they consider important, and how these are changing over time.

“We will cross-check this with data from the Ministry of Education and vacancies to create a new skills observatory that will identify mismatches and allow us to work with education stakeholders to help fill those gaps. Through our use of technology and automation, the intention is to develop an approach that is both sustainable and scalable if the pilot is successful.

Those participating in the pilot will benefit from exclusive access to current industry data and trends, while helping to ensure that the skills development offering reflects the needs of their business both today and globally. ‘to come up.

The LSIP pilot is part of the government’s £ 65million skills accelerator program, which was part of the Skills for Jobs White Paper published in January 2021. It aims to reshape the technical skills system of the England to better meet the needs of the local market and the economy at large.

The pilot project led by the East Midlands Chamber builds on its successful knowledge transfer partnership with DMU, ​​which aims to make better use of economic data in the region.

Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2021