22 Mar 2024

Website identifying skills shortages in East Midlands wins award for DMU and Chamber

East Midlands Chamber and De Montfort University (DMU) have picked up a prestigious Leicestershire Innovation award for development of a ground breaking new website to highlight skills gaps in the region.

Insight Unlocked embraces AI and open-access data which is helping FE colleges plug skills gaps by identifying supply and demand for different types of roles.  The product is the result of collaboration between the university and East Midlands Chamber, through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) and has been an integral part of the successful delivery of the Department for Education funded Local Skills Improvement Plan for Leicester and Leicestershire, which in turn has helped further develop skills and people insights locally.

Professor David Rae of DMU worked alongside East Midlands Chamber Data Analytics Manager Harsh Shah in creating the new software which won the Innovation in Education and Community award at the event at Loughborough University on 20th March. 

Harsh Shah said: “It was fantastic to be part of this collaboration and help plug the skills gap in the East Midlands.  With this technology we’re able to map skills supply with skills demand and re-align the data with primary input from local businesses to provide collective intelligence on the trends in the economy, taking into account things like qualification levels, job adverts and projections on occupations. I feel privileged to have worked alongside the expertise of Professor Rae and DMU to create this product.

East Midlands Chamber Director of Policy and Insight Chris Hobson said: “We know that skill shortages are a barrier to business growth in the East Midlands, so I’m delighted to see Insight Unlocked receive this recognition.  The technology that’s been created here has tremendous scope for the education sector supporting institutions to tailor their syllabus to the needs of local businesses.  We need to get people into skilled work in the East Midlands, which in turn drives the economy, and this new product, enabled by DMU and East Midlands Chamber working together through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, we’ve taken a great step forward.”

DMU’s Professor David Rae said: “The KTP between East Midlands Chamber and DMU developed the innovative Collective Intelligence Skills Observatory (CISO) as a new business for EMC which enables better decision-making in education, skills and careers. A KTP is an ideal vehicle for businesses to expedite innovations, supported by University expertise and a talented Associate.

“KTPs have the potential to enable businesses to make transformative gains in essential areas such as their productivity, value creation for customers, new market development and environmental performance, all resulting in enhanced commercial performance. This award is a welcome recognition of the quality of the partnership, academic and professional support, and graduate skills which DMU brings to its KTP and Knowledge Exchange work.”