Local Economy Solutions Limited
Research & Support Services

LES Research and Support Services can be summarised under a number of research themes and support areas as set out below:

Research themes

  • Impact assessment, evaluation and feasibility studies
  • Skills and labour market information
  • Enterprise and sector research (including social enterprise)
  • Local area regeneration and tackling disadvantage
  • Strategy development and support

Support areas

  • Local Enterprise Partnerships
  • Higher and Further Education Institutes and training providers
  • Businesses
  • Voluntary and community sector

1. Research themes

Impact assessment, evaluation and feasibility studies

LES have experience of individual project and programme evaluation at a local, regional and national level including evaluation of national and regional training, employment and workforce development  programmes and also has a developed capability in relation to evaluation of local area and neighbourhood regeneration programmes and other local initiatives.

LES has particular expertise in relation to impact assessment including the innovative application of Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA), Value for Money (VFM) analysis and Social Return on Investment (SROI) approaches to impact assessment.

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Skills and labour market information

LES have a long track record of research relating to investment in skills within sectors at a national, regional and local level.

This includes bespoke skills related research studies in relation to each of the following sectors:

  • Manufacturing
  • Financial
  • Engineering
  • Printing
  • High Technology
  • Health and social care
  • Creative industries
  • Housing
  • Facilities Management   • Voluntary & community
  • Passenger transport
  • Hospitality
  • Tourism and leisure
  • Retail
  • Business and    professional
  • Public sector
  • Property
  • Cleaning

LES have wide ranging experience in assessing both the demand for skills and skill supply issues. This includes: 

  • Identification of employer skill needs, barriers to training and good practice in relation to employer led training
  • Detailed analysis of provision for whole sub regions to support strategic reviews, or to support individual providers or other stakeholders
  • Overall assessments of supply and demand in relation to particular types of provision/overall provision utilising a mixture of both qualitative and quantitative research approaches.

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Enterprise and sector research (including social enterprise)

LES has an extensive track record in relation to enterprise and sector research including:

  • Compilation of published national reports on specific business sectors and industry profiles at national and regional level
  • Specific company research including a range of assignments relating to companies in the renewable energy sector
  • Research to underpin practical sector intervention (Such as work relating to the development of a Food Hub in witton in Birmingham)
  • Assessment of enterprise support needs in particular localities and sectors
  • Specific expertise in relation to social enterprises including baseline studies and practical support such as the development of a web based Purchasing Guide to Social Enterprise and Trading VCS organisations;
  • Workspace demand and supply assessments

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Local area regeneration and tackling disadvantage

LES has been involved in a range of research relating to local area regeneration and tackling disadvantage. This includes:

  • A long history of involvement in the development of economic development strategies and economic assessments (See the recent example of Gloucester Economic Assessment)
  • Providing support for particular initiatives to tackle labour market disadvantage such as support for the development of a Floor Target Implementation Plan for Worklessness for Stoke-on-Trent and work to underpin the more effective planning and targeting of services for young people in Waltham Forest
  • Detailed analysis of the labour market barriers faced by different groups and localised profiles of labour market disadvantage
  • The development of employment support strategies for particular vulnerable groups (See the example of Birmingham and Solihull Homeless Employment Strategy)

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Strategy development and support

LES provides a wide range of support to organisations in relation to strategy and practical policy development. Experience includes:

  • A wide range of strategic area assessments at a regional, sub regional and local level. This includes overall economic and social assessments for former Learning and Skills Councils and strategic baseline reports to underpin more localised regeneration initiatives.
  • Implementation of a range of different feasibility studies
  • Development of workforce strategies 
  • Strategic assessments in relation to training and workforce provision, enterprise support and other services and initiatives
  • Overall assessments in relation to the match between labour market demand and training provision in relation to particular sectors and/or localities

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2. Support areas

Local Enterprise Partnerships

LES can provide Local enterprise Partnerships with a wide range of strategic support including:

  • Support developing skills strategies and Strategic Economic Plans
  • Capacity Building support in relation to Employment and Skill Boards and other bodies leading skills development
  • Specific assessments of current and future employer skill needs in relation to particular sectors, occupational areas and/or localities
  • Mapping and strategic reviews of provision in relation to particular sectors, occupational areas and/or localities utilising ILR, HEFCE and other secondary data supplemented with bespoke research as appropriate
  • Assessments of the relative alignment of current provision with employer needs
  • Support improving LMI and strategic intelligence including capacity building support in relation to accessing and analysis of available data (including use of the SFA data cube)  
  • Bespoke qualitative and quantitative research exercises including the development and implementation of telephone, face to face and on line surveys

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Higher and Further Education Institutes and training providers

LES can provide a wide range of tailored support to individual FE Colleges, Higher Education Institutes, training providers or provider consortia. This includes the following services:

  • Practical support in relation to improving employer engagement
  • Market testing of the curriculum/provision offer with employers and other key stakeholders
  • LMI Data Audits in order to identify current LMI capabilities, strengths and weaknesses and develop bespoke practical LMI data strategies for tackling future LMI needs together with guidance in relation to access and use of LMI to meet changing LMI needs
  • Bespoke LMI assessments of local skills priorities based on a detailed analysis of available data supplemented with targeted primary research as appropriate
  • Detailed analysis of provision for whole sub regions to support strategic reviews, but also analysis for individual colleges or HEI’s to help inform management and planning activities.
  • Student destination analysis at school, FE and HE level
  • Local skills alignment assessments linking a clear understanding of changing local labour demand with the use of detailed supply side data
  • Impact and performance assessment in order to provide FE Colleges, HEI’s and training providers with the appropriate level of information in order to prove the ‘real’ value of provision on the local and wider economy
  • Impact studies and/or evaluation of particular programmes/initiatives
  • Design and implementation of innovative systems for capturing student feedback 
  • Specific support in relation to funding applications

In order to maximise the range of skills, expertise and information available to undertake the above work LES have developed structured associate links with both the Regional Observatory (Birmingham) and Semta (the Sector Skills Council for Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Technologies)

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LES provides practical research and marketing support for small and medium sized manufacturing businesses under the banner of Business Informed 

Business Informed has been developed in order to provide manufacturing businesses with access to a range of specific research and marketing related support services to improve competitiveness and help growth.
We offer a unique and cost effective package of services for small and medium sized manufacturing enterprises tailored to the particular needs of each company.
Research and marketing services provided by Business Informed include:

  • Marketing support such as website development, support with specific on line marketing initiatives, website traffic analysis, customer relations management and use of social media techniques;
  • Market assessments in order to identify export or other market opportunities; 
  • Bespoke market research to fulfil specific business research needs;
  • Workforce skill reviews to identify specific training needs, help plan future workforce needs and identify how current skills need to adapt to changing market conditions; and
  • Advice and support accessing funding opportunities

Please enquire for further details on the services we can provide.

Voluntary and community sector

LES has undertaken a wide range of research to support voluntary and community sector umbrella, infrastructure and individual organisations. This includes:

  • The identification and documentation of good practice;
  • Strategic support such as the development of specific standards;
  • Improvements in strategic information to support the sector;
  • The development and implementation of voluntary and community sector mapping exercises;
  • The development of online or other voluntary and community sector databases; and
  • Specific support in relation to funding applications on behalf of individual community and voluntary sector organisations or consortia;
  • Impact studies and/or evaluation of particular programmes/initiatives.

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Contact Us

Telephone: 01803 868682 or
07818 000994
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