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IER Newsletter - October 2019

IER Newsletter - October 2019

Professor Peter Elias, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

Professor Peter Elias of IER has just been conferred as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. This Fellowship is a huge accolade. Fellows are drawn from academics, practitioners and policymakers, marking the impact of their work through the use of social science for public benefit. It is another indication of the very high esteem with which Peter is held for his work on, amongst things over the past thirty years, occupational classification schemes in the UK and internationally and, more recently, developing protocols for the use of Big data for the OECD countries.

Lifelong guidance in the EU

IER and FIER at the University of Jyväskylä have been working on a project commissioned by the European Commission DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion researching lifelong guidance policy and practice in the EU.
The team, led by Sally-Anne Barnes, organised a successful workshop in Brussels at the beginning of October to discuss the findings of the study. This event was attended by 32 experts in guidance and lifelong learning from across Europe.
Following this, the research findings were presented at the European Vocational Skills Week 2019 held in Helsinki. The interactive session on 'guidance for lifelong learning' was streamed live and debated what support was needed to promote lifelong guidance. The research report is due to be published in 2020.

Why employers should introduce wide-ranging family-friendly working policies

A new report, 'Family friendly working policies and practices: Motivations, influences and impacts for employers', authored by Professor Clare Lyonette and Beate Baldauf from IER, and commissioned by the Government Equalities Office (GEO), is the outcome of one of a series of research projects aiming to support employers in closing the gender pay gap.
Key recommendations for employers include:
  • Introduce and promote a wide range of flexible working policies and practices
  • Disseminate good practice
  • Develop a positive workplace culture
  • Encourage transparency among managers, flexible workers and other colleagues
  • Trial and measure flexible working over a reasonable time period
  • Think in the longer-term
  • Challenge gendered attitudes and approaches towards flexible working
Commenting on the findings, Professor Lyonette said: ‘The link between family-friendly working policies and practices and the gender pay gap may not be immediately obvious. We highlight evidence which shows that offering and promoting flexible working to both women and men can create a positive workplace culture, benefiting both employees and employers. Ultimately this can lead to greater gender equality and a reduced pay gap but only if flexible working is not seen as a women's issue'.

The full report and the summary report can be downloaded from the GEO website.

Lyonette, C. and Baldauf, B. (2019) Family-friendly working policies and practices: Motivations, influences and impacts for employers. London: Government Equalities Office.

Working Better: Using data for inclusive system for jobs

As part of NESTA's one-day conference, Sally-Anne Barnes presented on LMI for All alongside international speakers talking about research and innovations in using data to create open labour market systems. The event comprised over 100 experts, policymakers and practitioners to explore new approaches to anticipate changes in the demand for skills and help people navigate into jobs that are right for them. More information on the event and presentations from the day will be on the NESTA website.
New Projects

Alternative Provision Workforce Research, Department for Education. Find more information on the IER website

Impact of changes to international migration, Broadband Stakeholders Group (with IFF Research and City-REDI at the University of Birmingham). Find more information on the IER website

Find more information on IER's current projects