Welcome to the IER Newsletter for February 2014.
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New IER Senior Research Fellow: Sally Wright
Sally Wright will be joining the IER in February 2013. Sally comes from the Workplace Research Centre (WRC) at The University of Sydney Business School where she has been the project manager and lead researcher for the Award Reliance project. This was a major project commissioned by the Fair Work Commission (FWC, Australian federal government agency responsible for setting minimum wages). The project involved conducting a survey of over 11,000 Australian businesses about their wage-setting practices and reliance on minimum wages. The findings are being used by the Australian Minimum Wages Panel in the 2013-14 Minimum Wage Review.
Before joining the WRC, Sally worked for five years as a National Industrial Officer for the Finance Sector Union of Australia and in IR, employment and VET in the New South Wales public sector. She has undertaken consultancy work for a range of clients including the NSW MERSITAB, UNESCO and UNESCAP.
Sally will be working on a range of IER projects following her research interests on job quality, working time arrangements, pay equity, executive remuneration, workplace health and safety, restructuring, retirement and superannuation and work-life balance. She is currently undertaking doctoral studies in the field of job quality.
Anne Green discusses the value of the Employers Skills Survey
Researchers at IER have made use of information and intelligence from the Employers Skills Survey in several projects - including research by David Owen, Yuxin Li and Anne Green on differences in skills and training between urban and rural areas (See: 'Secondary Analysis of Employer Surveys: Urban and Rural Differences in Jobs, Training, and Skills'. UKCES Evidence Report 75).
A short film (entitled ESS 13: The Reach of our Research) by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, including Professor Anne Green talking about the survey, was screened at the launch event for the 2013 Employer Skills Survey on 30 January 2014.
Professor Anne Green comments on falling unemployment figures for BBC Midlands
Professor Anne Green was interviewed for BBC Midlands (22 January 2014) commenting on the falling levels of unemployment in the West Midlands. Anne talked about what the figures mean for young people and other vulnerable groups who are still at a higher risk of being unemployed. Video is available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-25845014
IER at Warwick in Westminster
The University of Warwick hosted its second annual ‘Warwick in Westminster’ parliamentary reception on 15th January 2014 at 7pm on the House of Commons Terrace. Bringing together senior alumni, advocates and friends of the University currently working in the political arena, the Warwick in Westminster reception is a celebration of the University, the political achievements of our graduates, and of higher education in general.
Warwick alumnus, Sir Bob Kerslake, Head of the Home Civil Service and Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government delivered the evening’s keynote address. The event was hosted by Director of the Warwick Policy Lab and alumna, Siobhan Benita. The reception was kindly sponsored by Chris White, MP for Warwick and Leamington. Following the outstanding success of last year’s inaugural event, where Lord Gus O’Donnell delivered an address to over 90 alumni and friends of the University from across the world of politics and policy, this year’s reception was held in the larger venue of the House of Commons Terrace.
IER Director, Professor Chris Warhurst, Professor Jenny Bimrose and Professor Alan Brown attended, together with IER Associate FellowsDr. Deirdre Hughes, OBE and Professor Rachel Mulvey.
IER research at the ESRC Seminar Series on Entrepreneurship in homes and neighbourhoods
Anne Green gave a presentation entitled 'Developments in Internet-enabled employment: implications for entrepreneurship, employability, the quality of employment and local embeddedness' on behalf of the IER CROWDEMPLOY project team (Maria de Hoyos, Sally-Anne Barnes, Beate Baldauf and Heike Behle) in Glasgow at the introductory seminar in this ESRC Seminar Series on 23-24 January 2014.
The full seminar programme is available.
ESRC seminar series on work-life balance in recession and beyond kicks off
The first seminar in the ESRC series ‘Work-life Balance in the Recession and Beyond’ took place at Middlesex University on 17 January 2014. The theme of this first seminar was ‘What is WLB in a time of financial crisis and austerity?’ and was attended by around 50 academics, practitioners, union and business representatives, among others. Speakers focused on the changing nature of WLB policies, practices and discourses and public sector cuts during the recession (Prof. Suzan Lewis, Middlesex); whether or not WLB is really family-friendly and the implications for policy change (Dr. Dalia Ben-Galim, IPPR); the place of gender equality in current WLB debates across Europe (Prof. Olga Salido, Madrid); and working-time capabilities during economic austerity across Europe (Prof. Colette Fagan, Manchester). Discussants were Stephen Williams (ACAS), Laura Addati (ILO) and Dr Ian Roper (Middlesex). The next seminar will be held on 11 April 2014 at Manchester University, with the theme 'WLB, fairness and social justice in the recession'.
The third seminar in the series will be held at the University of Warwick on 10 July 2014, hosted by Clare Lyonette from IER.
An article by Dr Milena Kremakova (who joined IER in October 2013 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow) has been published.
Kremakova, M. (2013) Too Soft for Economics, Too Rigid for Sociology, or Just Right? The Productive Ambiguities of Sen’s Capability Approach. European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie, 54(3), 393-419.
Doncaster College welcomes IER PhD student
Szulvia Schmitsek, who recently started her PhD at IER, will be undertaking part of her research at Doncaster College. Szilvia, is researching student retention strategies that help young people integrate into the education system and/or the world of work. Her research will also take her to Hungary and Denmark. Doncaster College are very pleased to have been chosen for Szilvia's UK case study and report that they offer outstanding support for students, particularly those who are at risk of social exclusion.
See Szilvia Schmitsek's profile
Article on use of graduate skills published in Graduate Market Trends
Daria Luchinskaya, now in the final year of her PhD at IER, has published an article entitled 'Do graduates use the skills and knowledge gained from their degrees?' in Graduate Market Trends (GMT). GMT is the quarterly journal of the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU).
The findings reported in the article form part of Daria's PhD research on graduate skill utilisation in UK small businesses. Her PhD is funded by an ESRC CASE Studentship in conjunction with HECSU as the collaborating partner and builds on the Futuretrack longitudinal survey of students who applied through UCAS in 2005/06 to study full-time undergraduate courses at UK higher education institutions.
See Daria Luchinskaya's profile