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Peter Dickinson

Research interests

Peter has been a researcher/evaluator for his whole career and has directed, managed and delivered over 100 research, evaluation and support projects. These projects have involved:

  • a range of clients (supra national, national, subregional, local government and third sector organisations);

  • a number of policy areas (learning and skills, employment, economic development, worklessness, poverty, social isolation and sustainable development);

  • across the learning and skills agenda: schools, FE, HE, careers and IAG, enterprise, apprenticeships, NEET, foundation learning, e-learning, offender learning, financial and pastoral support, employer co-funding, learner loans, qualification reform, employability, functional skills, ESOL, green skills, area reviews, and local skills strategies;

  • projects ranging in budget size from £5k to £500k, often managing several projects simultaneously;

  • employing different quantitative and qualitative research methods (often using multi-method approaches):

  • qualitative research methods, including: process evaluations; literature reviews; rapid evidence reviews; policy analysis; behavioural insights; comparative analyses; focus groups with learners, residents, employers, providers; face-to-face and telephone surveys and interviews, and; peer review;

  • quantitative research methods, including: impact analysis; cost benefit analysis (Social Return on Investment and Net Present Value), and; telephone, postal and e-surveys;

  • developing management information systems and performance frameworks for Jobcentre Plus, Government Departments and subregional organisations.

Rigorous data and information analyst:

  • qualitative analysis: thematic and contextual analysis;
  • NVivo, systematic literature reviews, grounded theory, and delphi methods;
  • quantitative analysis: regression, cross tabulation using Excel and SPSS;
  • triangulating qualitative and quantitative analysis forward planning to embed structures facilitating triangulation of information and data.

Academic profile

Peter Dickinson joined IER as a Senior Research Fellow in 2017. Prior to this Peter was a Principal Researcher at Warwick Economics and Development and Lead Technical Researcher at ICF (formerly GHK). Whilst at ICF he led on the management of the BIS Research Framework Contract and on the UK learning and skills offer. He also developed ICF's approach to the impact analysis of social programmes.

Currrent projects

  • Alternative Provision Workforce Research. With Beate Baldauf and Gaby Atfield. Funded by the Department for Education. Project Start Date: Sep 2019 - Project End Date: March 2020 [Details]
  • An analysis of the job creation and retention abilities of cooperatives and social enterprises. With Chris Warhurst and Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini (FGB). Funded by the European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound). Project Start Date: February 2018 - Project End Date: January 2019
  • The Impact of Accountancy Apprenticeships. With Beate Baldauf, Erika Kispeter and Gaby Atfield, Funded by Kaplan. Project Start Date: February 2019 - Project End Date: February 2020 (Details)
  • All projects

Selected publications

  • Dickinson, P. (2019) Choices students make between different post-18 education routes. London: Department for Education
  • Luchinskaya, D. and Dickinson, P. (2019). The adult skills gap: is falling investment in UK adults stalling social mobility? London: Social Mobility Commission (Social Mobility Commission Report).
  • Skills Advisory Panels Feasibility Study, Forthcoming. Department for Education
  • Work experience and vocational/technical provision for young people on SEN support, December 2018. Department for Education
  • Report of the West Midlands Productivity & Skills Commission, August 2018. West Midlands Combined Authority Productivity & Skills Commission
  • The impact of the apprenticeship levy, June 2017. Association of Employment and Learning Providers
  • Evaluation of the Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund: Interim Report, March 2017. HEFCE
  • Evaluation of STRIVE employment support for homeless people, 2015. DCLG

    Evaluation of Getting Ahead: the Symud Ymlaen/Moving Forward project —Interim Report, December 2014. Big Lottery Fund
  • Research on Understanding Localised Policy Interventions in Business Support and Skills, 2013. BIS Research Paper No. 156, BIS.

  • International Evidence Review on Co-funding for Training, 2013. BIS Research Paper No. 116, BIS.

  • Evaluation of the European Social Fund Innovation, Transnational and Mainstreaming projects, 2012. DWP Research Report No. 817, DWP.

All publications

All conference presentations



Senior Research Fellow

Institute for Employment Research
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

Tel: +44(0)24 76524420
Fax: +44(0)24 76 550860

P dot Dickinson at warwick dot ac dot uk