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IER Newsletter - August-September 2018

IER Newsletter - August-September 2018

Measuring Good Work report launched

Following the 2017 Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices’s recommendation that the UK Government should develop new measures of job quality for the UK, a Working Group was established by the RSA and Carnegie UK Trust, and included IER Director Chris Warhurst.
The Group has now reported, launching its Measuring Good Work report. The report recommends that seven dimensions of job quality should be monitored annually by the government. These dimensions include pay and benefits, voice and representation, work-life balance and job security. A formal response form the UK Government is expected later this autumn.

New cohort of Nigerian officials visit IER for training

In September IER hosted a second cohort of labour market officials from the Nigerian Government’s Industrial Training Fund.
The visitors received training in the labour market data and analysis techniques developed by IER, covering: higher and vocational education; labour market classification, measurement and forecasting; and careers guidance and labour market information for all. The aim is to help build greater capacity in labour market analysis in Nigeria as the country seeks to diversify its economic base.

IER hosts two Nuffield Student Research Placements

Over the summer, IER hosted two students on four week Nuffield Research Placements. Nuffield Research Placements provide the opportunity for students in Year 12 to work alongside professional scientists (including quantitative social scientists), technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
The students designed and conducted quantitative research projects on widening participation in higher education. One project looked at how universities address issues of gender and ethnic inequality in access to higher education and the other examined what affects the decisions young people make about going into HE. The students were supervised by Gaby Atfield, Wil Hunt, Daria Luchinskaya, Sudipa Sarkar and Rosie Day. On 19th September, Gaby, Wil and Sudipa attended a celebration event at Coventry University, where the students displayed posters of their research findings and received certificates for their participation.

Parliamentary Roundtable on the impact of the Youth Obligation

On 11th September, Gaby Atfield presented interim findings from longitudinal research on the impact of the Youth Obligation on disadvantaged young people at a Parliamentary Roundtable at Portcullis House. The roundtable was hosted by Mike Amesbury MP, the Shadow Employment Minister
and organised by Centrepoint. Attendees included representatives from Jobcentre Plus, Trust for London, the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), The Prince’s Trust, Youth Employment UK, London Councils, Depaul UK and the Children’s Society, as well as other policy makers and academics. The Youth Obligation is a six-month mandatory government programme, started in April 2017, for young people aged 18 to 21 who claim Universal Credit. The scheme requires young people claiming benefits to participate in an intensive regime of support, providing them with work-based skills or the experience needed for them to move into sustainable employment.

Presentation of results from the Horizon 2020 project QUINNE

The Horizon 2020 funded QuInne project (Quality of Jobs and Innovation Generated Employment Outcomes) presented key findings in Brussels, on 26th September, focusing on questions such as: Does innovation produce more and better jobs? Does innovation combat or exacerbate inequalities? What aspects of job quality facilitate innovation? Presenters include Professor Chris Warhurst.

IER leads on productivity and skills analysis

IER has produced the annual report for the West Midlands Productivity and Skills Commission. The report synthesises the Commission’s understanding of the regional productivity and skills challenges across the Five Foundations of Productivity - Place, innovation, Infrastructure, People and Ideas/Innovation (as outlined in the Industrial Strategy) - within three of the region’s priority sectors – Business, Professional and Financial Services (BPFS), Building & Construction Technologies, and Automotive. This analysis forms the basis for a set of recommendations for each of the Foundations.

IER researchers present at 'Work, Employment and Society' conference

On behalf of the researchers who worked on the interview programmes with young people in the Midlands, Professor Kate Purcell presented findings from the Paths2Work interviews at The British Sociological Association Work Employment and Society: Putting Sociology to Work conference, held at the Europa Hotel Belfast from 12 - 14 September. A pdf version of the presentation can be accessed here.

Clare Lyonette presented a paper entitled 'Underemployment and unemployment: unravelling the lived experiences of UK military spouses and partners', co-authored with Sally-Anne Barnes and Erika Kispeter from IER and Natalie Fisher and Karen Newell from QinetiQ. The paper was based on new mixed-methods research, funded by Libor and commissioned by the Army Families Federation (AFF), and explored the employment decisions and outcomes of military spouses and partners.

Sally-Anne Barnes presented a paper entitled 'Building digital literacies: Changing skills of the museum professional in a postdigital museum' co-authored with Erika Kispeter and Ross Parry and Doris Eikhof (University of Leicester). The paper is based on Phase 1 of the One by One project.

Photo credit: Work, Employment and Society on Twitter.

Why does career theory matter?

Jenny Bimrose provided the opening keynote address for the first NICE Academy conference on 5th September at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, entitled: "Fostering the Dialogue Between Science and Practice in Career Guidance and Counselling" - a structured learning and networking event for professionals and academic trainers in the field of career guidance and counselling. The keynote examined the complex interrelationships between theory, research, practice and professional identity.

ESRC Impact Acceleration Award

Sudipa Sarkar has won an ESRC-funded Impact Acceleration Award. Working with the organisation Child Rights and You (CRY), Sudipa's research will support the fight against child labour in India through analysing and making better use of data held by NGOs.


Barnes, S-A. (2018) "Career services filling the gap: Reconciling labour market mismatches". In: Hogarth, T. (ed) Economy, employment and skills: European, regional and global perspectives in an age of uncertainly. Italy: Quaderni Fondazione Giacomo Brodlini Studi E Ricerche. (pp. 195-208). ISBN 9788895380452.

Bimrose, J. Brown, A., Mulvey, R., Kieslinger, B. Fabian, C.M., Schaefer, T., Kinkel, S., Kopp, T., & Dewanti, R. (2018). Transforming identities and co-constructing careers of career counselors. Journal of Vocational Behavior. Available online 3 August 2018. DOI:

New projects

Monitoring convergence in the dimension of working conditions. Eurofound.

Find more information on IER's current projects.
Copyright © 2018 Institute for Employment Research, All rights reserved.

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