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Associate Professional and Technical Occupations

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These are occupations whose main tasks require training in and/or  experience and knowledge of principles and practices necessary to take on operational responsibility and to give technical and skilled support to professionals.

Most occupations in this group will have an associated high-level vocational qualification, often involving full time training or further study.

Science and Technology Associate Professionals include science and engineering technicians, draughtspersons, building inspectors and IT service delivery occupations.

Health Associate Professionals include nurses, paramedics, opticians, therapists and medical and dental technicians.

Social Welfare Associate Professionals include youth and community workers and housing and welfare officers.

Protective Service Occupations Associate Professionals include police officers, fire service officers and prison service officers.

Culture, Media and Sports Associate Professionals include artistic and literary occupations, graphic designers, media occupations, such as journalism, and sport and fitness occupations, such as players and coaches.

Business and Public Service Associate Professionals include transport and associate professions(such as air traffic controllers and pilots), legal associate professions, business and finance associate professionals, conservation and environmental associate professionals and public service and other associate professionals, such as careers advisers and environmental health officers. 

 

Credit Crunch

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The credit crunch began in 2008 and made dramatic headlines as it led to the government taking over some banks.

Credit is essential to our modern economy and is based on the ability of banks, and other credit providers, to lend money to businesses, individuals and each other. This credit is used to fund businesses over difficult times, provide start-up money for new businesses, and for individuals to buy high value goods such as homes and cars.

When credit became more difficult to get, and more businesses and individuals couldn’t fund new purchases or loan money to get through difficult times, this contributed to a downturn in the economy.

Downturn in the Economy

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A downturn in the economy is sometimes also called a recession.

At the time of writing (February 2012) the UK economy (alongside that of many other countries in the world) is still officially recovering - albeit slowly - from the downturn in the economy.

A downturn in the economy means that some businesses have been finding it harder to make profits and grow and there are still fewer job vacancies than when the economy is growing at a faster rate than currently.

However, do remember that downturns in the economy:

  • Are usually temporary - predictions for the UK economy remain more optimistic in the long term, over the next decade.
  • Affect some job areas more than others. To date the downturn has affected industries such as financial services, car manufacturing and construction. Jobs in essential areas, such as low-cost food-retailing, education and health, have been less affected.
  • Can be influenced by government action. For example, in the recent recession the UK government has stepped in to save banks from collapse. The amount the government spends on public services can also affect the balance of the economy as currently a large percentage of people in the UK are employed by the public sector.As the downturn affects the revenue of the government with lower tax returns and also  government spending is lowered to cut its debt this is already resulting in large job losses in the public sector and this is predicted to increase so increasing unemployment in the short term.


Global Economy

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A global economy is when the majority of countries in the world buy and sell each other's goods and products and make changes to their economies to allow this to happen more easily, for example by lowering import duties. Technology has also made it possible to operate a business and to trade internationally.

The global economy is also about all the different types of industry, businesses and job prospects throughout the world. Some businesses operate across a number of different countries and may produce goods in one country where manufacturing may be cheaper because of low cost of labour - for example China - but do research and development of their products in the UK. In this example the manufacturing job opportunities would be in China, and the scientific research and development job opportunities would be in the UK.

Job Market

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A job market may also be called the Labour Market

A market is about demand, what people want, and supply, how can it be provided? A job market is where the demand comes from employers, and supply comes from job seekers.

Demand from employers

  • The number of employers who are offering employment in an area.
  • The number of vacant jobs there are.
  • The skills, qualities and qualifications that employers want from their employees.

Supply from job seekers

  • The number of people who are looking for work - these may be unemployed or want to move from one job to another.
  • The skills, qualities and qualifications that job seekers have, or are willing to develop by training at work.

Because it is a market - just like a market where people buy and sell goods - conditions in the job market change for lots of reasons:

  • The economy - local, regional, national and global.
  • Politics - Government policy can make or break jobs.
  • Social situations - for example where people live and need services such as schools and hospitals.
  • Technological developments - technology is changing fast and impacts on how we work and the number of vacancies.

Job Predictions or Projections

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Some economists look at the job market figures in detail and use these figures to forecast how they expect the job market to be in the future. Predictions, projections and forecasts can be helpful. For example, you may check out the weather forecast to find out if you need a coat when you are going out, but, as we all know, there is always a degree of error in predictions and forecasts so it is important to bear in mind that these are mainly a guide.

Shorter term projections may be more reliable than longer term projections, as more information may be available to make them more accurate.

Job Sector

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A Job Sector can also be called a Job Area and is a particular part of the whole job market - usually describing a group of similar jobs. On this site we have listed jobs in 17 main jobs sectors:

  • Adminstration, Business and Finance
  • Armed Forces, Emergency and Security Services
  • Construction and the Built Environment
  • Creative and Media
  • Environmental and Land-based
  • Engineering
  • Hair and Beauty Studies
  • Hospitality
  • Information Technology
  • Languages, Information and Culture
  • Legal and Political Services
  • Manufacturing and Product Design
  • Retail Business
  • Science, Maths and Statistics
  • Society, Health and Development
  • Sport and Active Leisure
  • Travel and Tourism

 

Job Trend

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A trend means that things are moving or changing in a certain direction.  A job trend tells you how the world of work is changing.  For example, a job trend may be that more people are working part-time. A trend is worked out using figures from the job market. 

Job trends can change over time - for many years we have had a growing economy in the UK but this has not been the case over the past year as the economy has suffered a downturn and now has slower growth.

Labour Market Information

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Labour market informaiton is information about the Job Market and includes:

  • Vacancy data
  • Occupational information
  • Jobs and careers information
  • Employment trends
  • Employer information
  • Education course and training information

This information could be in the form of statistics, charts and graphs using hard figures, or it could be information that you discover yourself. For example, you may read in a newspaper that a company is recruiting, or hear a friend talking about the low cost supermarket where she works that has plans to expand.

Labour Market Intelligence

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Labour market intelligence uses all the information out there about the Job Market, and interprets it to make it more understandable.

This can result in Job Trends and Job Predictions information. Information about trends and predictions is useful as they can enable you to see which jobs may disappear or grow and about any new jobs on the horizon. They also outline the employability skills you need to develop, but you do also need to remember that they are predictions and you need to treat them with care (just like the weather forecast!)

Local Economy

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The local economy is about what is happening is a specific area.  The local areas covered on this website are the Black Country areas of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. The local economy is all about the types of industry, businesses and job prospects in that area. This is important information - as you may be interested in a particular type of job that may or may not be on offer locally.

Multi-Skilled Work

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Describes work areas where you need a wide range of different  job-related skills - although you may not need all the skills to a high level. For example a general construction worker may need to be multi-skilled in a range of tasks, related to jobs such as carpentry and bricklaying to help assemble pre-fabricated buildings but would not be expected to be working at the same level of skill as a fully trained specialist carpenter or bricklayer.

National Economy

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The national economy is about what is happening in the whole of the UK. The national economy is all about the types of industry, businesses and job prospects throughout the whole country - for example the total number of people employed in a particular job sector, and where the job vacancies are. This is particularly important for people who have a 'dream job' - which may not be available locally or even in the West Midlands - it may perhaps only be available in the London area. You would therefore have to think about whether you would be willing to move away to take up this job.

Occupational Group

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An occupational group is a number of jobs that have been grouped together because of their similarities. An occupational group may be a job sector, for example Construction and the Built Environment where all the jobs are in this industry, or it may be a group of jobs that are at the same level for example management jobs, or professional jobs. 

These occupational groupings are used by economists so that statistics can be collected about what is happening in general within a group, and also to make predictions about what may happen to that group in the future.

Professional Occupations

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The professional occupations group covers occupations whose main tasks require a high level of knowledge and experience and most occupations in this group require a degree or equivalent qualification.

Science Professionals include scientists such as physicists and chemists.

Engineering Professionals include civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electronics and electrical engineers.

Information and Communication Technology Professionals include IT strategy and planning professionals and software professionals.

Health professionals include medical practitioners, psychologists and dental practitioners.

Teaching and Research Professionals include teachers, lecturers, and researchers.

Business and Public Service Profesionals include legal professionals, such as solicitors and lawyers, business and statistical professionals, such as accountants, Architects, town planners and surveyors, public service professionals such as social workers and probation officers and librarians.

Regional Economy

 

The regional economy is about what is happening in a wide regional area. The regional area that the Black Country is in is called the West Midlands region.

The regional economy is all about the types of industry, businesses and job prospects in a larger regional area such as the West Midlands. This is particularly important as with good transport links job seekers can move around the area. For example you may live in Wolverhampton, but be willing to travel into Birmingham to do a job that is only available there.

 

 

Sector Skills Councils

The Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are state-sponsored employer-led organisations representing specific job sectors. As part of their role they work towards reducing skills gaps and shortages by identifying areas that need work-based learning and Apprenticeship programmes.

You can find out more about each of these SSCs by clicking on the link below to  the SSC site that covers the industry you are interested in:

  • Asset Skills covers the Property, Facilities Management, Housing and Cleaning sectors
    www.assetskills.org
  • Cogent covers the Chemical and Pharmaceutical, Oil, Gas, Nuclear, Petroleum and Polymers sectors
    www.cogent-ssc.com
  • Construction Skills covers the Construction sector
    www.cskills.org
  • Creative and Cultural Skills covers the Advertising, Crafts, Music, Performing, Heritage, Design and Arts sectors
    www.ccskills.org.uk
  • E-skills covers the IT and Telecoms sectors
    www.e-skills.com
  • Energy and Utility Skills covers the Energy, Waste and Utilities sectors
    www.euskills.co.uk
  • The Financial Services Skills Council covers the Financial Services, Accountancy and Finance sectors
    www.financialskillspartnership.org.uk
  • The Institute of the Motor Industry covers the Retail Motor Industries
    www.theimi.org.uk
  • Improve covers the Food and Drinks Manufacturing and Processing sectors
    www.improveltd.co.uk
  • Lantra covers the Environment and Land-based sectors
    www.lantra.co.uk
  • People 1st covers the Hospitality, Leisure, Passenger Transport, Travel and Tourism sectors
    www.people1st.co.uk
  • SEMTA covers the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies sectors
    www.semta.org.uk
  • Skills Active covers the Sport and Recreation, Health and Fitness, Outdoors, Playwork and Caravanning Industry sectors
    http://www.skillsactive.com/
  • Skills for Care and Development covers the Social Care, Children, Early Years and Young People's Workforces sectors  in the UK
    www.skillsforcareanddevelopment.org.uk
  • Skillset covers the TV, Film, Radio, Interactive Media, Animation, Computer Games, Facilities, Photo Imaging and Publishing sectors
    www.creativeskillset.org
  • Skills for Health covers the whole of the UK Health sector
    www.skillsforhealth.org.uk
  • Skills for Justice covers the Policing and Law Enforcement, Youth Justice, Custodial Care, Community Justice, Courts Service, Prosecution Services and Forensic Science sectors
    www.skillsforjustice.com
  • Skills for Logistics covers the Freight Logistics and Wholesaling Industry sectors
    www.skillsforlogistics.org
  • Summit Skills covers the Building Services Engineering sector
    www.summitskills.org.uk 

Skill

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A skill is the learned ability or talent to be able to do something well. For example, a skill could be the ability to score a goal in football, to operate a computer or to drive a car.

Skills usually require you to be given training, and also to practice on a regular basis to improve.

Skilled Work

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Skilled work describes work areas where a set of skills is needed to do a job well. Some of these skills may be those you bring to a job - general employability skills such as communication, numeracy and team work, for example, that you will have developed during your education. Other skills will be job-specific, and many work-related skills will be taught whilst you are working, for example on an Apprenticeship Programme.