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IER newsletter - June 2014


IER Newsletter - June 2014
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New appointment to ESRC-funded project

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Charoula Tzanakou as Research Fellow on the ESRC-funded Precarious Pathways to Employment of Young People. Dr Tzanakou originally studied for an undergraduate degree in International European Studies at the Athens University of Business and Economics, followed by an MA in European Institutions and Policymaking at Lancaster University. During her time there, she was selected by the European University Association to be a trainee and towards the end of her period of internship in Brussels, was offered a job as Project Officer. She then returned to academia as a PhD student at IER, supervised by Professors Kate Purcell and Robert Lindley, comparing the early career experiences of Greek PhD students in Natural Sciences and Engineering who had studied for their doctorates in UK and Greek universities She was awarded her doctorate in 2012.

Since graduating, Dr Tzanakou has worked at the Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) Research Centre at the University of Oxford and at the IER. In September 2013, Charoula was appointed as Research Fellow to work with Professor Alison Rodger, Professor of Biophysical Chemistry and Director of the MOAC Doctoral Training Centre in the Faculty of Analytical Sciences, as the co-ordinator and full-time researcher of an ESRC-funded project on the under-representation and low retention of women in academic science careers.

IER and the project team look forward to welcoming Charoula in July.


IER welcomes Professor Ray Markey from Macquarie University

Professor Ray Markey, Director of the Centre for Workforce Futures of Macquarie University, from Sydney in Australia will be visting IER from 16 June to 5 July. Professor Markey is an industrial relations expert and comes to us on an Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) fellowship joint with the Industrial Relations Research Unit (IRRU). He will be giving two talks, one of which will be about possible collaborative research projects between his centre and IER. The other talk will be on climate change and the workplace.


Latest publications and events

Cedefop Expert Workshop on Early Leaving from VET

Lynn Gambin was invited to an Expert Workshop entitled 'The Role of VET in Reducing Early Leaving from Education and Training' hosted by Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. The workshop took place on 3 and 4 June in Thessaloniki, Greece and was attended by over 40 experts and policymakers from across Europe. Presentations and discussions during the workshop considered: the magnitude of the phenomenon of early leaving from vocational training and education (VET) in a number of European countries; the factors associated with early leaving and policy responses;, and the use of data to inform policy and practice in relation to early leaving. Lynn gave a presentation on the measurement of early leaving and related issues in the UK as well as the sources of data relevant to this issue. A full programme and presentations from the workshop are available from Cedefop's event webpage.

Professor Jenny Bimrose delivers keynote at Alberta Career Development Conference

Jenny Bimrose was invited to be a keynote at Alberta Career Development Conference, in Calgary, Canada on 30 and 31 May. Her keynote address was entitled: ‘Career decision making and career adaptability: reconciling old concepts with new in practice’. She also presented a workshop at the same conference: ‘Enabling career potential: integrating research findings into practice in Ireland, China and England’. As part of the of the conference proceedings, she was made an ‘Honorary Calgarian’ at a special ceremony along with IER Associate Fellows, Mark Watson and Mary McMahon. View the conference programme.

Local Job Creation in England

Anne Green was invited to give a presentation on 'Local Job Creation in England' at the meeting of the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Committee in Paris on 5 June. This followed an OECD LEED Study Visit to England in May, organised with the UK Commission for Employment Skills, comprising Local Roundtables and Study Visits in Hull and Nottingham and a National Roundtable in London.

Contribution to Acas blog

A piece by Duncan Adam on the meaning and purpose of workplace consultation has been published on the Acas Policy Blog. Following on from his recent research, Duncan answers some questions posed by Acas strategy director Gill Dix around the lack of impact of the Information and Consultation of Employeees Regulations and the more troubling findings of lower levels of employee satisfaction associated with the presence of consultative committees. Duncan's blog piece can be read here.

Employer responses to Apprenticeship funding reforms

Lynn Gambin and Terence Hogarth summarise their recent research on how employers might respond to reform of the financing of Apprenticeships in England in an article in the June edition of Centrelink, the termly e-magazine produced by the Centre for Education and Industry (CEI), University of Warwick. The article draws on a study commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and carried out by IER in collaboration with IFF Research. See the Centrelink article, Co-financing apprenticeships, and the full research report, Employer Routed Funding: Employer Responses to Funding Reform.


New research projects

Unpaid work could soon be the norm for all young jobseekers

A team of researchers from the universities of Warwick, Leicester, Aston and the Open University are about to start a large-scale project to look at the often ‘unstable and fragmented’ experiences of young people as they begin their careers.

Previous studies from the University of Warwick revealed that 41% of graduates had taken on unpaid work experience during their course and after graduation. The public sector was shown to have the highest number of students and graduates who had done unpaid work (see Futuretrack).

The new project, Precarious Pathways to Employment for Young People, will examine the experiences of all young people, not just graduates, from school leaving age upwards. The project is sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The Precarious Pathways to Employment project will have four interlinked strands looking primarily at the areas of Coventry, Birmingham and Leicester, together with a broader analysis of employment trends and unwaged work in the UK.

Duncan Adam to become Acas Associate

Duncan Adam has been invited to join the Acas Research and Policy Associate Pool in the "Quantitative research on employment relations/labour markets" category. Associates will be asked to carry out pieces of work for Acas in line with their skills and experience. Membership will run for 12 months from June 2014.

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