SkillsActive’s research team is committed in helping to improve the skills needed throughout UK’s Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being sector by providing independent, employer-based, and practical research using the most current information and analysis.
Types of research work
- Analysis of official statistics
- Secondary research of other survey sources
- Employment and skills surveys
- Consultations for the sector
- New product development
- Feasibility studies
- Evaluation of existing initiatives
- Awareness and satisfaction studies
- Primary research
Involves the collection of new or updated information or data
Usually involves some ‘fieldwork’
Questions individual or groups of respondents
Guarantees the respondent’s confidentiality
Reports the results in an aggregated
- Qualitative and quantitative surveys
Depth interviews, face to face or by telephone
Telephone surveys, with field work subcontracted
- Secondary research
Using existing research information from other sources
Often referred to as ‘desk research’
Commonly undertaken using the Internet
Some sources can require additional analysis e.g. National Statistics
- SkillsActive is registered under the Data Protection Act for the use of membership or personal data, with the Information Commissioner.
- ICO Registration number: Z8473938
- Muriel Bankhead, Head of Research is the Information Controller for SkillsActive Duty to ensure that SkillsActive complies with the provisions of the Data Protection Act at all times.
- Muriel Bankhead is a full member of Market Research Society (MRS) and
- The Research team operates under the Code of Conduct of the MRS.
What other people say about our research
The National Audit Office’s Relicensing report concluded that SkillsActive’s
- Labour Market Intelligence is both wide ranging and well used by employers and stakeholders
- The development, collection and analysis of Labour Market Intelligence is seen by most employers as robust and appropriate, meeting the needs and requirements of the sector
- SkillsActive has in-house capability to design and run surveys and is seen as exemplar in this field.
The South West LSC Research Director praised our research project exploring entry to apprenticeships in the South West in 2009:
“We are impressed with the range, quality and clarity of the report, particularly within the timescale”
One of our principal objectives is to lead the research agenda amongst sector partners to ensure the fullest possible coverage of research information needs in the sector research community, through participation in the UK Sports Researchers Network, the UK Sports Volunteering Research Network and the Play Research Network.
We collaborate with the sport councils in each home nation: Sport England, Sport Wales, sportscotland and Sport Northern Ireland. The research team have undertaken steering group roles on their sport projects.
We work closely with trade associations like the Fitness Industry Association, the National Caravan Council and the British Holiday and Home Parks Association and other representative bodies and volunteering organisations like the Sport and Recreation Alliance and academic institutions with relevant subject interests.
SkillsActive aims to stimulate debate amongst the wider research community to raise standards of research design and methodological approach amongst sector partners and the SSC research community.
Internationally, SkillsActive has been a regular contributor to European sport research projects, is a leading member of European Association of Sports Employers (EASE) and the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE), whose European research committee meets regularly.
SkillsActive is currently a partner in the EU funded Training 4 Volunteers research project, led by xxx. Our role is to undertake the desk research and qualitative depth interviews to establish models for a Human Resource Development Framework.
SkillsActive has links with comparable skills organisations in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Canada, principally to harmonise our standards and competencies work and share our approach to sector research.
Muriel Bankhead –
Tel: +44 (0)20 7632 2026
Muriel Bankhead, Head of Research
BA Joint Honours, MMRS
Muriel set up the research department at SkillsActive in January 2004. She has a classic research background covering a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research methods gained from international and consumer fields. Muriel’s’ previous roles included running a busy team of senior researchers at Consumer’s Association, publisher of Which? And senior research posts with magazine and newspaper publishers, including the Mirror Group.
She specifies and manages the substantial research work programme for SkillsActive, encompassing Visioning Workshops, analysis of official statistics on the labour market, skills and training and conducting numerous bespoke LMI and Training surveys in the sector.
Jonathan Parsons – Research Programme Manager
Jonathan joined SkillsActive in November 2007 having previously worked for two other Sector Skills Councils and two commercial agencies. During the eight years he has worked for Sector Skills Councils, he has gained experience of both small and large quantitative and qualitative research projects, often working for government departments. He has also been heavily involved in the production of Sector Skills Agreements both at SkillsActive and previous SSCs. At SkillsActive, Jonathan has been working on large surveys such as Playwork People and Working in Fitness.