news & Things

DWP At The Helm Of Massive Cross-Departmental Data Sharing Project

28th Feb 2022

Massive cross-government data-sharing project includes DWP, Department for Education, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and HMRC

The project is setting out to respond to changes in the labour market more easily, and more quickly.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has commenced a nine-month pilot project with the objective to create a cross-department data store for sharing crucial labour data across a variety of government departments.

Named the Labour Market Data Trust, the pilot is to create a deeper understanding within government departments of changes in the labour market and create a more responsive department in turn.

HM Treasury’s Shared Outcomes Fund, which encourages government departments to collaborate to tackle difficult policy issues, is funding the project.

The aim of the pilot is to make better decisions and evaluations when it comes to addressing various department’s labour market data demands. Additionally, it aims to make data accessible and discoverable in a way that allows for monitoring and data governance.

The work will be a collaboration with departments such as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department for Education (DfE), and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), meanwhile the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP will be leading. They will work together to improve evidence base and inform interventions that support economic recovery and levelling up.

It builds on data trust and data safe haven work carried out by the Open Data Institute and Alan Turing Institute.

“It’s also the case that other government departments need granular insights into everyday labour market developments, especially those affecting local areas, specific sectors and disadvantaged groups,”

Paul Lodge, chief data officer at DWP

Lodge also said that his department is committed to maximising employment across the country to support the economic recovery post-covid.

The need for data across other department’s include the DfE’s National Skills Fund and the BEIS’ UK Innovation Strategy, which aims to boost productivity across the economy.

The existing data sharing arrangements across departments are currently time consuming to implement and amend, and are resource intensive, Lodge believes.

In line with ‘unlocking the value of data’ as part of Mission 1 of the National Data Strategy, the DWP intends to move away from current batch file data sharing and towards in-place data shares. The purpose of this allows for data to be shared from a single source and reused several times without having to duplicate it.

The National Data Strategy was published by the UK Government in September, with an outlined mission and vision of unlocked power of data which will create new jobs, innovations, and improved public services across the country,

It aims to use data as the centre for covid recovery in the UK, so that government organisations and private companies can boost their performance.

500 data analysts are planned for hire as part of the Strategy, with the analysts planned to be hired by the end of next year. There’s also plans to recruit a new Chief Digital Officer to take charge of a whole-government scheme to transform data use, all to improve public services and drive efficiency.

There’s plans for the Government to launch a new £2.6million project which will innovate the revealing of online threats and address obstacles to data sharing.

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