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IER Newsletter - October 2018

IER Newsletter - October 2018

IER at the Talent Match youth unemployment conference

Since 2014, IER, in partnership with CRESR at Sheffield Hallam University, City-REDI at the University of Birmingham and Cambridge Economic Associates, has been evaluating the Big Lottery's £106 million youth employment programme Talent Match. Talent Match has been delivered through 21 voluntary sector-led partnerships across England and by June 2018, over 25,000 NEET young people who were furthest from the labour market and lived in areas of high youth unemployment had taken part. On 18th October the final Talent Match conference was held at the Hilton, Sheffield. Gaby Atfield was part of the evaluation team facilitating sessions to share the lessons learnt from Talent Match on employer engagement, health, wellbeing and fulfilling lives, young people's involvement in programme design and delivery, innovation in supporting young people into work, partnership working and the lasting legacy of Talent Match.

Rethinking advocacy on ageing and work

The IER is delighted to welcome Professor Philip Taylor, Federation University Australia, as an International Visiting Fellow. He will give a workshop on ‘Rethinking advocacy on ageing and work’ on 6th November, 12.30 - 2pm, at the IER. If you are interested in attending this free public event or wish to receive further information please email Lynne Marston at by Monday, 5 October 4pm. The Fellowship, funded by the Institute for Advanced Studies, will also deliver a one-day seminar titled ‘Working longer or retiring earlier?’ on 14th March 2019. The event will be jointly organised with Beate Baldauf.

New research highlights challenges veterans face in becoming self-employed

A new report, ‘Self-employment and the Armed Forces Community’, has revealed the barriers ex-Service personnel face in becoming self-employed after leaving the Armed Forces and calls for broader support from the MOD to help Service personnel transitioning out of the Forces and into self-employment. Research conducted by the IER, supported by defence technology company QinetiQ and X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) and funded by Forces in Mind Trust, was carried out to understand what more could be done to support ex-Service personnel to successfully move into self-employment. The report was launched on 10th October at the X-Forces Enterprise 5th Anniversary event at the London Stock Exchange. (Image credit: FIMT)

Lyonette, C., Barnes, S-A., Owen, D., Fisher, N., Newell, K., Kapur, R. and Wing, M. (2018) 'Self-employment and the Armed Forces Community'. Forces in Mind Trust.

The Digital Strategy in Museums

On 5 October, Sally-Anne Barnes and Professor Ross Parry, from the University of Leicester, were invited by the French Ministry of Culture to participate in a professional day dedicated to digital strategy in museums. Sally-Anne and Ross presented the early findings of the One by One project: building the digital literacies of UK museums. The event held at the Institut National du Patrimoine, Paris, provided an opportunity for those in the museum sector to reflect on how to set up digital strategies and support digital transformation.

Young people on zero-hours contracts

A letter written by Professor Kate Purcell was published in The Guardian on 19th October. Commenting on an article discussing pay volatility Kate noted that young people were most likely to be working on zero-hours contracts. The recently completed, ESRC-funded Paths2Work research project found that the employment oportunities of young jobseekers with low or no educational or vocational qualifications were confined to low-paid, zero-hours work, mainly through temporary work agencies. Kate argued that young people were unlikely to access secure employment unless employers took greater responsibility for the longer term welfare of their workers.

IER staff member joins Advisory Board for Oxfam project

IER Senior Research Fellow Sally Wright has joined the advisory board for Oxfam's Women United Research and Innovation Fund (WURIF) Project. Sally attended the inaugural advisory board meeting in Manchester on 5th October 2018. Adopting a social innovation approach, this research project will engage women in conversations and actions about poverty around three main areas of change: household, community, and employment and enterprise. As an Advisory Board member, Sally provides support, feedback and advice to the project team; supports the team in networking and liaising with local and national partners that can help with delivery and scaling-up of the project; and contributes to advocacy and research activity. This builds upon her earlier engagement with Oxfam, where the ESRC Impact Accelerator helped to fund a secondment to Oxfam Scotland to work on a community-based research project on decent work among low-paid workers.


Orton, M., Green, A., Atfield, G. and Barnes, S-A. (2018) 'Employer Participation in Active Labour Market Policy: from Reactive Gatekeepers to Proactive Strategic Partners' Journal of Social Policy. Online first:

New projects

Research on the social care workforce, Department for Health.

Digital Skills and Inclusion Research Working Group evidence briefs, Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

How have the UK restaurant and warehousing sectors been affected by the fissuring of the worker-employer relationship in the last 10 years? The Office of the Director of Labour Market Enforcement.

Find more information on IER's current projects.