The big news for employment research in the UK is the centring of productivity and innovation in UK research funding, and, finally, some end-of the-year clarity on Brexit following the re-election of a Conservative Government. Both developments will fundamentally shape the research funding environment in 2020. IER is well-placed with the first and is working with Warwick University to address the second. Significantly, 2019 was again a good year for IER undertaking research for EU agencies such as Eurofound and the Joint Research Centre. New projects have focused on the future of work and job quality.
New research themes have continued to flourish in 2019, particularly those focused on the employment of (ex)military personnel and their spouses, and vulnerable workers in India. Old themes also continue to thrive, for example those focused on the graduate labour market, careers advice and guidance, apprenticeships and, ambitiously, ending poverty. In addition IER supported the development of another oldie but goodie – the new Standard Occupational Classification, which will be released in 2020.
This range of work provides IER with a solid foundation for facing the new funding challenges of 2020, and we look forward to continuing working with our EU colleagues after January next year and all of our UK and other international collaborators. Together we strive to use our socio-economic approach to improve scientific and policymaker understanding of employment and labour markets and improve working lives in the UK and internationally.
Peter Elias elected to the Council of the Royal Statistical Society
IER welcomed members of the Jordan British Council, the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission for Higher Education Institutes and the Higher Education sector in October 2019. The delegation was comprised of key members responsible for the implementation of the Jordan National Qualification Framework. They came to find out more about LMI for All and how it is supporting careers education and guidance within the education sector. The event was organised by Lisa Collett from Cotswold Research who has been managing the Action Learning Forum project in Jordan.
IER visit to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore
In collaboration with senior staff from Computer Science and the Warwick Medical School, Professor Peter Elias made a short trip to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in December to showcase IER research on labour markets to Warwick alumni and their sponsors.
LMI for All team meets Studiekeuze123
As part of a knowledge exchange and sharing good practice, Sally-Anne Barnes, as part of the LMI for All team, met with the Stichting Studiekeuze123 team from the Netherlands. Studiekeuze123 had just won three #LovieAwards for their website Studiekeuze123.nl, which is the official Dutch platform to support students in their study orientation and choices. Sally-Anne and the Studiekeuze123 team had a great morning talking about careers LMI, course and occupational mappings and widgets! The LMI for All team look forward to future opportunities to work together.
New indicators of job quality from the ONS
The Office for Statistics (ONS) has released a new report measuring job quality in the UK. It focuses on pay and working hours. Following recommendations made by the Measuring Job Quality Working Group in 2018, the analysis also defines ‘quality work’ based on pay, working hours and contract type.
New report from IER on European working conditions
Eurofound has published a new report on Upward Convergence in Working Conditions in Europe. The report is based on a project which was led by IER (Chris Warhurst and Sally Wright) and included colleagues from the University of Salamanca led by Professor Rafa Munoz de Bustillo Llorente. The research found upward convergence has occurred for the EU as a whole for six of the seven dimensions of working conditions: physical environment, work intensity, working time, social environment, skills and discretion, prospects and earnings. However country differences exist within the EU.
Eurofound (2019), Upward convergence in working conditions, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.