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IER newsletter - March 2017


Employment outcomes of graduates: research participants wanted

The British Academy has commissioned IER to undertake an analysis of the employment outcomes of graduates in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) at UK Higher Education Institutions, looking at the sectors in which they are employed, the jobs they do, and the skills they demonstrate.

As part of this research, we are looking for volunteers to participate in online focus groups. All participants must be AHSS graduates from UK universities who are currently in paid work: we are looking for a broad mix of degree subjects and career paths. We will be advertising some possible dates and times for the focus groups in the coming weeks. During the focus group, participants will only be able to communicate by written text, not by webcam, and so they are not visible to the researchers or to other participants.The focus groups will consist of no more than 8 AHSS graduates from around the country and will last up to 90 minutes. For more information or to register an interest in taking part, please contact Clare Lyonette:

MOOC on the changing world of work

Are you prepared for the challenges of the changing labour market? Do you want to better understand and apply active listening, coaching skills and powerful questioning? Do you want to explore tools for handling Labour Market Information (LMI) and the digital agenda? Register now on the EmployID website.

This 6 week course has been developed as part of the EmployID project which has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no. 619619. IER and Associate staff involved in course delivery include: Jenny Bimrose, Alan Brown, Rachel Mulvey, Deirdre Hughes and Graham Attwell.

Research on women in management

Clare Lyonette is the UK expert on a new project, funded by the French National Research Agency: 'Quel genre de managers avant 40 ans? Faits et discours dans quatre pays européens'. Clare will be involved in researching the articulation of the personal and professional spheres in women managers' lives.

The mixed-methods project involves quantitative data analysis of managerial roles and new semi-structured interviews with managers in four countries. For more information, visit the project website. The research is coordinated by Vanessa di Paola (Aix Marseille Université), Arnaud Dupray (Céreq), Dominique Épiphane (Céreq) and Stéphanie Moullet (Aix Marseille Université).

Rachel Mulvey invited as visiting professor

Rachel Mulvey was in Paris this month, working at INETOP/CNAM - France's national institute for the study of work and career. Rachel is no stranger to CNAM, having taught in 2015 on the ECADOC summer school which brought together doctoral students from across the globe, all doing research on career.

Rachel will be running workshops on qualitative methods for students in their dissertation semester and for doctoral candidates, too. She is contributing to European research on 'decent work' led by Valérie Cohen-Scali and Jean-Luc Bernaud. This elaborates themes considered at the UNESCO conference on life design and decent work. Rachel will present findings from the two CEDEFOP studies, showcasing the findings by the French country team (which she led) set in the context of the wider study undertaken with IER colleagues Jenny Bimrose, Alan Brown and Sally-Anne Barnes.

The landscape of the future labour market

IER's Sally-Anne Barnes gave the opening keynote at the University of Birmingham Careers Network mini break on 'The Future'. Sally-Anne drew upon her research at IER to present on the current and future landscape of the labour market looking at current trends and the digitalisation of the labour market. 

The keynote was followed by a training session examining sources of careers labour market information that help us understand what the future labour market might look like and the opportunities available. Participants were also introduced to LMI for All as a source of careers labour market information.

Boosting workplace innovation

As part of the 'Levering Workplace Innovation' project funded by the Faculty of Social Sciences’ Impact Accelerator Account, Sally Wright of IER organised a seminar for policymakers at the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It examined ways to improve the innovative capacity of firms.

She was joined as a presenter at the seminar by Chris Warhurst of IER and Bengt-Åke Lundvall of Aalborg University in Denmark. The seminar focused on encouraging a change in current thinking about what best levers innovation, highlighting that firms that combine two approaches – the current one based on science, technology and R&D, the other based on progressive ways to manage and organise employees at the workplace-level – have five times greater product innovation.

Gendering research on post-industrial communities

At the Future for post-industrial communities conference, IER's Erika Kispeter called for a gendered and intersectional analysis to better understand the process and the consequences of de-industrialisation in local labour markets.

The event was organised by the Leeds Social Sciences Institute, Leeds University Business School and HOPE not hate at the University of Leeds on 23-24 March.

Local skills case study

The Local Skills Case Study led by IER's Anne Green, Terence Hogarth and Graham Thom outlines how to understand the way in which local-national and local-local collaborative working needs to develop if it is to enhance skills development in England. It is based on a case study of the Black Country and seeks to show how local skills devolution can best be realised.

The report also identifies how other countries have devolved their skills and employment policy to local or regional levels. Reflecting on the international and local evidence the study develops a framework to be used as a tool for local actors to use their combined local knowledge to answer key questions about the context, drivers for change and desired outcomes to enable them to more effectively deliver local skills and to meet local needs.

Green, A., Hogarth, T., Thom, G., MacLeod, K., Warhurst, C., Willis, R. and Mackay, S. (2017) Local Skills Case Study (DfE Research Report 673). London: Department for Education.

Policies for employability in cities

Duncan Adam, Gaby Atfield and Anne Green have had an article published in the journal Urban Studies on 'what works' in terms of policies for employability in cities. Employability policies targeting urban job seekers have often had a ‘work first’ focus on quick job entries, neglecting sustainability and progression.

This article reviews evidence on ‘what works’, drawing generic lessons from research on locally-focused urban policy initiatives in Great Britain operationalised in the context of persistent worklessness in many cities. The findings highlight the importance of employer engagement to open up job opportunities, recognising the diverse needs of individuals, the significance of personalised support for those furthest from the labour market, and co-ordination of local provision. It is argued that providers need to ensure workless groups have the skills and support to access opportunities created by economic growth. Robust local policy analysis remains challenging but important in the context of limited budgets, payment-by-results and a fragmented policy landscape. The article is available on the journal's website.

Adam, D., Atfield, G. and Green, A.E. (2017) What works? Policies for employability in cities, Urban Studies 54(5), 1162-1177.

New school for the old school

Co-edited by IER's Deirdre Hughes, a special issue International Symposium series on 'New school for the old school: careers guidance and counselling' has just been published by the British Journal for Guidance and Counselling. The articles encourage us to step back and think about effective twenty-first schooling.

The first in a two-part series, the special issue examines policy, practice and research in a geo-political background in which governments and global commerce direct their influences, demands and requirements for teaching, counselling and careers work.

Hughes, D., Law, B. and Meijers, F. (2017) Editorial: New school for the old school: careers guidance and counselling in education, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling. Available on the journal's website.
Copyright © 2017 Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick, All rights reserved.