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IER newsletter - July 2014

IER Newsletter - July2014

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In July, IER welcomes...


Professor Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo Llorente of Salamanca University

Professor Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo Llorente of the Facultad de Economía y Empresa at the University of Salamanca, Spain, will be visiting IER from 12 to 24 July with an Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) Fellowship. Rafael is a labour economist and expert on job quality. He recently published a ground-breaking book on economics and job quality. He will be delivering two talks, one for early careers researchers/PhDs on methodological issues in researching job quality; and an open talk, on employment restructuring and job quality in the EU post-crisis. This open talk is scheduled for 12.30 on 15 July in room B0.45 Social Sciences. To register please contact Lynne Conaghan (Tel: 024 765 24890 / email:

Dr Laura Alonso Diaz of the University of Extremadura

IER will be welcoming Dr Laura Alonso Diaz in July as a Visiting Fellow. Laura is the Associate Dean of Educational Practice, Teacher Training College, University of Extremadura. 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. Laura previously visited IER in 2006 to collaborate on research in these areas, working mostly with Alan Brown, Jenny Bimrose and Sally-Anne Barnes.


IER Associate Fellows

IER welcomes Professor Wendy Patton of Queensland University of Technology and Professor Duncan Gallie of Oxford University as Associate Fellows. Details of all IER Associate Fellows can be found here.

Impact Award for Professor Anne Green

The University of Warwick has recognised the impact of Anne Green's research on skills and economic development. At an event in July, Anne was named as the winner of the University's Research Impact Award for established researchers in the social sciences. The award was in recognition of Anne’s work on developing a range of labour market indicators for skills supply and demand and a framework for use in local skills strategies which was first adopted by some Regional Development Agencies in England and subsequently in a series of studies commissioned by the OECD.

Visitors from Columbia

Delegates from the Colombian Ministries of Labour and Education carried out a study tour during June/July 2014 organised by the British Council. On 30 June, three delegates visited the Institute for Employment Research to hold meetings with Professors Rob Wilson, Peter Elias, Jenny Bimrose and Chris Warhurst. The delegates included: Diana Cardenas (Director of Mobility and Vocational Training, Ministry of Labour); Angelica Pinzon (Education Projects and Partnerships Director, British Council); Diana Perez (Deputy Director of Management Support of IES, Ministry of Education).

Discussion topics included: occupational classifications and use of the CASCOT software; skills and labour market forecasting; and the use of Labour Market Information for careers guidance and advice (as well as the respective fortunes of Colombia and England in the World Cup of course!).

The main aims of their visit were to find out more about IER’s work on monitoring occupational change, labour market assessment and projections, the development of classification of occupations, and related software programs for coding to the standard occupational and industrial classification systems, as well as exploring possibilities for further collaboration.

Recent events

IER researchers at WFRN Conference in New York

Clare Lyonette and Mariam Gbajumo-Sheriff (IER PhD student) both presented papers at the Work and Family Research Network (WFRN) Conference in New York, 19 - 22 June. Clare presented two papers: "New ways of working and the implications for work-life balance" and a paper based on a Nuffield Foundation funded project: "An examination of the impact of parenthood on higher education experiences and early career outcomes for student mothers". Mariam presented a paper on her PhD research, entitled: "Combining work and family life in Nigeria: HR practices and the strategies of working mothers". Both Clare and Mariam also took on chairing roles during the conference which included delegates from around the world.

Discussing the workforce of the future at Wilton Park meeting

Proferssor Chris Warhurst was one of only two UK academics invited by Wilton Park, an executive agency of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, to a meeting on ‘Supporting competitiveness and innovation: how to create the workforce of the future in the UK and Germany’. The meeting on 13 - 14 June provided an opportunity for policymakers, experts, the business community and employee representatives to discuss the creation and maintenance of skilled workforces in the UK and Germany. Chris was invited to discuss skills policy internationally and how it might be improved. The weekend meeting of UK and German policymakers, practitioners and academics was attended by the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, UK Minister for Universities and Science.

Appearance-based employment discrimination

Also in June, Chris Warhurst was invited to present his research on appearance-based employment discrimination to a project development meeting at the Law School of Glasgow University. The meeting, attended by the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image, Caroline Nokes MP, is the first step in a project examining the feasibility of changing the Equality Act to incorporate an ‘anti-lookism’ feature.

Invited presentation at BUIRA conference

Duncan Adam attended the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) conference on 27 June, held at the University of Westminster. Duncan was one of five invited presenters at the special plenary session, Special Workshop on the recently launched Workplace Employment Relations Study dataset. He discussed some of the methodological and technical aspects of using the WERS data before looking at some of the possibilities of using the data for further research work.

Regional Roundtable on postal sector

Beate Baldauf was invited to take part in the first regional Roundtable of the EU funded project, Managing demographic challenges and finding sustainable solutions by the Social Partners in the postal sector. The event brought together experts from postal operators and trade unions from 10 Member States as well as representatives from the European Commission and external specialists. Beate gave a presentation entitled “Active ageing in organisations” and took part in the Roundtable discussion. Her presentation drew on the case study findings of the FP7 funded project Activating Senior Potential in Ageing Europe.

Affordable childcare Select Committee

Clare Lyonette gave a presentation on gender equality to the House of Lords Select Committee on Affordable Childcare on 2 July. Along with other speakers, she was invited to give a short overview of the key issues involved in affordable childcare which the Committee will then use to report to government.

Organised session on dual careers at ESOF

Following up her interest in dual career couples, an organised session proposal by Charikleia Tzanakou was selected by the Career Committee for inclusion in the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) 2014 Programme. Charikleia organised and moderated the session entitled 'Dual Career Services and Early Career Researchers' on 22 June at ESOF 2014 in Copenhagen. The session included speakers from the US and Europe who have experience in research and institutional provision for dual career services and it has attracted attention from media and bloggers.

Gender Summit 4 - Europe 2014

Dr. Charikleia Tzanakou presented her research on gender equality in higher education institutions at the 4th Gender Summit which took place 29 June - 1 July in Brussels.


Graduate mobility

Many UK-educated graduates move to other European countries after leaving higher education. The newly published report for the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) looks into the groups of mobile graduates, their early pathways and barriers experienced. The SRHE report by IER's Heike Behle and Charikleia Tzanakou is entitled The transferability of (under-)graduate knowledge gained in UK higher education institutions (HEIs) within the European Higher Education Area.

Cedefop report on learning for career and labour market transitions

The report on a study carried out on behalf of Cedefop which investigated how learning can support workers’ transitions in the labour market and sought to increase understanding of multiple individual approaches to learning has been published. The report, Navigating difficult waters: learning for career and labour market transitions draws on a literature review and an original collection of narratives from biographical interviews in five EU Member States.
See: CEDEFOP (2014) Brown, A., Bimrose, J. and Merrill, B. (eds): Navigating difficult waters: learning for career and labour market transitions, Research Paper 42, Thessaloniki: CEDEFOP.

IER research informs the Migration Advisory Committee

In 2013, the Minister for Immigration asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to advise on the issues, effects and the resulting economic and social impacts of low-skilled work migration. On 8 July 2014 the MAC report on 'Migrants in low-skilled work: the growth of EU and non-EU labour in low-skilled jobs ad it impact in the UK' was published.
A commissioned report to help inform the MAC by Anne Green, Gaby Atfield, Beate Baldauf and Duncan Adam from IER with Teresa Staniewicz from Warwick's Department of Sociology on low skilled sectors of the UK economy: social care and retail sectors was published alongside the MAC report. This follows on from a 2013 report focusing on the construction and accommodation and food services sectors.

New Journal Articles

Hogarth, T. and L. Gambin (2014). 'Employer investment in Apprenticeships in England: an exploration of the sensitivity of employers in the construction sector to the net costs of training', Construction Management And Economics, Online: 1 - 12. DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2014.923577.

Lyonette, C. and R. Crompton (2014). 'Sharing the load? Partners’ relative earnings and the division of domestic labour', Work, Employment and Society, online.
This article was co-authored by Professor Rosemary Crompton who died in 2011. It is based upon work carried out by Clare and Rosemary as part of the ESRC Gender Equality Network, coordinated by Professor Jackie Scott.
Copyright © Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick 2014.