IER Newsletter - June 2020
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The shape of employment to come

In June, Chris Warhurst contributed to Warwick’s new Global Research Priorities (GRP) group’s debate on Productivity and the Futures of Work with a webinar on ‘The shape of employment to come’. It includes a 7-point plan for employment in a new UK industrial strategy. GRPs are interdisciplinary research groupings intended to respond to complex multi-faceted global problems through collaborative research excellence. The recorded presentation can be found here.

Skills and transformation of the EU Automotive sector

Terence Hogarth (as part of the FGB/EY team investigating skill needs in the automotive sector for the European Commission) moderated the 'Skills and Transformation of the EU Automotive Sector' webinar held on 27th May 2020. The webinar was convened on behalf of the European Commission to report on its sector blueprint studies looking at the automotive sector’s skill needs and how they might be met. The webinar will be followed by a high level conference, planned for 23 September 2020, to explore the sector’s skill needs in greater depth.
(Image credit: WMG)

Covid-19 blog series

The Covid crisis has had, and will continue to have, a massive impact on employment. Researchers at IER are producing a series of blogs on this impact, drawing on lessons from past research and based on new research specific to the crisis in the UK and internationally. Read short summaries of the latest blogs below.

Covid-19 blog series: A tale of two job vacancies: waitering and nursing

New labour market data released by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the small rise in unemployment recorded in May has held. Unemployment has not yet risen because of the furloughing scheme. However, the collapse in job vacancies is being taken as a marker of the massive unemployment to come. The aggregate vacancy data masks some significant variations by occupation. Experimental data analysis by the IER reveals falling and increasing demand for different jobs in the UK labour market. 
The data presented in this blog post by Jeisson Cardenas Rubio, Chris Warhurst and Sally-Anne Barnes are based on a new online job-scraping tool the IER is developing to extend the data available in its labour market information project, LMI for All. Using vacancy information scraped daily since February 2019 to date from two significant job portals in the UK, The Guardian and Reed, these data show for example a steep decline in waitering vacancies and a rising demand in nursing over time, as one might expect.
As the UK economy contracts over the year, identifying where the job opportunities exist will be vital, not just for career advisers and those working in job centres but also for the unemployed as they retrain or new entrants as they come on to the labour market looking for jobs. Read more

Covid-19 blog series: Towards a national database of the informal sector: pandemic response and future recommendations for Indonesia

After only a few months, the global Coronavirus pandemic has affected workers worldwide in a profound way. Strict social distancing and lockdown measures around the world have halted daily activities, presenting a threat to the livelihoods of billions of workers who rely on their daily earnings in the informal sector. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that almost 1.6 billion informal workers or nearly half of the global workforce are significantly affected by pandemic measures.
In Indonesia, 55% of the workforce or around 70 million people work in the informal sector. Unregistered, unregulated and unprotected by secure employment contracts and social safety nets, informal workers are some of the most vulnerable in the labour market.  Whilst the Indonesian Government has deployed a range of social assistance benefits to help Indonesians weather the crisis, these are not well suited to support the informal workers.
In this blog, Joanna Octavia discusses strategies that the government in Indonesia needs to consider in the short-term and the longer term to support these informal workers. Read more

Covid-19 blog series: The role of lifelong career guidance in a new and changing labour market

Since the start of the pandemic, the UK Government has described the numbers of individuals applying for Universal Credit as ‘unprecedented’ with 2.5 million applications since the lockdown in March. So with unemployment levels at an all-time high and global changes to work and labour markets as a result of the pandemic unavoidable, this is the time to think about enhancing the system of support and guidance in the UK. A system is needed that not only supports those out of work to return to the labour market, but also supports those who have had to change their role, and/or take on new roles.
A high quality, well resourced lifelong career guidance system can have an important role not only in supporting people back into work, but also helping people adapt to new ways of working and new types of labour markets by learning to adapt and innovate. Those in these new and emerging labour markets will need help to recognise their skills, and support to develop and continue their learning.
Based on a recent study of lifelong guidance in the UK and Europe, undertaken by IER and colleagues from the University of Jyväskylä, Sally-Anne Barnes, Jenny Bimrose and Alan Brown present eleven crucial features of robust lifelong guidance systems and lessons learnt from across Europe in this blog. Read more.

New projects

Apprenticeships with the Benefit of Hindsight - Edge Foundation and Gatsby Foundation

Find more information on IER's current projects.
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