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IER Newsletter - September 2020
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Research calls for more support for Senior Non-Commissioned Officers to improve their employment prospects after leaving the Armed Forces

A new report, published by the Forces in Mind Trust on September 23rd 2020, finds that the experience and skillset of Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) are often misunderstood and under-valued in the civilian labour market. The report states that SNCOs’ unique skills, combined with their length of time in service, may put them at a disadvantage when they leave the Armed Forces and have to compete with civilians for jobs. The research, undertaken by a team at IER and QinetiQ, found that SNCOs often join the military at a very young age and can struggle to find employment when they leave service. The majority of SNCO veterans who took part in the research said they found it overwhelming to have to deal with the practicalities of civilian life at the same time as trying to find employment, and 23% found their lack of interview experience to be very challenging. Negative attitudes from potential employers were also found to be a barrier. The report outlines recommendations for SNCOs to support their own transition as well as calling for more support from Government, business, and Armed Forces charities to ensure SNCOs’ skills are better understood and utilised by civilian employers. Read more in the press release.

Lyonette, C., Barnes, S-A., Owen, D. and Poole, S. (IER), Fisher, N. and Newell, K. (QinetiQ) (2020). Senior Non-Commissioned Officers and Employment after leaving the UK Armed Forces. London: Forces in Mind Trust.

Covid 19 - Employer incentives for apprenticeships

Warwick IER was commissioned by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to advise on how incentives can support employer apprenticeships during and beyond the Covid-19 crisis.

The study involved an international review of evidence on the financial and other incentives countries use to stimulate employer investment in apprenticeships. It explored:  
  • where employer incentives have worked best;
  • how they were targeted;
  • which instruments were used; and
  • the risks and opportunities of different incentives.
The report provided an assessment of how incentive best practice might be applied in Scotland the short-, medium- and longer term, based on an analysis of Scottish apprenticeship data and consultations with international Vocational Education and Training (VET) experts.


 

How do employers set the wages of apprentices?

Warwick IER has been commissioned by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to undertake research into how employers set the pay of their apprentices. This builds on findings from the Apprentice Pay Survey 2018/19 which suggests that significant proportions of apprentices are paid below the National Minimum Wage (NMW).  

The study involves:
  •  a rapid evidence review on how employers set wages;
  •  an analysis  of the Apprentice Pay Survey 2018/19  to identify the characteristics associated with apprentice low pay;
  •  a survey of employers across those apprenticeship Frameworks and Standards where low pay is most prevalent.


 

Making Industrie 4.0  work for all

Based on research from the Beyond 4.0 project examining the future of work and welfare, Chris Warhurst was invited to deliver a talk in September on ‘The challenges and opportunities in the digitalisation of production’. The talk, co-presented with Steven Dhondt of the Dutch TNO, centred on making Industrie 4.0  work for all in an inclusive Europe. It was delivered to the  Oesterreichische Nationalbank/European Money & Finance Forum event ‘25 years of EU Northern Enlargement’ held virtually in Vienna in September. The talk was based on a chapter in a report of the same name also published at the same time.

Nigerian medical doctor’s return migration: Mohammed Abdullahi presents at The Migration Conference

Mohammed Abdullahi, an IER ESRC funded student researching the Return Migration of Nigerian Doctors in the UK, presented at The Migration Conference (TMC), held online 8-11 September. In his presentation, titled 'What are the return propensities of Nigerian medical doctors in the UK?', he spoke about the challenges that the Nigerian health service is facing due to the migration of its doctors to the UK. Using mixed methods, his research will investigate the factors that could facilitate the return migration of Nigerian doctors.

Time to rethink the design of jobs so that they deliver good health for workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed job-related health risks leading to fatalities amongst frontline health and social workers and worsened physical and mental health for other essential workers as well as non-essential workers.
In May, the BBC reported that people working in social care in England and Wales were twice as likely to die of COVID-19 as the general working-age population. The number of deaths is likely to be higher now. At the same time, working from home for some workers has brought its own health problems. Numerous reports cite the stress of juggling work and care responsibilities or simply from feeling socially isolated. Recent surveys of more than 3500 adults carried out by the Office for National Statistics conclude that one in five have experienced depression since COVID-19 took hold – compared to one in ten previously. Other reports have highlighted the aches and pains of using chairs and tables designed for other purposes.
In this blog, Chris Warhurst and Christian van Stolk look at the cost of poorly designed jobs, the evidence on job-related ill-health and recent debates on improving jobs. They then discuss what needs to happen next.

Interested in other Covid-19 blogs? Read more here.

New projects


To further our understanding of how employers set pay for apprentices, Low Pay Commission

Find more information on IER's current projects.
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