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.
Upcoming roundtable event - ICT skills and online platforms for social inclusion
IER's Dr Sally-Anne Barnes and Professor Anne Green in collaboration with Professor Leela Damodaran from Loughborough University will be hosting a free roundtable event to identify the role of online platforms in providing opportunities for a better work-life balance in terms of new modes of working and new types of community engagement.The event to be held at the University of Warwick on 28 November (12-5pm) is being funded by the EPSRC Balance Network.
If you would like to attend please contact Lynne Marston. Places are limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
New book on work-life balance in austerity and beyond
Dr Clare Lyonette is the co-author of a new book which has just been published by Routledge, including chapters from academics and practitioners on the impact of the recession and austerity policies in work-life balance policies and practices, particularly how they affect our ability to achieve the triple agenda of individuals' work-life balance and wellbeing, workplace effectiveness and social justice.
A chapter co-authored by Clare highlights recent research on flexible working arrangements and how they are being used by public sector organisations in the UK to manage austerity. It also discusses some implications of these developments in 'new ways of working'
Lewis, S., Anderson, D., Lyonette, C., Payne, N. and Wood, S. (2016) Work-Life Balance in Times of Recession, Austerity and Beyond. London and New York: Routledge.
IER welcomes Dr Zaiton Hassan
IER would like to welcome Dr Zaiton Hassan from the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak who will be visiting IER from February. Zaiton is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. Whilst at IER, Dr Hassan will be completing her book on Work-Life Balance in Malaysia and working with IER staff with similar interests.
Forthcoming seminar 'Prolonging working life through ICT: the role of crowdsourcing'
IER is hosting an EPSRC funded Balance Network seminar on'Prolonging working life through ICT: the role of crowdsourcing'. The one day seminar will explore how crowdsourcing has changed the boundary between work and home, enabling older people to remain part of the labour force and perhaps achieve a new work-life balance. The interactive seminar will be held on 3 March at the University of Warwick. Click here to register your interest.