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IER Newsletter - May-June 2018

IER Newsletter - May-June 2018

New publication on British attitudes to work and welfare

A co-authored chapter by Chris Warhurst on attitudes to work and welfare is part of the National Centre for Social Research’s new 200-page report based on the latest the British Social Attitudes Survey. The launch event, British Social Attitudes – the Data Behind the Headlines, takes place on Wednesday 11th July, 18:00-20:00, at St Martin’s Hall in Trafalgar Square, London. Places for the launch can be reserved on Eventbrite.

David Owen at a Cabinet Office 'roundtable'

David Owen participated in a workshop at the Cabinet Office 'roundtable' on May 1st to discuss ethnic disparities in the transition from education to the labour market as part of the Open Innovation Team's ongoing project.

IER delegation at Vrije Universiteit Brussel

In May, a delegation of senior staff from IER visited the Interface Demography and Tempus Omnia Revelat (TOR) research groups at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) . This visit was part of Warwick’s new strategic collaboration with the VUB. A Memorandum of Agreement was signed by the two universities on 6th June. IER will be developing joint research projects and PhD studentships with the two groups, both of which have research specialisms in job quality, labour market transitions and careers guidance.

Visiting fellows at IER

In July, Dr Giulio Pedrini and Dr Luca Cattani from the University of Bologna will visit the IER for a month, working with Daria Luchinskaya and Charoula Tzanakou to develop a collaborative programme of research on graduate employment between the University of Warwick and the University of Bologna. Their visit is funded by the Institute of Advanced Studies. (Image credit: Lego grad student)

Conceptualising employability

Heike Behle presented at a workshop at the Warwick Education Conference 2018, on 15th May 2018. She challenged the way in which employability is conceived in the Teaching Excellence and Students' Outcome Framework (TEF) and suggested a better way to conceptualise how higher education institutions can conceptualise employability of students and graduates.

Should lookism be banned?

IER Director Chris Warhurst talked about employment discrimination based on worker appearance – ‘lookism’ - on BBC Radio 4.The talk centred on whether lookism is a legitimate business practice or should be banned as a form of unfair discrimination. The programme, part of the Four Thought series, is available on the BBC iPlayer.

New report on military spousal employment

IER and QinetiQ were commissioned by the Army Families Federation (AFF) to analyse the factors shaping the employment of military spouses/partners and to formulate recommendations for effective support services. The research involved five separate phases of data collection, undertaken between October 2017 and April 2018. Data was collected from an online survey with almost 1500 spouses/partners from all 3 Services, 32 telephone interviews, an online survey with 38 employers and 14 stakeholder interviews. The report, launched by AFF at the Royal Horseguards Hotel in London on Tuesday 19th June, with speakers including the Right Honourable Esther McVey, contains a series of key recommendations for supporting military spouses/partners into employment.

Lyonette, C., Barnes, S-A, Kispeter, E., Fisher, N. and Newell, K. (2018, June) 'Military spousal/partner employment: Identifying the barriers and support required' - report to Army Families Federation.

New publication: Online learning at the workplace

Research has shown that providing participants with high-quality learning material is not sufficient to help them profit most from online education. The level of interaction among participants is another key determinant for learning outcomes. However, merely proposing interaction does not automatically lead to fruitful discussion and collaboration. Specifically, social presence and facilitation activities add value to online discussions. In this paper, a framework for analysing online asynchronous discussions was applied in a workplace learning context and generated deeper insights into the dynamics of online discussions. The article can be downloaded from the journal's website.

Schaefer, T., Rahn, J., Kopp T., Fabian , C. and Brown, A. (2018). "Fostering online learning at the workplace: A scheme to identify and analyse collaboration processes in asynchronous discussions." British Journal of Educational Technology, Online Version of Record before inclusion in an issue .

Other publications


Nienhϋser, W. and Warhurst, C. (2018) ‘Comparative Employment Relations: Definitional, Disciplinary and Development Issues’ in Brewster, C. and Mayrhofer, W. (eds) Handbook of Research in Comparative Human Resource Management, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar. Behle, H. and Maher, S. (2018) Measuring 'Teaching Excellence' and 'Learning Gain' in the UK. Beiträge zur Hochschulforschung, Vol. 40 (2) 48-67.

New projects

• LMI for All, Department for Education
• Investment in technology, CIPD
• Evaluation, research and development support for Start, U-explore
• Research to support local skills supply and demand interventions, CITB (via IFF Research)
• Post-education job and career choices, Department for Education
• Literature review of student choices at 18, Department for Education
• The wider (non market) benefits of post 18 education, Department for Education

Find more information on IER's current projects.

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