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IER newsletter - August 2014


IER Newsletter - August 2014
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Alan Brown appointed to OFQUAL Vocational Advisory Group

Professor Alan Brown has been appointed as a member of the Vocational Advisory Group of the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (OFQUAL), which has been set up to advise the board on reform and regulation of vocational qualifications. He has also been reappointed as a member of the UK ReferNet Group, which is a European network of reference and expertise in Vocational Education and Training (VET). ReferNet offers comparable information on VET across Europe. It was established by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop).

IER awarded QAA employability study

A team led by IER's Terence Hogarth has been appointed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) to investigate the impact of employability initiatives offered by universities and colleges to their students. In a recent press release (24 July 2014), QAA stated that: 'QAA in partnership with the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) chose the University of Warwick because of the quality of its proposals and the recognised research excellence of the University's Institute for Employment Research.'
IER will be collaborating with IFF Research for this study.

Dr Tony Meagher from Victoria University visits IER

Dr Tony Meagher from the Centre of Policy Studies (CoPS) at Victoria University, Melbourne visited IER from 20 to 30 July.
CoPS is an independent research unit within the College of Business, which undertakes economic-modelling research for governments and businesses in many parts of the world. Tony is an economist who has worked with Rob Wilson and Erez Yerushalmi on economic modelling with a particular emphasis on climate change and “green jobs”. His visit aimed to further develop the modelling work as part of the Cedefop forecasting project.


Recent events

IER Associate Fellow delivers keynote at Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Dr Deirdre Hughes, IER Associate Fellow, recently delivered a keynote presentation at the ‘3rd Career Education International Forum’ held in Seoul National University, South Korea on 24 June. The theme focused on ‘The Encouragement of Employer Participation in the World of Work Exploration for Students’ Career Development’. The conference provided an opportunity for senior policymakers, academics and experts from business, education and careers sectors to discuss vocational education and training policies and strategies for increasing employer involvement in schools and colleges. Deirdre was also joined by Professor Teruyuki Fujita, University of Tsukuba, Japan and Jan Owen, CEO, The Foundation for Young Australians. Find out more on Deirdre's Blog.

ESRC seminar on 'Employment relations and workplace initiatives'

Dr Clare Lyonette hosted an ESRC-funded seminar at the University of Warwick on 10 July entitled 'Employment Relations and Workplace Initiatives', as part of the seminar series on work-life balance during recession and beyond. For more information on this and future seminars, please go to:

DWP Roundtable on the Future of Work

Professor Rob Wilson was invited to take part in a Roundtable on the Future of Work organised by the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on the 22 July.

The aims of this event were to: identify key trends and disruptors to trends and discuss how they might impact on work; highlight the challenges and opportunities they present and how these should be tackled; and, suggest where DWP should focus its futures work. Participants included: Robert Devereux (DWP Permanent Secretary), Jon Day (Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee at the Cabinet Office), Dr Tim Jones (Programme Director of the Future Agenda), Professor Hugh Lauder (University of Bath), Professor Ken Mayhew (Oxford University), Professor Lynda Gratton (London Business School), Wendy Jepson (HR Policy and Compliance Partner, Siemens PLC) and Dr Wilson Wong (CIPD).

IER Visiting Research Fellow presents workshop on ICT and e-learning tools for research

Dr Laura Alonso Diaz, IER Visiting Research Fellow, gave a workshop on 29 July on ‘The use of ICT and e-learning tools for research’. Laura is the Associate Dean of Educational Practice of the Teacher Training College, University of Extremadura, Spain. Her research interests lie in the field of Education, especially online learning, application of e-learning to teacher training and the relationship between lifelong learning, e-learning and the labour market in England.



BIS report on Higher Apprenticeships in Accounting

A new report by Lynn Gambin and Terence Hogarth entitled, 'Employer Investment in Higher Apprenticeships in Accounting', has been published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The report (BIS Research Paper Number 175) provides an assessment of employers’ participation in higher apprenticeships in accounting (Level 4) with consideration of:

  • employers’ reason for participating in this form of training;
  • the merits of apprenticeship compared with other training leading to qualification at the same level;
  • the structure of training involved in the Higher Apprenticeship;
  • the costs and benefits associated with the employer's participation in this form of training; and
  • employers’ plans to continue with this form of training in future.
An article by Lynn Gambin and Terence Hogarth considers the challenge of stimulating and sustaining employer demand for Apprenticeships in England. The piece, 'Apprenticeships are attractive to young people but employer demand is less clear cut' was published online by The Conversation on 14 July.

IER in the news

Emeritus Professor Kate Purcell was interviewed for an article in The Conversation (published online 28 July) in which she commented on the gender pay gap amongst university graduates. See the full article: Men earn £2,000 more than women within six months of graduating.
A report by Lynn Gambin and Terence Hogarth with colleagues from Cambridge Econometrics was cited in an article in Times Higher Education (THE) on 26 June. The THE article ('Improvement by degree or natural talent?') drew on findings from the BIS-commissioned study Methodological Issues in Estimating the Value Added of Further Education, Higher Education and Skills: A Review of Relevant Literature, which considered a number of key assumptions and issues underlying the estimates of the returns to different forms of learning.
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