The Why of Labour Market Information.

As a career development officer a primary service outcome is likely to be job placement. Local labour market information (LMI) is vital as you work with clients to identify opportunities aligned with interests and skill development needs.

What is labour market information (LMI)?

     Let's start with defining a labour market which generally refers to the supply and demand for labour. Employees (sellers of services) provide the supply while Employers (the buyers of services) provide the demand. Labour Market Information (LMI) helps career development officers (CDOs) understand the relationship between this supply and demand as they work with clients in a variety of ways - skill development, placement, transition, etc.
     LMI is data that begins to answer questions regarding training needs, local/global job vacancies, future occupational trends, etc. It is objective and most often sourced by entities like the Department of Statistics. CDOs then employ Labour Market Intelligence , data interpretation and application, as they work with clients. Essentially, a CDO accesses the LMI and then interprets the information retrieved within the context of his/her client's needs and career goals.

Methods for sharing LMI

Historically, career counsellors have employed the "matching method" for identifying placement opportunities. Skills, interests, and aptitude are assessed and a list of occupations is generated and explored for best fit with respect to job satisfaction. Sharing LMI with clients has been used as a tool to support the matching process. Given the rapid industry shifts and the evolution of theories supporting a career practitioner's work, is matching still the best method? Consider the following PowerPoint as you reflect on how your theoretical orientation/s shapes the work you do with your clients.
6_approaches_to_sharing_lmi.ppsx
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When sharing LMI with Clients.....

  1. Resist the urge to just dump a stream of data on your client. Dumping often results in a monologue versus a dialogue and can leave your client feeling overwhelmed and confused.
  2. Strive for clarity by using use short words and sentences. Avoid jargon whenever possible.
  3. Check-in with your client to ensure s/he understands the information being shared. Prepare examples that help your client visualise the information being shared. Repeat the information you want him/her to pay particular attention to for future exercises.
  4. Be specific and detailed where appropriate.
  5. Build connections between situations and the information shared by using imagery and analogies.
  6. Empower by being positive and presenting a range of options/suggestions versus directing specifically what your client should or should not do.
  7. Summarise and then pause creating opportunities for your client to seek clarification, to test his/her understanding.
  8. Provide hand outs or written summaries when possible so that your client has something to take away and digest further in his/her own time.
  9. Be honest and share when you don't know. Research the answer together or better yet, encourage your client to seek the information.
  10. Sharing data can be a challenge. Be sure to engage using your communication skills (tone of voice, vocal speed, eye contact, body language).

Reflection Activity

Think about how you have used LMI in the past or might do in the future:
  • What was/is/will be your main purpose for using it?
  • What sort of LMI did/do/will you look for and why?
  • Was it easy to find?

Bermuda-Specific Resources

 

The primary resource for local LMI is the Department of Statistics, Bermuda Government.
  • Bermuda Employment Statistics provides access to Employment Briefs, Labour Market Indicators, and the Bermuda Standard Classification of Occupations.
  • Use: set aspirations, increase/broaden job knowledge, assess occupational trends, identify industry needs, identify basic attributes associated with occupations, etc.
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