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IER newsletter - March 2016

IER Newsletter - March 2016

In this month's issue...


Collaborative PhD Studentship

IER is working collaboratively with Adviza, a registered charity inspiring people to make better decisions that help them progress in learning and work, in offering an ESRC-funded Collaborative PhD Studentship to commence in October 2016. This new and exciting PhD opportunity will focus on 'the use of information communications technology (ICT) and labour market intelligence (LMI) in careers education and guidance'. The project will be jointly supervised by IER's Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE and Professor Chris Warhurst. Part of the PhD will also be co-supervised by Sue Gale (Adviza).

Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 22 April 2016, details are on the IER website.


Terence Hogarth on employer skills surveys in Lima and Washington, DC

Terence Hogarth visited Lima, Peru, in January at the invitation of the Inter-American Development Bank. Whilst there he met with policy makers to discuss how to implement an employers skill survey that would identify the extent of skills demand across the country, indicate where skill mismatches were emerging, and how employers sought to meet their skill needs. In February, Terence was invited to the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC, in the USA, to discuss and review differing types of employer skill survey used across the world to identify their relative strengths and weaknesses.

IER Evidence to Select Committee Inquiry on Careers Advice, Information and Guidance

On 8 February 2016, Deirdre Hughes gave oral evidence to the joint BIS and DfE Parliamentary Select Committee's 'Inquiry into Careers Advice, Information and Guidance'. Video from the evidence session is available here. Written evidence was submitted to the Inquiry by IER's Deirdre Hughes and Jenny Bimrose. Their submission can be viewed here.

Continuing work on EU Skills Panorama

Terence Hogarth and Lynn Gambin were invited by Cedefop to attend a meeting in Thessaloniki, Greece from 10-12 February with colleagues from Cambridge Econometrics, FGB, and RAND Europe, to discuss the next stage in the development of the European Skills Panorama. The consortium has just begun its second year of work on the Skills Panorama which is the delivered by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and powered by Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.

Visitors from Universidad de Extremadura

IER was pleased to welcome back Laura Alonso-Diaz and her colleagues Gemma Delicado Puerto and Rocío Yuste-Tosina from Universidad de Extremadura (Spain). They visited IER in February and gave a workshop on: 'Research on the implementation of videogames for the development of competences on adult learners.' Dr Alonso-Diaz, who has expertise in e-learning and social pedagogy, visited IER and the Centre for Education Studies at Warwick to develop research networks.

Prolonging working life through ICT: the role of crowdsourcing

If you missed the EPSRC Balance Network funded seminar, organised and led by Sally-Anne Barnes, presentations from Professor Ursula Huws (University of Hertfordshire Business School), Professor Leela Damodaran (Loughborough University) and Professor Chris Warhurst (IER) are now available from the IER website. During the day participants explored how crowdsourcing has changed the boundary between work and home enabling people to achieve a new work-life balance and remain part of the labour force. Some of the speakers and an overview of the seminar will be presented at the upcoming conference, Beyond Balance: how digital technologies are affecting our work, our homes and everything in between, in June 2016.

Shaping a careers offer for young people

Deirdre Hughes delivered two keynote presentations on the topic of 'Shaping a Careers Offer for Young People' at an Inside Government event held in London on the theme of 'Careers Education and IAG' on 3 February. This was followed by a keynote presentation in Oxford on 26 February. The event was organised by Oxfordshire County Council with 100+ delegates in attendance from schools, colleges, businesses, training providers and careers professionals.

Women, families and work

Anne Green and Teresa Staniewicz, with Becky Tunstall, Julie Rugg and Katia Attuyer, worked in 2015 on a project for Housing Association L&Q on 'Women, Families and Work' which explored how to help L&Q's women residents into work and tackle the barriers they face. Anne attended a roundtable discussion on 25 February in central London to mark the launch of the research Summary and the Report.

UK-Policy Forum on Apprenticeships

Lynn Gambin chaired the second session in the UK-Policy Forum 'Creating a generation of apprentices - funding, quality and a route to employment' held at the Royal Society of Chemistry on 10 March. The event considered recent and upcoming reforms to the apprenticeship system in England and the implications of these for individuals, employers and training providers. Lynn chaired the second half of the event which comprised sessions entitled 'Are apprenticeships delivering for young people?' and 'What employers want - do apprenticeships address the skills shortage?'. Speakers included: Iyaaz Matadar, National Society of Apprentices; Petra Wilton, Chartered Management Institute; Jonathan Buzzeo, Institute for Employment Studies; Candace Miller, National Skills Academy for Health; and, Andy Brown, Engineering Construction Industry Training Board. Details of the event can be found here.

Improving progression from low-paid jobs at city-region level

IER's Anne Green attended and was a speaker in the opening panel session at the 'Better Jobs, Better Business' national conference in Leeds on 10 March. The conference was hosted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in partnership with Leeds City Council, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, the British Hospitality Association, the British Retail Consortium, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, CIPD and PwC. The event marked the launch of the report 'Improving progression from low-paid jobs at city-region level' (see links to the Summary and full Report) co-authored by Anne, Paul Sissons and Jenny Ferreria at Coventry University, Kathryn Ray from the Learning and Work Institute and Ceri Hughes from the New Policy Institute.

Employer demand for STEM Apprenticeships

Terence Hogarth presented a paper entitled 'Employer Demands for STEM Apprenticeships' at The Future of Further and Higher Education Summit and Exhibition hosted by the University of Salford on 15 March. The paper drew on the Apprenticeship programme of research led by Lynn Gambin and Terence Hogarth.



Gatsby Report on Employer Demand for STEM Apprenticeships

A new report by Lynn Gambin and Terence Hogarth looks at the demand for STEM apprenticeships, the costs and risks incurred by employers taking on apprentices and how these might be mitigated. The report, drawing on evidence from studies carried out by IER since the mid-1990s, highlights that there is demand in the UK labour market for intermediate-level STEM skills which Apprenticeships can help to meet.

They note that STEM Apprenticeships can offer substantial returns to individuals and employers, however, the cost to the employer for this form of training is relatively high. Estimates indicate that, at the end of the training period, an employer that has delivered a Level 3 Engineering Apprenticeship will have incurred a net cost of around £40,000. It can take an employer around three years after the end of formal training period to recoup this investment. The report also considers how the employer's risk on investing might be reduced and more employers thus encouraged to take on apprentices.

You can now download the full report, Employer Investment in Intermediate-level STEM Skills: how employers manage the investment risk associated with Apprenticeships.

What do vulnerable workers regard as ‘decent work’?

An interim report on decent work has been published by Oxfam and the University of Scotland in collaboration with IER. The report, co-authored by Sally Wright of IER, examines what low paid, low skilled workers in Scotland want from jobs. The top five priorities are: an hourly rate that is enough to cover basic needs; job security; paid holidays and paid sick leave; a safe working environment free from physical and mental risk or harm; and a supportive line manager. Download the report: What Makes For Decent Work?

Mathematics against the clock by Milena Kremakova

Image copyright Milena Kremakova
In a recent LSE Impact Blog, IER's Milena Kremakova discusses the acceleration in academic labour. In the blog, she argues that mathematics as a discipline is an excellent test case for understanding recent transformations in academia — and a cautionary tale for the social sciences and humanities. Careers in mathematics are less precarious than those in the humanities and social sciences, but the same trends are present. The main problem is that the technocratic time of the neoliberal university is in a direct clash with the thinking time required to learn, and do, science, and this applies to all disciplines. Something must be changed if we want universities to remain places of cutting-edge science, good quality teaching, and decent working conditions for knowledge workers.


New Projects

Review of careers education underway for Education Endowment Foundation

Deirdre Hughes and Anthony Mann (Education Employers Taskforce) are currently undertaking an international literature review on the most promising types of careers education and its impact on improved academic, labour market and other post-16 outcomes. This work, to be published later in 2016, has been commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation. Its aim is to help schools make informed and evidence-based decisions about their careers programmes and approaches to employer engagement.


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

Copyright © 2016 Warwick Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick, All rights reserved.
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