Skip to main content Skip to navigation

IER Newsletter - October 2017

IER Newsletter - October 2017

Engaging employers in building better jobs
2 November, The Shard

This conference organised jointly by the OECD, Warwick University, the Work Foundation, and the Centre for Cities will bring together stakeholders from national government departments, cities, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) as well as business, NGOs and research institutions to discuss the key challenges facing the United Kingdom in building more and better quality jobs.
The conference will focus on discussing the key challenges and opportunities from Brexit and sharing local solutions as well as international lessons from OECD countries on how effective skills policies can foster productivity and inclusive growth.

The draft agenda is available on the OECD website. For more information contact (OECD) or IER's Chris Warhurst,

International perspective on employability gain:
21 November 2017

LEGACY (The Learning and Employability Gain Assessment Community), in collaboration with the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), invites you to a special event to discuss employability gain from an international perspective.

The level of skills and competences students gain in higher education is often criticised. In the UK, this has led to the introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which rates the learning and employability gain that higher education institutions provide.

At this special event of the Employability, Enterprise and Work-based Learning network speakers from Germany and Italy and a representative of the influential AHELO Project (OECD) will discuss different approaches to measuring employability gain and identifing the added value of tertiary education.

Decent Work, Equity & Inclusion: International Conference

Jenny Bimrose, Alan Brown and Rachel Mulvey presented at an international conference entitled Decent Work, Equity and Inclusion: Passwords for the present and the future at the University of Padova, Italy, 5 - 7 October.
Jenny Bimrose chaired a symposium entitled: Integrating ICT into career counselling practice: inclusive or divisive? and also presented a paper as part of this symposium: 'Integrating Labour Market Information and ICT to support practice sensitive to social justice'. Alan Brown and Rachel Mulvey presented a paper: 'Online learning for professional: developing communities of practice'. Jenny Bimrose also presented a paper as part of a symposium chaired by Mary McMahon: 'Qualitative career assessment: addressing challenges, coming of age.' Her paper was entitled: 'Social Inclusion and qualitative assessment.' Finally, Jenny chaired the final keynote address, by Professor Zamagni Stefano, University of Bologna, Italy, entitled 'Economy and work to serve the people'.

Managing mental health at work

IER has contributed to new guidelines on promoting positive mental health at work. Erika Kispeter and Sally Wright examined how Suffolk County Council has responded to the challenge of managing mental health at work. The case study, commissioned by ACAS, was published in October 2017 alongside new Acas guidelines to mark World Mental Health Day 2017.

The case study, Promoting positive mental health at work by creating a sense of shared responsibility, is available on the ACAS website. The new Acas guidance aims to help employers promote positive mental health in their workplaces. Employers are encouraged to read the materials and develop practices and policies for their own workplaces.

The impact of the Apprenticeship Levy

IER is continuing its analysis of the impact of the Apprenticeship Levy. In June 2017, IER undertook a survey of employers and training providers into the impacts of the Levy in the short- and medium terms. Now the Department for Education (DfE) has asked IER to analyse the market response to current apprenticeship funding reforms. The project will:
  1. Provide a clear understanding of employers' views on the newly reformed apprenticeship funding policy and how it relates to wider apprenticeship reforms, to feed into the development of future funding policy;
  2. Inform DFE's review of the levels of co-investment and additional payments;
  3. Inform DfE's stakeholder management and understanding of differing opinions and suggestions from different groups.

Class inequalities in access to paid and unpaid internships

Wil Hunt has had a chapter published in a new book ‘Higher Education and Social Inequalities: University admissions, experiences and outcomes’. Drawing on data from a survey of UK creative and mass communications graduates carried out two to six years after graduation, Wil’s chapter, written with Peter Scott from the University of Portsmouth, examines the role that social class plays in accessing paid and unpaid internships and the implications for social mobility.

The research finds that while educational and other credentials do appear to help in accessing internships, social class still plays a significant role in determining who has access to the best opportunities. The findings challenge the ‘myth of meritocracy’ by showing that issues of access to the best opportunities go wider than questions of ability and affordability.

Part of Routledge’s ‘Sociological Futures’ series with the British Sociological Association, the volume is a collection of contemporary and original writings by a combination of new and established scholars that interrogates social inequalities in access, experiences and outcomes of higher education. The book also includes some illuminating contributions from such scholars as: Diane Reay, David James, Harriet Bradley, Paul Wakeling, Phil Brown, Gerbrand Tholen, and Vikki Boliver.

Hunt, W. & Scott, P. (2017). Participation in Paid and Unpaid Internships Among Creative and Communications Graduates: Does class advantage play a part? In R. Waller, N. Ingram & Ward, M. (Eds.) Higher Education and Social Inequalities: University admissions, experiences and outcomes. London: BSA/Routledge.

Chapter on Gender in 4th Edition of Sage Handbook

Jenny Bimrose has authored a chapter entitled 'Gender' which has been published in the 4th Edition of the Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Bimrose, J. (2017). Gender. In C. Feltham, T. Hanley, & L.A. Winter (Eds.). The Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy. (pp. 29-34). London: Sage. ISBN 978-1-4739-5331-4.

Other publications

Brown A., Bimrose J. (2018) Learning and Identity Development at Work. In: Milana M., Webb S., Holford J., Waller R., Jarvis P. (eds) The Palgrave International Handbook on Adult and Lifelong Education and Learning. Palgrave Macmillan, London. DOI:
For more information, see the publisher's website.

New projects

One by one: building the digital literacies of UK museums, AHRC (with University of Leicester and CAMEo)

Update to the Working Futures, EngineeringUK

Find more information on IER's current projects.


Jenny Bimrose, Alan Brown and Rachel Mulvey attended the European Guidance week, organised in Tallinn, Estonia, 26-29 September, 2017. The September Newsletter inclued the incorrect date. Apologies for the error.