Distance travelled and soft outcomes for long-term unemployed review
The feasibility of developing a methodology for measuring the distance travelled and soft outcomes for long-term unemployed people participating in Active Labour Market Programmes has just been published by the European Commission.
Sally-Anne Barnes and Sally Wright undertook the review as part of the ESF funded European Transnational Employment Platform Project led by AEIDL. The aim of the review was to establish the scope for application of 'Distance Travelled Models', which could be adapted by those supporting long-term employed integration.
Sally-Anne and Sally also delivered a half day workshop for the Slovenian public employment services to support the development of a distance travelled model for the labour market programmes.
IER team visited India for project launch workshop in spring 2019
In late April/early May Clare Lyonette, Gaby Atfield and Sudipa Sarkar visited India for the first of a series of workshops as part of the ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund project 'Inequalities and skills acquisition in young people: Identification of factors affecting successful outcomes in the DDU-GKY Indian skills programme for unemployed young people’.
The IER team was joined by Bhaskar Chakravorty, an IER PhD student and research assistant, and Himadri Sinha, co-investigator on the project, based at Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS). During the first workshop visit, the IER team delivered workshops to Master's students at XISS on quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as engaged with key local stakeholders.
Harnessing growth sectors for poverty reduction
The first report on employment entry finds that there is potential for using a well-targeted, sector-focused approach to increase employment entry and help reduce poverty. Social care and the hospitality industry offer opportunities for sector-specific training programmes for people who find it difficult to access employment. But because these sectors are characterised by low pay policies need to promote career progression as well as job entry. The construction sector is also well placed to provide employment and training opportunities for local residents, and the government could encourage this through procurement and planning policies. There is also growing interest in the potential role of social enterprises in providing local jobs – especially with regard to repairs and maintenance of social housing. Sector-focused work experience is an important way of getting young people and unemployed adults skilled up for work.
The second report examines aspects of job quality. It finds that while job quality should be a critical issue for policymakers there is a lack of empirical evidence from approaches seeking to enhance job quality. Pay and job security are important elements of job quality, as are flexible employment practices that enable people to balance work and caring responsibilities. Trade unions can play an important role in improving job quality outcomes. Where there is evidence from sector-focused approaches to job quality these have sought to link changes in employment conditions with service improvements for employers; utilised procurement as an opportunity to shape job quality; or sought to encourage changes in business models as a precursor to improving job quality. There is a need to pilot and trial different approaches to improving job quality in different sectors and for different types of employment.
Knowledge, interchange & collaboration: Anne Green visits South Africa
In late September, IER's Anne Green travelled to South Africa at the invitation of the Human Sciences Research Council under the auspices of a National Research Foundation Knowledge, Interchange & Collaboration Grant. The purpose of her visit was to exchange knowledge on tackling unemployment issues in the UK, in order to feed into learning on poverty and inequality issues in South Africa. Anne gave a presentation at the Society of South African Geographers Centenary Conference in Stellenbosch and then travelled to Pretoria where she gave a Workshop and a Seminar on unemployment issues and labour market geographies.
Professor Rob Wilson contributes to NatWest's recent blog 'The 50% with Prospects?'. Drawing on IER's Working Futures work, produced by Rob with colleagues in IER and Cambridge Econometrics, he explains that, despite policies to reduce gender discrimination, the occupational employment structure remains “strongly segregated". Rob also talks about the losses of secretarial positions are expected to continue, but an uptick in the female-heavy caring and leisure sectors could provide a counterbalance. Find out more about the future labour market in Working Futures 2014-2014.