Understanding migration is important to aid decision making across society – from understanding the changing workforce needs in hospitals and schools or the demands placed on these services, to the impact of population turnover in areas across the UK and in different industry sectors.
Two recent Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) roundtable events threw a spotlight on various aspects of these information needs, and revealed potential opportunities to help address them. The proposed solutions included both short and medium term opportunities, through new ideas volunteered by statistical producers during the discussions. The producers identified that some of issues raised are being tackled in the longer term developments announced in September 2017 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on behalf of the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Migration Steering Group, which require the sharing and linking of various administrative data sets held across Government.
The roundtable discussions highlighted widespread stakeholder support for the proposed ideas, and particularly GSS migration development plan to produce new analyses based on linked data, but strongly emphasised the need for urgency and continued cross-departmental collaboration. Stakeholders were also unclear about how they and other users would be kept informed about access to any newly developed outputs.
OSR recommends that the statistics producers update the cross-GSS migration development plan, to set out the roles of the individual departments in producing new statistics based on shared administrative data, and to reflect the commitments that departments have made to address stakeholders’ identified needs. The updated plan should include details about how users will be kept informed about progress. OSR will monitor producers’ progress against their commitments.