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IER newsletter - April 2016

IER Newsletter - April 2016

In this month's issue...

Working Futures 2014-2024



New Projects


Working Futures UK labour market projections: 2014 to 2024

On behalf of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), the Institute for Employment Research and their partner Cambridge Econometrics, have just completed Working Futures 2014-2024 which is the sixth in a series of assessments of UK labour market prospects. In Working Futures, a multi-sectoral, regional macroeconomic model is combined with occupational, replacement demand and qualification modules to generate the detailed projections utilising the latest official data available from the Office of National Statistics.

Over the years, Working Futures has:

  • Influenced the development of careers information tools, including the widely used LMI for All and Careers of the Future open data tools;
  • Informed collective decisions by employers concerning skills solutions and by employer-led bodies such as Industrial Partnerships to inform their strategic thinking;
  • Facilitated understanding of future demand in the learning market, e.g., in Scotland for Regional Skills Assessments that inform Regional Outcome Agreements between Regional Colleges and the Scottish Funding Council;
  • Been used in analysis and policy development by national governments and by local organisations (e.g., Local Enterprise Partnerships) as a source of intelligence for strategy development of the local economies.

Highlights of the latest Working Futures projections include:

  • Continuing polarisation of employment with a strong bias towards higher skilled occupations;
  • 2 million jobs net growth is expected during the decade for managers, professionals and associate professionals, combined;
  • Caring, leisure and other service roles are the other main source of growth;
  • Job losses will be in administrative and secretarial occupations, Process, plant and machine operatives and Skilled trades occupations;
  • Replacement demands will mean continued job openings even in occupations projected to decline;
  • A shift towards more people holding high level qualifications (Level 4+).
A headline report from UKCES, the Working Futures main report and technical report are available to download.

The IER research team consists of Rob Wilson, Nick Sofroniou, Anne Green, David Owen and Derek Bosworth.

Click here for information on previous forecasting work undertaken by IER.



Emerging outputs from the ESRC-funded Precarious Pathways project

Two papers based on findings from the Precarious pathways to employment for young people project were recently presented at conferences. A paper entitled 'Self-employment among graduates: a new flexibility?' by Charikleia Tzanakou and Kate Purcell, was presented by Charikleia at the International Labour Process Conference in Berlin on 5 April. A further working paper, 'Assessing the impact of unpaid work, work experience - and paid and unpaid internships - on Early Graduate Careers', being written by Kate Purcell and Charikleia Tzanakou, was presented by Kate at the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2016 Global Societies, Fragmenting and Connecting, at Aston University Birmingham on Wednesday 6 April.

Inclusive Growth and Local Development

IER's Anne Green attended the 12th Annual Meeting of the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Forum on Partnerships and Local Development in Venice on 18-19 April. Anne was an organiser and rapporteur at a Workshop on 'Creative approaches to inclusive labour markets'. The Workshop formed an integral part of an international review being undertaken by Anne Green and Erika Kispeter at IER, Francesca Froy (independent consultant) and Paul Sissons (Coventry University) for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on How do cities lead an inclusive growth agenda?

Apprenticeship completion

Lynn Gambin was interviewed for a school leavers feature on the milkround graduate and student career resource website. The piece, Five tips to staying on course, considered what school leavers can do to ensure they find a good apprenticeship and, most importantly, see it through to the end. In relation to improving the chances of successful completion of an apprenticeship, Lynn highlighted the need for a good fit between employer and apprentice and the importance of both parties having realistic expectations about what the apprenticeship entails.

School to work transitions for young people

The House of Lords Select Committee on Social Mobility has published its report entitled Overlooked and left behind: improving the transition from school to work for the majority of young people. IER's Anne Green gave oral evidence to the Select Committee in November 2015. IER's Kate Purcell, Anne Green, Gaby Atfield and Charoula Tzanakou with Phil Mizen at the university of Aston submitted written evidence based on the ESRC-funded Precarious Plathways into Employment for Young People project. IER's Deirdre Hughes also submitted written evidence to the Select Committee.

Careers LMI

Sally-Anne Barnes gave the keynote presentation at the CDI Student Conference in March on Careers LMI: Current and future practice. Conference participants were introduced to labour market information (LMI) for careers practice and some of the challenges of using it in practice. The LMI for All careers database was also presented as an example of the future of LMI.



Study on Employability Initiatives in Higher Education

Last year, a team of researchers from IER and IFF Research carried out a study of the employability initiatives provided by universities and colleges. A summary report for this study is now available. The research was led by Terence Hogarth and was commissioned by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) in partnership with the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR). Some of the overall findings from the study include:

  • A wide range of innovative employability initiatives are being provided by HE institutions for their students.
  • Initiatives appear to be most effective at engaging students when they are embedded in the curriculum or there is support for such initiatives at departmental level.
  • Approximately half of students take up careers services provided in their university or college. Careers services in institutions however often comment on the continuing challenge of engaging students in the full range of employability initiatives on offer.
  • Employers tend to regard the ideal graduate-job applicant as someone with a good academic record who is able to demonstrate transferable generic skills, such skills being evidenced in the activities they pursued during their studies.

Secure & Free: launch of report on socio-economic insecurity

A new publication, funded by the Webb Memorial Trust and authored by IER's Michael Orton with foreword by Neal Lawson and Ruth Lister, was launched at an event hosted by Compass and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty on 27 April at the Palace of Westminster. Entitled Secure & Free: 5+ Steps to make the desirable feasible, the report identifies ideas from across the political spectrum in order to provide practical, concrete steps to redress the widely acknowledged problem of socio-economic insecurity. The 5+ ideas draw on policy suggestions from organisations including Bright Blue, the Centre for Social Justice, Civitas, the Fabian Society, Friends of the Earth and The Good Right, plus individual commentators ranging from James Kirkup to Polly Toynbee.

Learning and career transitions of low qualified adults in Europe

A symposium edition of the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling has been published with guest editors Sally-Anne Barnes (IER), Rie Thomsen (University of Southern Denmark), Peter C Weber (Heidelberg University) and Antje Barabasch (Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training). This edition presents articles from a Cedefop study 'Narratives of learning from the low skilled' and includes a number of articles from the IER team:

Barnes, S-A. and Brown, A. (2016). Stories of learning and their significance to future pathways and aspirations. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 44(2): 233-242. (DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2016.1145194)

Bimrose, J., Mulvey, R. and Brown, A. (2016). Low qualified and low skilled: the need for context sensitive careers support. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 44(2): 145-157. (DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2016.1145190)

Brown, A. (2016). Career adaptability and attitudes to low skilled work by individuals with few qualifications: ‘getting by’, ‘getting on’ or ‘going nowhere'. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 44(2): 221-232. (DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2016.1145196)

Other publications

Adam, D. and Green, A.E. (in press) 'Soft spaces and soft outcomes: Experiences from City Strategy on local partnership working and measures of success', Environment and Planning A (DOI: 10.1177/0308518X16642225)

Atfield, G., Lindley, R. and Orton, M. (2016). Living with debt after advice. A longitudinal study of people on low incomes. York: Friends Provident Foundation. (A summary is also available.)


New Projects

Graduates in non-graduate jobs

Heike Behle is undertaking a study, commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), drawing on data from previous IER studies, Futuretrack and Class of 99 to investigate changes in graduate employment over time.

The Futuretrack study found that approximately 40 per cent of all 2009/2010 UK graduates were still employed in a non-graduate job more than one year after graduation. A decade ago, a similar analysis was undertaken based on the Class of 99 data set and findings were quite different: the proportion of graduates employed in non-graduate jobs fell steadily in the post-graduate period (Purcell et al., 2013). It seems that ten years ago, employment in non-graduate occupations was used as some kind of stepping stone into more skill-appropriate employment whilst the current leaver cohort are more likely to persist in non-graduate jobs. In this context, the study aims to:

  • Reworking these data sets to allow for a robust comparison of the two graduates’ cohorts, to identify change over time; and
  • Improve understanding of the detailed characteristics (personal, HE-related) of those that enter and remain in non graduate employment (and how it may have changed).
For more information on this or any other IER projects please get in touch.
Copyright © 2016 Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick, All rights reserved.
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