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IER Newsletter - November - December 2021

IER Newsletter - November-December 2021
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The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future: an end of year message from the IER Director

There’s no getting away from it: the ghost of Christmas past is stalking us all. This time last year we all hoped that the bad times were behind us and that we’d all re-emerge post Covid-19 in the spring.
Things didn’t turn out that way. Although the economy picked up well after the summer, 2021 has been a stop-start year and the beginning of next year looks grim again.
IER has been doing its bit to help understand the impact of Covid-19 on work and employment. In addition to its other new and ongoing research projects during 2021, IER has led or been part of teams that have analysed the impact of Covid-19 on the national labour market, the graduate labour market, apprenticeships, skills, working class women, the social care workforce, creative industries freelancers and the informal economy amongst others. Read more here.
With colleagues at Leeds University, IER also launched and now hosts ReWAGE. Core funded by the ESRC, ReWAGE is a national expert advisory group to support government across the UK deliver the recovery and renewal of work and employment post Covid-19. Demand for it is high and it will have a busy 2022. It now has nearly a dozen expert sub-groups, for example examining pay and income, careers, good jobs and, in the new year, the hospitality industry and the gig economy. A flurry of evidence papers from ReWAGE will be published in the new year.
As for Christmas present, there is some light amongst the gathering gloom. IER has just completed a successful recruitment round and a new clutch of researchers will be joining the Institute in spring next year. Further information about these appointments will follow in due course.
Being optimistic, surely things can only get better in 2022 and our Christmas futures will all be brighter. We would like to thank all of our research sponsors and partners. We look forward to working with you again next year whatever the circumstances. In the meantime, I, and all of the staff of IER, would like to wish you a safe and restful festive season and new year.

Professor Chris Warhurst

ReWAGE news

ReWAGE has been successful in attaining sponsorship from abrdn Financial Fairness Trust (formerly the Standard Life Foundation) for three new evidence papers. The three papers will be focused on work, wages and employment in the hospitality industry, the social care industry and the gig economy respectively, and are scheduled for delivery in 2022.
In its response to the government’s recent flexible work consultation, a ReWAGE sub-group said that there are very strong economic and equality arguments for making the right to request flexible working available to all employees from the first day of employment. Read more in the ReWAGE news.

Good jobs and why they matter

Both the Prime Minister and Chancellor are promoting 'good jobs' as integral to their vision of a successful future UK economy, post Brexit and net zero carbon. But we haven't heard much from them on good jobs being part of the Levelling Up agenda.
Good jobs are not a pick ‘n’ mix option - they should be hardwired into the UK economy, explains Professor Chris Warhurst. Read more in a piece published by the University of Warwick’s Knowledge Centre.

Photo by Yong Chuan Tan on Unsplash

Measuring the impact of AI on jobs at the organisation level

This Research Note proposes a methodology based on the use of bespoke employer surveys. Drawing on a new and unique survey of UK business leaders, it illustrates the utility of this approach through the presentation of descriptive findings on the association between introduction of AI and job creation and destruction within organisations.
The key findings are that AI is more likely than other technology to be associated with job elimination and creation and that job creation is just as likely as job destruction in firms introducing AI.

Hunt, W., Sarkar, S. and Warhurst, C. (2022) Measuring the impact of AI on jobs at the organization level: Lessons from a survey of UK business leaders. Research Policy, 51 (2).

Researching the labour market information system for careers guidance

The labour market information system in England is well-developed with a range of organisations at national, regional and local level playing different roles in supplying, interpreting and/or disseminating data and information on the economy and labour market, for the purpose of supporting transitions into and through the labour market.
However, the labour market information system for careers guidance support in England has the potential to improve significantly if resources can be harnessed more effectively.
New research by Dr Sally-Anne Barnes and Professor Jenny Bimrose from the Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick investigated the range of sources for the supply of labour market information (LMI) and intelligence in England. The aim of the research, supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, was to broaden knowledge of from where, and how, LMI and intelligence is produced, supplied and disseminated in the careers landscape. Findings show how approaches to collecting, analysing and disseminating LMI for young people vary according to the priorities reflecting the missions of different organisations. The result is a complex and confusing system of labour market information. Overall, there is a need for more expertise and resources at the regional and sectoral level to take advantage of the data available. A report detailing the research and further findings, together with a matrix of sources reviewed are now available.

Barnes, S-A., and Bimrose, J. (2021). Labour market information and its use to inform career guidance of young people. An overview of the Labour Market Information System for Careers Guidance in England. Coventry: Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick.

Barnes, S-A., and Bimrose, J. (2021). An overview of the Labour Market Information System for careers guidance in England: Sources reviewed. Coventry: Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick.

(Photo by Headway on Unsplash)

Professionalisation of career development services and online/multi-modal practice in Canada

Jenny Bimrose, Emeritus Professor at IER, and Tannis Goddard, PhD graduate at IER, have co-authored a paper as part of an initiative by Future Skills Council, Canada, aimed at promoting the value of career development to post-pandemic recovery.
Career development practitioners (CDPs) in Canada and indeed around the world, are being required to make sense of a turbulent labour market, typically without adequate support, while at the same time providing appropriate services to their clients. Professionalisation of services has become urgent. Furthermore, Covid-19-related restrictions have made the integration of technology into the delivery of career development services no longer an option: the adoption of suitable technologies, however, implies fundamental change to practice.
The paper explores challenges and some possible responses for career development practice in Canada, based on a thorough literature review of relevant international academic and grey literature, author participation in Responsive Career Pathways roundtables, and discussions with two key employees of Canada’s main career development professional associations/bodies.

Bimrose, J., & Goddard, T. (2021). The career development profession in Canada and the emergence of online/multi-modal practice delivery. Blueprint & Future Skills Centre.

New projects

Diversity & inclusion in the UK creative industries - Creative Industries Council, via University of Glasgow

Apprenticeships & technical education data and evidence review - Careers and Enterprise Company

Find more information on IER's current projects.
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