Taking the guesswork out of forecasting

Working collaboratively, seven local authorities in the North East found CITB’s Labour Forecasting Tool ‘invaluable’ when they applied it in a complex project.

“We have a mechanism whereby we can have some sustainability and comfort in the forecasting numbers.”

Craig Reid, Employment Officer, North Tyneside Council

When Craig Reid from North Tyneside Council started looking for a labour forecasting tool for a complex project, he found CITB’s was the most receptive and flexible on the market.  As project manager on a European funded scheme, that was trans-national [involving European partners] and included seven local authorities, as well as other key economic development players, he was to find CITB and the Labour Forecasting Tool (LFT) “invaluable”.

Using basic initial data about Craig’s project, such as value, gross floor area, start date and duration, the LFT was able to forecast skills required by trade and profession on a month-by-month basis.

“North Tyneside Council specifically used the LFT to identify the numbers and scope of trades required in the enterprise zone and give an indication of what the end users would be,” Craig said.

“The main benefits of using the tool are that it brings into focus what has previously been guesswork.  This means we have a mechanism whereby we can have some sustainability and comfort in the forecasting numbers.”

Craig said his experience of the LFT, which was co-developed using the technical expertise of WLC Ltd, part of the University of Dundee, was that it is “essential and invaluable because it allowed us to identify the skill needs.”

The Wider Project


The wider project – ‘targeted recruitment and training from construction opportunities’, progressed by the seven local authorities in the North East working collaboratively, delivered about 700 interventions which ranged from Apprenticeships to a single training opportunity.  This allowed young people either to gain employment or further their education – a huge boost to the community in Tyne & Wear.

“From a partnership perspective we’ve found the LFT to be invaluable and, on a personal level, I’ve found CITB to be proactive and supportive, working well in a wide-ranging partnership.  We are continuing to work with the tool and CITB to ensure there is some long-term benefit to the partnership work,” Craig said.

The LFT is flexible, available online so it is kept right up to date with the latest source information and can be used on licence for longer projects or as a bespoke tool for one-off reports.