A delicate balance? Health & Social Care spending in Wales - new report
Dr Daria Luchinskaya led on a report, A delicate balance?, with Wales Public Services 2025 colleagues Joe Ogle and Michael Trickey, analysing health and social care spending patterns in Wales over 2009-10 to 2015-16, and the issues that this raises for the future of public services financing and sustainability . This work builds on Daria's earlier contribution to the Institute of Fiscal Studies Green Budget (February, 2017), and provides the basis for further analysis of public services provision in Wales.
The main findings were that spending on NHS Wales has been growing as a proportion of all spending allocated to the Welsh government for day-to-day running of public services, which raises questions about the extent to which non-NHS public services, such as social care, can be financed. While day-to-day spending on local authority-organised adult social services has remained broadly flat in real terms in Wales, the increasing over-65 population in Wales means that spending per older person has fallen by over 12% in real terms over 2009-10 to 2015-16. Wales would need to be spending at least an additional £129 million by 2020-21 (at 2016-17 prices) to bring the per capita spend on local authority social services for over-65s back to 2009-10 levels. In the current austerity context, this raises questions about budgetary trade-offs and decisions about spending priorities. The authors will be exploring these issues in their next report.
Harnessing growth sectors for poverty reduction
The first report on employment entry finds that there is potential for using a well-targeted, sector-focused approach to increase employment entry and help reduce poverty. Social care and the hospitality industry offer opportunities for sector-specific training programmes for people who find it difficult to access employment. But because these sectors are characterised by low pay policies need to promote career progression as well as job entry. The construction sector is also well placed to provide employment and training opportunities for local residents, and the government could encourage this through procurement and planning policies. There is also growing interest in the potential role of social enterprises in providing local jobs – especially with regard to repairs and maintenance of social housing. Sector-focused work experience is an important way of getting young people and unemployed adults skilled up for work.
The second report examines aspects of job quality. It finds that while job quality should be a critical issue for policymakers there is a lack of empirical evidence from approaches seeking to enhance job quality. Pay and job security are important elements of job quality, as are flexible employment practices that enable people to balance work and caring responsibilities. Trade unions can play an important role in improving job quality outcomes. Where there is evidence from sector-focused approaches to job quality these have sought to link changes in employment conditions with service improvements for employers; utilised procurement as an opportunity to shape job quality; or sought to encourage changes in business models as a precursor to improving job quality. There is a need to pilot and trial different approaches to improving job quality in different sectors and for different types of employment.
Growth Sectors: Data Analysis on Employment Change, Wages and Poverty
A study by Anne Green, Neil Lee (LSE) and Paul Sissons (Coventry University) demonstrates that the sector which an individual works in has a significant impact on their pay, but that the level of local demand for labour is also important. The report is an output from an ESRC-funded project on ‘Harnessing Growth Sectors for Poverty Reduction’. It highlights that low pay is a key feature of the accommodation/food services, residential care, wholesale/retail, and the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors. Three of these sectors (accommodation / food services, residential care, wholesale and retail) are likely to have the highest employment demand in the medium term. Hence policies are needed which focus on upgrading skills and developing career in order to help reduce low pay and in-work poverty. Find out more in the Growth Sectors report.
Guides to anticipating and matching skills
Two guides, authored by IER’s Professor Rob Wilson, which are part of the ETF, ILO and Cedefop series of guides on skills anticipation and matching have been published.
Volume 2 covers the development of skills foresights, scenarios and skills forecasts, and aims to support setting up skills forecasting systems at national level by means of quantitative and/or qualitative approaches. The guide is intended specifically for countries which are starting to develop systems of skill needs anticipation.
Bakule, M., Czesaná, V., and Havlícková, V. (Part A), Kriechel, B., Rašovec, B. and Wilson, R. (Part B) (2016) Developing Skills Foresights, Scenarios and Forecasts - Guide to Anticipating and Matching Skills and Jobs (Vol. 2). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, (ISBN: 978-92-9157-655-5)
Volume 3 examines sectors as the key points where changes in skills demand occurs, the term sector being used to define specific areas of economic activity. It provides an overview of the role of sectoral bodies and what they do in anticipating changing skills needs. The country case studies show how skills are analysed at the sector level in different contexts and conditions.
Wilson, R., Tarjáni, H. and Rihova, H. (2016) Working at Sectoral Level - Guide to Anticipating and Matching Skills and Jobs (Vol. 3). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, (ISBN: 978-92-9157-657-9)
The Institute for Employment Research (IER), Cambridge Econometrics and IFF Research in partnership were commissioned by RenewableUK and EU Skills to update its 2010 study into employment in the wind, wave and tidal energy sectors. The study looks at current and future employment and skills associated with the development of the UK wind and marine energy industries over the period 2010 to 2021.
The report, Working for a Green Britain and Northern Ireland 2013-23, published today reveals that together these important growth industries now directly employ 18,465 people full time. That’s equivalent to three times the number of people employed in UK coal industry (5,005 in June 2013 according to DECC) and a 74% increase in jobs since 2010. The report also shows that the offshore wind sector saw the biggest growth between 2010 and 2013, with the number of direct jobs doubling from 3,151 to 6,830. Looking to the future the report predicts that more than 70,000 jobs could be created over the next decade, nearly half of which would be in offshore wind.