Our education, skills and labour market team works with clients across central and local government, charity and private sectors to complete high-quality research and evaluation. This helps clients to improve productivity, innovation and efficiency in their organisations and sectors.
  • Overview
  • How we help
  • Our approach
  • Our experience


Employee skill evaluation is crucial to the UK’s economic prosperity. Investing in the right people, skills and behaviours is essential for an inclusive and sustainable workforce, business growth, productivity, career progression and social mobility.

Recognising this, policy makers and funders in central and local government, enterprise development agencies, training providers and representative bodies (industry and sector) are investing in training and development programmes to address identified skills gaps across key sectors as a major investment priority.

Therefore, funders need to ensure investment is delivering, and employers need to ensure they have the training and strategies in place for a modern workforce.

Research and evaluation are key to understanding future labour market demands, to ensure investment is being made in the right skills to meet individual and industry needs, and to robustly assess if projects and programmes are delivering on their aims and objectives.

Find out more - contact us

To find out more about how our team can help with your skills research and evaluation needs, please contact Jenny Irwin.

How we help

We use proven methodologies and experienced teams to deliver:

  • Evaluability Assessments
    A systematic approach to planning evaluation projects involving engagement with stakeholders to clarify intervention goals and how they are expected to be achieved, the development and evaluation of a logic model or theory of change, and provision of advice on whether or not an evaluation can be carried out at reasonable cost, and what methods should be used.
  • Policy and programme evaluation
    The evaluation of the outcomes and impacts of funded programmes and interventions to determine their contribution to strategic objectives and addressing identified needs; assess if the original objectives have been achieved; as well as identifying what worked well and areas for improvement.
  • Workforce strategies at a sector and employer level
    Assessing the skills needed and to identify areas of priority focus, the costs and timelines.
  • Skills supply mapping
    Mapping of the existing employment and skills landscape, including training provision by geography, qualifications, sector, sub-sector, occupational groups and competencies.
  • Skills - demand modelling
    Forecasting of skills requirements to meet employer needs (estimating future demand for skills), using published forecasts, consultation and devising growth and skills scenarios.
  • Identifying gaps between supply and demand
  • Action planning and resultant actions needed with stakeholder buy-in

Our approach

We have a strong track record in undertaking skill needs analysis and evaluating skills, learning and development programmes, including:

  • skills strategies at sector level eg cyber security, digital, engineering, advanced manufacturing, construction, marine economy, and health professionals;
  • skills strategies at geographic level (devolved administrations, Ireland, England);
  • process and impact evaluations of programmes designed to address sector skills gaps and involving a range of interventions to support skill development including immersive learning, apprenticeships, bursaries, and projects supporting under-represented groups to enter or re-enter the workforce; and
  • design and evaluation of leadership/management programmes such as digital leadership, procurement management, graduate development programmes and management succession programmes.

Clients include sector representative bodies such as the Construction Industry Training Board; government departments such as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and other government departments in relation to technical skills; charities; and private sector companies.

Examples of our recent work can be found below:

Our experience

Our specialist team of researchers, evaluators, statisticians and modellers utilise a variety of methods to deliver results for our clients. These include:

  • rapid reviews of existing policies, literature, and data on skills and training supply and demand (all levels and specialisms);
  • national and international benchmarking; business, participant and stakeholder consultations (surveys, interviews, focus groups, workshops);
  • evaluation approaches including theory based, process tracing, outcomes harvesting, most significant change, and case study approaches; and
  • a range of validated tools

We also have access to best practice knowledge and networks regarding interventions that have worked in different sectors across the UK and internationally and relationships with academics / experts working in specialist sectors

Jenny Irwin
Jenny Irwin
Partner, Strategy, Economics and Policy Consulting
Jenny Irwin
Jenny Irwin
Partner, Strategy, Economics and Policy Consulting