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IER newsletter - June 2015

This month...

- Recent workshop on Occupational Skills
- Events
- Publications
- New Projects

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Evaluating and validating occupational skills


Terence Hogarth and Rob Wilson contributed to the Evaluating and Validating Occupational Skills Workshop which was jointly organised by IER, the National Training Fund in Prague and Cedefop.

Cedefop has been involved in developing occupational skills profiles (OSPs) since 2010. The initial work was published in Cedefop research paper Quantifying skill needs in Europe - Occupational skills profiles: methodology and application. The workshop, held on 23-24 April in the Czech Republic, provided an opportunity to discuss new results and continue the process of evaluation and validation. Because of key data limitations, the initial OSPs were heavily based on US O*NET. The more recent research has explored how these can be enriched by the incorporation of data from the OECD's PIAAC database and other sources. A key objective of the workshop was to test the quality of these results.


Upcoming Event: Changing the discourse of women’s work: Challenges for theory, research and practice

IER Associate Fellow, Professor Wendy Patton, Executive Dean, Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia will present at Warwick 10 June 2015 on 'Changing the discourse of women's work: Challenges for theory, research and practice'.

The presentation will draw from three recent books: Women’s career development throughout the lifespan: An international exploration by IER's Jenny Bimrose and IER Associate Fellows, Mary McMahon and Mark Watson; Family mobility: Reconciling career opportunities and educational strategy; and Conceptualising women’s working lives: Moving the boundaries of discourse.

Further information and registration details are available here.

Fact Finding Mission in Azerbaijan

Caspian Sea, Baku's coast

Erez Yerushalmi, together with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), conducted a Fact Finding Mission in Azerbaijan in early May. Their main task was to learn about the current situation in the country, its use of General Equilibrium (CGE) for public policy research within the government, and the availability of data that is necessary for these models. The purpose was to assess how to set-up a possible project which aims at knowledge transfer and capacity building.
Erez and GIZ met with potential stakeholders (i.e., interested governmental institutions, universities, think tanks), and then met them bilaterally in order to have closer conversation. A report will be available soon. The project concept is similar to the Georgian Knowledge Transfer Project.

IER at 6th International Community, Work and Family Conference

Clare Lyonette, Principal Research Fellow, and Mariam Gbajumo-Sheriff, IER doctoral student, presented papers at the Community, Work and Family Conference in Malmo, Sweden, on 20-22 May. Clare's paper (with Professor Tracey Warren, University of Nottingham), entitled 'Part-time work, job satisfaction and gender', was presented in a symposium on 'Gendered flexible working and its outcomes'. Mariam presented her paper, 'Does work-life balance have a cultural face? An inquiry into the lives of working mothers in Lagos, Nigeria' in a session on lifespan decision-making. The full conference programme can be found here.

Data Science Day at Cheltenham Festival of Science - Warwick ‘What if?’ Zone

Nick Sofroniou took part in two activities in the University of Warwick What if? Zone at the Cheltenham Festival of Science on 4 June. In a drop-in family session, Nick presented a computer-based activity illustrating IER’s work on making Labour Market Information accessible for careers choices via the LMI for All tool, funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Later, at the Ideas Café, Nick took part in a discussion of the question: What if... data science can solve our future? looking at big data and data science. This discussion also featured Mark Girolami, Director of Centre for Research in Statistical Methodology (CRiSM), and other leading researchers from the University of Warwick.

For more information see the University of Warwick What if? Zone at the Cheltenham Festival of Science. The Festival runs until 7 June.



Paths2Work Blogging - Young workers and the Next Parliament

Professor Phil Mizen, member of the Paths2Work team, reports on young workers and the next Parliament just a few weeks after the general election. This blog and previous entries can be found here.

Job Quality in Australia

A new book on job quality, co-edited by IER Director Chris Warhurst, with Angela Knox, has been published in Australia by Federation Press. Job Quality in Australia examines the range of disciplinary perspectives on job quality, and conceptual and methodological problems with current understanding of job quality as well as offering proposals for developing that understanding and delivering better policy to improve job quality. It includes a chapter entitled 'Challenges in researching job quality' by IER doctoral student and Senior Research Fellow, Sally Wright.
The book was launched in Sydney in June.

Apprenticeships and Skills: How to get there from here

Over the coming months, Lynn Gambin and Terence Hogarth will be providing a series of commentaries drawing on their programme of research on apprenticeships and skills. They will be considering how various reforms to the Apprenticeship system in England will affect participation and how similar problems have been addressed in other countries. The series will also explore a number of related issues, including: changing patterns of skill demand in the economy and the extent of skill mismatches; responsiveness of the education and training system to meeting skill shortages; and, the returns on investments in education and training for employers, individuals and more widely.

The first in this series highlights the difficulties faced over many decades by UK policy makers who have sought to increase participation levels in Apprenticeships. See: More Apprenticeships anybody?


New Projects

Final Report of Wolverhampton Skills and Employment Commission funded by Wolverhampton City Council.

For more information on any of this or any other IER projects please get in touch.

Copyright 2015 Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick, All rights reserved.