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IER newsletter - April 2014


IER Newsletter - April 2014 
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IER recruiting Research Fellow

Warwick Institute for Employment Research seeks to appoint a Research Fellow to work on the ESRC-funded project Precarious Pathways of Young People into Employment, an interdisciplinary study focused on the Midlands, to work as part of a team of researchers located at the Universities of Warwick, Aston, Leicester and the Open University. This is a 3-year fixed-term post, starting from June 2014.
The closing date for applications is 23 April 2014.
Full details of the vacancy are available here

European medium term skills supply and demand forecasts now available

Cedefop (the European Centre for Development of Vocational Training) has just released its latest skill supply and demand forecasts. An article with key highlights from the forecasts is available here.
These forecasts are based on the projections produced by a consortium led by Rob Wilson at IER. The consortium maintains and develops the existing system for regular medium-term forecasts of skill needs (demand and supply) for Cedefop, based on available comparative data at a pan-European level, and carries out and disseminates these forecasts.
The methodology underlying these projections is presented in: Wilson, R.A. et al (2012) 'Skills supply and demand in Europe: Methodological framework', Cedefop Research Paper No. 25, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, Cedefop Research paper No. 25

New publications

Technical Apprenticeships: research into demand and supply

A report on the demand for and supply of technical apprenticeships was published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on 31st March.
The study was undertaken by Terence Hogarth and Lynn Gambin in collaboration with researchers from the Centre for Education and Inclusion Research at Sheffield Hallam University. The research involved interviews with employers, training providers and various stakeholders across England and considers a number of industrial sectors.

The report, Research into the need for and capacity to provide technical apprenticeships in England, suggests there is a lean system of skills supply in place for technician-type skills - supply and demand are currently finely balanced with employers expressing concern that any marked increase in demand, which may arise as a consequence of the economy recovering and major infrastructure projects being commissioned, may result in the emergence of skills shortages.

Northern Ireland's higher education students

The Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland (DELNI) has recently published a report on Northern Ireland’s final year higher education students. The report, by Gaby Atfield and Kate Purcell, uses data from the Futuretrack longitudinal study which tracks applicants for full-time UK undergraduate courses in 2006 over six years.

The Futuretrack study was conducted by a team at IER and funded by HECSU. The report examines the higher education experiences and post-graduation aspirations of: final year students from Northern Ireland studying in Northern Ireland; students from Northern Ireland studying in Great Britain; and students from Great Britain studying in Northern Ireland.

The report, Northern Ireland’s students: key findings from the Futuretrack survey of final year students on three year courses shows that final year students from Northern Ireland were relatively cautious and strategic in their career decision-making. While they regarded their higher education experience and skills development positively, graduating at a time of recession had made them extremely concerned about a perceived lack of graduate opportunities in the labour market in Northern Ireland.

An article co-authored by Anne Green reporting the results of a unique experiment to test for a neighbourhood reputation effect has been published, see:
Tunstall, R., Green, A., Lupton, R., Watmough, S. and Bates, K. (2014). Does poor neighbourhood reputation create a neighbourhood effect on employment? The results of a field experiment in the UK. Urban Studies, 51(4), pp. 763-780.
Clare Lyonette provided an expert comment on the government's new initiative to cut childcare costs for all working families. Clare argued that, although any policy which aims to cut the very high costs of childcare in the UK is welcome, the fact that this is a universal scheme which includes those families earning up to £300,000 per annum, seems to be mis-directed and aims to appease middle-class voters. Why not focus efforts on those working parents most in need of help? The comment is available here.

Recent events

Heike Behle presented a paper 'Student Mothers: How do they differ from similarly aged students?' at the VII International Workshop 'Expansion of Higher Education. New students, more problems' at the University of Konstanz, Germany in March.
Terence Hogarth was a participant in the Validation Seminar on Methodological Guides for skills Anticipation and Matching in Prague on 6th and 7th March 2014, organised by ETF-ILO-Cedefop. Terence also attended the Pôle Emploi European Expert and Research Network in Paris on 3rd and 4th March 2014. He was also a participant in the expert meeting on the European Employer Skills Survey hosted by Cedefop in Thessaloniki on 24th and 25th February 2014.
As part of its Local Job Creation Policy Review, Chris Warhurst joined the OECD as its special advisor for a study tour of Israel in March. The study focused on local economic development and improving employment opportunities amongst the Israeli Arab communities.
Chris was also invited to present a paper on the body at work at a Special Presidential Session of the Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting held in Baltimore in March.
Rob Wilson was invited to and attended an OECD brainstorming event on labour implications of green growth policies. The event took place on 20th March in Paris at the OECD Headquarters. The purpose of the session was to help inform:
  • The structure of Session 2 of the 2014 Green Growth and Sustainable Development Forum on labour implications of inclusive green growth
  • The development of terms of reference for an issue note on labour market implications of green growth policies, which will provide an overview of current work and key issues to steer the discussion at the Forum
The main conclusions of the day highlighted the need to focus on: 1) adaptation to climate change as much as mitigation, and 2) helping those who will be impacted negatively (the losers). These conclusions are very similar to those of the recent report released by the United Nations (Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability).
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