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Understanding Labour Market Information

The Video Game Industry has Grown 300% in the Last 10 Years…. The Importance of Understanding Careers and the Labour Market

The video game industry is growing with new products and technology and could be worth nearly £138 billion by the end of the year. Jobs that once didn’t exist now exist, to understand the job market and the many jobs available, I have prepared the below article on Understanding Careers and the Labour Market for all Parents and Students.

What is Labour Market Information?

Labour Market Information (LMI) describes all kinds of information used to make labour market decisions. LMI can be a compilation of detailed statistical data on jobs and salaries, employers and employees, sectors, current employment conditions and future trends. It may also include other kinds of information that inform labour market decisions, such as emerging technologies, the workplace environment, working conditions and the cost of living.

Why is this Important?

Labour Market Information/Intelligence (LMI) are terms that can sound a little dry.

You might think that they involve detailed data around employment rates, salaries and industry demand. Which of course they do. But it’s also a lot more. If you’re wondering how to use LMI in your job search and/or career planning, then read on!

First, let’s think about the distinction between information and intelligence. Information is the raw data, gathered from original sources, for example, the Office of National Statistics (ONS). You can trust that this information is reliable. You can’t however trust that it will be in the most user –friendly format. Which brings us onto labour market intelligence. Thankfully there are kindly people out there who will take the raw data, analyse it and quite often summarise their relevant findings.

And how could this benefit you?

It could give you an insight into new and emerging industries and an idea of employment numbers in established fields.

It may even show you where the gaps in the market might lie; now and in the future.

Applying Labour Market Information?

Chances are many people that you know have used LMI to make career and work decisions in the past, even if you haven’t heard the term before.

As well as raw and analysed data, LMI refers to any knowledge you may have about how the labour market works; its structure and your place within it.

  • How did your parents or brother or sister or neighbour find their last or current job, course? 
  • Did they search online or was it through word of mouth? 
  • Where do you think the next opportunities might arise?

Consider how you answered the last question – what information and experience did you draw on. Using an LMI focused approach can enable you to get a clear picture of how your chosen field lives, breathes and grows. Once you gain and maintain this knowledge you will be in the best position when it comes to making choices and moving on. It’s a useful reflective exercise to do even if you’re not thinking about making any changes.

Mapping your industry can be done in your mind or physically on paper. You could start by researching a variety of sources, such as recruitment agencies, the job centre (and other centralised services), newspapers, potential employers and industry organisations/publications. Then add to this your own anecdotal knowledge. Speak to colleagues and anyone else who works in the field. This will be guesswork to an extent; LMI won’t predict your future, or the future of your industry. But it will be educated guesswork, helping you hone your intuition and encourage a little planned happenstance.

It’s worth considering the reliability of your source when you’re researching. How recent is the information? Who published it? Reflect on the motive of the author – do they want to inform, or persuade? Not all sources are impartial. There’s nothing definitive about LMI and it may take a little digging around to get the information or opinion that you want. But by drawing on a variety of sources you should be able to create an LMI map of your industry and plot your path within it. And who knows where that could lead you!

Useful Sites for Labour Market Research

The following sites will help provide up to date information on the surrounding labour market and possible careers:

  • National Career Service Job Profiles – this site has profiles on over 800 different types of job, from archivist to zoologist. Each one explains: the skills and qualifications needed to get into that job, what the work would be like, the pay you could expect, what the career prospects are. Explore the job profiles to find out what a job involves and if it will suit you - nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/home
  • iCould - icould is a small, dynamic charity, providing career inspiration and information for young people. We show what is possible in work and offer different ways to think about careers through free access to over 1000 personal video stories, detailed job information, plus practical tips, insight and advice - icould.com
  • Monster Job Advice By Industry - Monster knows people; career experts from all industries who bring news and articles to help you find a better job - www.monster.co.uk/career-advice/planning-a-job-search/job-advice-by-industry
  • Career Planner - Career planner is an online tool which helps you understand and identify your skills, motivators and interests and to explore relevant options to you. Based on your analysis you will be able to see a list of jobs that are ‘good matches’ or ‘poor matches' to your profile and an explanation of the reasons why. You can then find out more about your matches including job descriptions, work conditions, entry requirements, training and case studies. You need to register with an email address but registration is free - www.prospects.ac.uk/career-planner-register
  • What Can I Do with My Degree - An important part of choosing the degree and university for you is considering where these choices will take you once you've graduated. For more guidance, visit what can I do with my degree? - www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree
  • Unistats - To give an accurate judgement of courses, it compiles information on: satisfaction with the quality of teaching the destination of graduates six months after completing their course, and how much they're earning typical course costs, including university accommodation and tuition fees - unistats.ac.uk
  • Not Going to Uni – University just isn't for everyone, Not Going to Uni is an online apprenticeships guide that offers you advice on how to become an apprentice, find traineeships, college courses - www.notgoingtouni.co.uk
  • London Borough of Lewisham Job Advice – Lewisham Council have created a page where you can search for vacancies, sign up for job alerts and get employment advice - www.lewisham.gov.uk/mayorandcouncil/counciljobs/Pages/default

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Getting In Touch With The Hatcham Career Service

If you would like to connect with the Hatcham College Career Service, book an appointment or find out more about the large number of resources available please e-mail r.cashmore@habstrustsouth.org.uk