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Report on Improving career prospects for the low-educated

Cedefop report coverThe narrative study led by Professor Jenny Bimrose with colleagues from IER and partners in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy and Poland has been published by Cedefop who commissioned the research.

The report draws both on literature review and an original collection of stories from biographical interviews of individuals from seven European countries. The narrative accounts describe the wide variety of experiences with initial and further education. The analysis focuses on motivations for learning (or not) and the findings confirm that early negative experiences with schooling have a scarring effect inhibiting workers’ willingness to re-engage in education later in life. Nevertheless, many low-educated adults were found to command a variety of skills, which they have developed in the work context.

CEDEFOP/Bimrose, J., Brown, A., Barnes, S-A., Thomsen, R., Cort, P., Mariager-Anderson, K., Rochet, S., Mulvey, R., Hansen, B., Weber, P., Weber-Hauser, S., Tomassini, M., Zanazzi, S., Kargul, J., Minta, J., Mielczarek, M. and Sprlak, T. (2016) Improving career prospects for the low-educated: The role of guidance and lifelong learning (Cedefop Research Paper 54). Thessaloniki: CEDEFOP.

Call for Papers "Vocational Behavior of Refugees"

The Journal of Vocational Behavior (ABDC A*) is inviting papers on "Vocational Behavior of Refugees: How do Refugees Seek Employment, Overcome Work-Related Challenges, and Navigate their Careers?”.

Over the last two years we have witnessed the largest migration of refugees in history. As of early 2016 over 4.7 million people have fled the civil war in Syria and the terror regime of the so-called “Islamic State” in both Syria and Iraq, and a significant number presently live in refugee camps in the Middle East (UNHCR, 2016). The effects of this crisis have been immense, not only in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, but also in countries such as Greece, Germany, Hungary, and Austria, which are the final destinations for many refugees, and countries which have agreed to resettle smaller numbers of refugees from the conflict zones including Canada and Australia. The government authorities in these countries are in the process of developing policies to deal with the immediate influx of refugees, but also have to think of ways in which to integrate refugees into the mainstream society in the medium to long term.

Integration into mainstream society is an extremely challenging process for many refugees (Yakushko, Backhaus, Watson, Ngaruiya and Gonzalez, 2008). In addition to applying for asylum status and refugee resettlement and seeking family reunification, and learning the culture and language of the host country, refugees also have to seek employment to support the immediate needs of their families and re-establish a livelihood (Colic-Peisker and Tilbury, 2006). Policy makers have begun to recognize the importance of assisting refugees to obtain employment quickly, as stable employment amongst refugees has been found to reduce welfare dependency and to enhance the educational and health outcomes amongst the children of refugee families (Khoo, 2005; Pernice and Brook, 1996). However, current knowledge of how refugees, practitioners, organizations, and policy makers negotiate these issues is very limited (Morrice, 2011). Very few studies have examined refugees’ vocational behavior, including seeking employment, overcoming work-related challenges and traumata, and navigating careers after leaving their home country. In addition, we have limited understanding as to how organizations, practitioners, and policy makers can best assist refugees in the adaptation process.

In order to improve our understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by refugees in seeking work, overcoming challenges and traumata, and adapting their careers, this special issue of invites articles that will discuss these issues.

Guest editors: Alex Newman, Deakin University; Jenny Bimrose, IER, University of Warwick; Ingrid Nielsen, Deakin University; and Hannes Zacher, Queensland University of Technology.

NOW LIVE - the new EU Skills Panorama morning, marks the launch of the new EU Skills Panorama - brought to you by the European Commission and powered by Cedefop. IER is pleased to be a part of a Consortium supporting Cedefop by providing data analysis and intelligence on skills and labour markets for the new Skills Panorama. This consortium is composed of Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini, Cambridge Econometrics, RAND Europe and the University of Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research.

In the Skills Panorama launch video, James Calleja, Director of Cedefop, highlights that the Skills Panorama "combines labour market data and expert knowledge with powerful technology that enables you to surf Europe's skills landscape for information and data to find intelligence and evidence to enable informed decisions and choices about skills in Europe." The Skills Panorama "places the best available information on skills and the labour market in Europe at your fingertips".

The new website will provide a more comprehensive and user-friendly central access point for information and intelligence on skill needs in occupations and sectors across Europe. Data can be explored by skills themes, sectors, occupations and countries. It is intended primarily for policy-makers and experts, providing them with a tool for developing evidence-based education and training and planning policy, including measures to tackle labour market mismatches.

See the launch video and the new Skills Panorama at:

For further details of IER's involvement contact: Terence Hogarth or Lynn Gambin

IER Business Class Evaluation report published

On 26 November, Business in the Community published its report Destiny should not be determined by demography which considers the impact of school-business partnerships on young people’s employability, as well as the effects of such partnerships on schools and businesses. The report is based on research carried out by Terence Hogarth and Lynn Gambin at the Institute for Employment Research which aimed to assess the impact of employer-engagement activities, the uplift of employability skills and added-value impact on pupils of the Business Class programme. This research was carried out over the past two years in conjunction with Education and Employers Research.

The full evaluation report can be downloaded from

Lorraine Johnson won the postgraduate student 2015 poster presentation competition

lorraine_johnson_june_2015_final_1.jpgPostgraduate students from across the University of Warwick were offered the opportunity to practice disseminating their research to a non-specialist audience through a poster and presentation exercise. The Social Science Faculty Prize went to Lorraine Johnson a postgraduate student at the Institute for Employment Research. Her research focuses on the nature of career support available to professional women aged fifty to state pension age navigating the labour market.

Thu 11 Jun 2015, 15:16 | Tags: phd, Research, careers

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