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Expert Workshop - methodological issues in estimating returns to Higher Education, Further Education and Skills

IER and Cambridge Econometrics are currently undertaking a review of the literature looking at seven key methodological issues in estimating returns to Higher Education, Further Education and Skills. The project is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

As a part of the project, a one day workshop is being hosted at the University of Warwick and is being chaired by Prof Peter Elias (IER). A number of academics will come together to hear findings from the review and to discuss their views and experiences of these issues. The aim of the study and the workshop is to set forth recommendations for BIS (and others) to utilise in future analysis so that the estimated economic value added of different forms of learning are robust and representative of the true underlying returns.

Futuretrack Findings

Findings from Stage 4 of the HECSU-funded Futuretrack study are highlighted in a special issue of Graduate Market Trends (GMT), published by HECSU (February 2013). An IER research team, led by Professor Kate Purcell, followed the progression of the 2005/2006 cohort of applicants to higher education from application to graduation. Data from the Futuretrack study has raised important questions about the types of employment obtained by graduates, finances, career opportunities and further study.

Further details about the research can be found on the IER website at: , where PDFs of the project’s published Reports and Working Papers can be accessed and downloaded, as can PDFs of the online questionnaires used for each stage of the longitudinal research.

Professor Purcell notes: "This is the most ambitious and comprehensive research ever undertaken to explore the relationship between higher education and access to opportunity. The data we have collected is extraordinarily rich, the published reports produced so far only show the tip of the iceberg . There is much more to come..!”

The challenges for disadvantaged young people seeking work

The UK labour market has become more challenging for all jobseekers, with unemployment particularly high among young people and those with limited education and skills. Research published today by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation describes the difficulty of job searching for young people seeking low-skilled work, examining three contrasting local labour market areas in England and Wales.

The report was co-authored by Professor Becky Tunstall (University of York) and Professor Anne Green (IER), Ruth Lupton, Simon Watmough and Katie Bates (LSE).

Maternal Employment in Britain and the US

Work by IER's Dr Clare Lyonette has been featured in an article on the University of Warwick's Knowledge Centre. The article reports on findings from recent research on the differences in couples' decisions to work while children are still young.

The article reflects findings from research undertaken for Dr Lyonette's prizewinning BSA Sage Prize for Excellence paper - ‘We both need to work’: maternal employment, childcare and health care in Britain and the USA - co-authored by Gayle Kaufman and Rosemary Crompton, which was published in Work, Employment and Society 25: 34-50.

BIS Reports on Apprenticeships

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has today published three reports on Apprenticeships, co-authored by IER and IFF Research.

The reports detail findings from research undertake by IER and IFF using the Apprentice Learner Survey of 5,000 apprentices and provide evidence of the real value of apprenticeships.

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