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IER newsletter - June 2017

IER Newsletter - June 2017

IER says farewell to Anne Green

After over 25 years at IER Anne Green has moved on to take up a post of Professor of Regional Economic Development at Citi-REDI (the City Region Economic and Development Institute) at the University of Birmingham. Anne's research has been influential and wide-ranging.
She has led and contributed to research projects for government, research councils and foundations on local and regional development, local skills strategies, spatial dimensions of employment and non-employment, inclusive growth, migration, commuting, welfare-to-work and public policy evaluation. We are sad to see Anne leave, but delighted that she will continue links with IER in these research areas.

Discussing inclusive growth in Gloucestershire

Erika Kispeter gave a presentation at the Gloucestershire Leading Places workshop at the University of Gloucestershire on 22nd June. The talk drew on the results of the research project How do cities lead an inclusive growth agenda? for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Leading Places Gloucestershire is focused on how to improve the long-term, strategic leadership of the county, most specially to ensure that Gloucestershire fulfils its potential for economic development. The project supports the development of a vision for 2050 and beyond, which includes strategic and economic initiatives for the county.

Signposts to exit Precarious Pathways: STEPP

Funding has been received from the University of Warwick's Institute of Advance Study Impact Acceleration Account to extend the impact of the ESRC-funded Paths2Work research project, Precarious Pathways to Employment for Young People. The project has been examining the changing experiences of young people’s transitions from education to employment in the Midlands, as a microcosm of changing employment opportunities and the impact of industrial restructuring and policy changes on the youth labour market more widely. The STEPP project will be led by Kate Purcell, working with Arlene Robertson, and in collaboration with a number of external partners (Coventry City Council, The Princes Trust, SEED Creative Academy, North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College and Anne Green, now at University of Birmingham). Drawing on the Paths2Work project findings, a toolkit will be produced. This will be used initially in ten workshops with young people and professionals who work with them to discuss the findings and their implications for young people and other stakeholder groups. The workshops will be facilitated by Kate and Arlene between September and December 2017, working with colleagues at the collaborating organisations and others with whom the research team has worked, regionally and nationally. The toolkit will also be made available online so that professionals working with young people are able to continue to use materials independently to provide appropriate labour market information and guidance to successive groups of young people.

IER at the Community, Work and Family conference

Clare Lyonette and Mariam Mariam Gbajumo-Sheriff presented papers at the 7th International Community, Work and Family Conference in Milan. Clare presented a paper on the experiences and expectations of work-life balance in the UK Armed Forces.
Mariam Gbajumo-Sheriff presented work from her PhD: Are family-friendly programs context-free? Understanding what constitutes “family-friendly” in the Nigerian workplace. Tracey Warren from Nottingham University presented a paper on the expansion of male part-time working after the great recession in Britain, which was co-authored with Clare.

New report: migration and construction in the UK

A comprehensive report into migration and the construction industry by IER and IFF Research has been published. The large-scale research has brought together the views of construction firms, employment agencies and migrant workers. The report is available from CITB's website. The report has revealed that a third of firms employ migrant workers, saying they have comparable skills to British workers and are more readily available. In London, one in two employers say they are ‘very dependent’ on migrant workers, compared to around one in six in Yorkshire and the Humber. Some employers (22%) also said that migrants have a better work ethic. But only 1% of firms said they specifically look to recruit migrants. The research team at IER included Anne Green, David Owen and Erika Kispeter.

General Election poverty audit

An Election Manifesto Poverty Audit was published to inform voters before the General Elections on 8th June. Gaby Atfield, Peter Dickinson, Erika Kispeter and Sally Wright have assessed the employment policy pledges made by the UK's major parties, focusing on how the manifestos address poverty. The manifesto audit was organised by Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP).

'Learning gain' in higher education

Heike Behle has published a briefing on 'learning gain' in higher education as part of the LEGACY Project. The 'Learning and Employability Gain Assessment Community' project involves 18 Russell Group universities that have come together to measure and evaluate learning gain in higher education in England. The briefing has been published by the University of Warwick.

New projects

  • Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: Evidence gathering on Post-graduate/Early Career Researcher Skills, British Academy
  • The Impact of the Youth Obligation on disadvantaged young people, Centrepoint
Find more information on IER's current projects.
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