X Close

Institute of Education Blog

Home

Expert opinion from academics at the UCL Institute of Education

Menu

Archive for the 'Employment and skills' Category

Filling a youth-shaped gap in the FE White Paper: Reducing inequalities in post-16 progression

Blog Editor, IOE Digital16 February 2021

How long must women wait for equal pay?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital2 February 2021

Bożena Wielgoszewska, Alex Bryson, Francesca Foliano, Heather Joshi, and David Wilkinson.

You might expect slow and steady progress in narrowing the gap between men’s and women’s earnings – but history has less straightforward lessons.

Findings from our gender wage gap project show that the differences between men’s and women’s earnings have decreased, but the progress has slowed in recent years. Dramatic change only took place with major events, such as war or a big policy initiative. Later cohorts face better conditions, but the gap is still large and, at our estimated rate of convergence, it will not close for another 40 years.

The covid-19 pandemic has further highlighted labour market inequalities and raised questions about the future progression towards gender equality. Some expect that more widespread flexible working and normalisation of working from home will lead to greater equality. But others argue that progress will be reversed for women, jeopardised by taking a bigger share of housework and childcare during lockdown.

Our analysis focused on two British birth cohorts, one born in 1958 (tracked up to age 55), and one born in 1970 (more…)

FE White Paper: boost for status of colleges needs proper funding to make it fly

Blog Editor, IOE Digital25 January 2021

Andy Green.

The much-delayed Government White Paper on skills (Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunities and Growth), published last Thursday, holds few surprises; it has already been widely trailed in Government announcements and reforms over the past year. What is most notable, though – and very welcome –  is its unusually strong statements about the centrality of Further Education Colleges to the Government’s skills agenda in post-Brexit Britain, arguably a distinctive contribution from the current Secretary of State for Education.

In his strategic speech to the Social Market Foundation last June, Gavin Williamson positioned himself as the champion of Further Education and the ‘forgotten 50 percent’ who do not go to university. He promised to be the Secretary of State who would finally ensure that technical education in Britain achieved the prominence and status it deserved.

His rationale is widely shared: that ‘building back’ after the pandemic will require a sustained focus on addressing the shortages in higher technical skills which have been growing in recent years and will be amplified by Brexit. FE colleges can be – and should be – central to this endeavour, he says, and (more…)

Teachers under pressure: working harder, but with less control over how they do their jobs

Blog Editor, IOE Digital20 January 2021

Francis Green.

It must be exhilarating, if challenging, to set out for the first time on a teaching career in Britain’s schools. But, from eye-witness reports in recent years, for some new recruits the strains are not long arriving. Now, as a new term gets underway, the chaos surrounding the pandemic can only be adding to the pressures that teachers have laboured under for a long time.

The stats suggest that dissatisfaction is not confined to an unhappy few. In England, among the newly qualified teachers in 2014, some 14 percent had left after a year; after five years, a third had gone. It seems quite a waste. Teacher retention has been declining for some while, and had fallen yet again in 2019 — despite attempts to stem the tide.

What is it about the job of teaching nowadays (more…)

Will Covid-19 vaccines be enough to get the economy back on track, curb youth unemployment, and mitigate mental health effects?.

Blog Editor, IOE Digital12 January 2021

Golo Henseke.

With the country in the third national lookdown, a Covid-19 free future can sometimes be hard to imagine. But the roll out of first vaccines, albeit slow, does fuel hopes that we can put the health crisis behind us before too long. But how swiftly will the economic recovery follow, and what will this mean for our nation’s young people?

Our new project examining the Covid-19 pandemic’s impacts on youth employment, learning and well-being has received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). We will provide robust evidence on the pandemic’s consequences for young people’s employment, learning, and well-being.

A swift economic recovery seems essential to keep people in work or help them return to paid employment. Despite the successful furlough scheme which protected workers from the worst, young people have been hit (more…)

Making post-GCSE decisions during the Covid-19 crisis: the need for action

Blog Editor, IOE Digital16 May 2020

Lorna Unwin, Ruth Lupton, Stephanie Thompson, Sanne Velthuis, republished from the BERA blog.

In the public debate about the impacts of the Covid-19 lockdown on education, much attention has understandably been given to concerns about disadvantaged children falling behind at school, and to the potential impact of the estimation of examination grades on young people’s post-school prospects.

Much less has been heard about disruption to the practical processes that would normally be getting underway now as 16-year-olds decide their post-GCSE future. So it was good to hear David Johnston MP at the House of Commons’ education committee’s session with Gavin Williamson (starts 10.09am) urging the secretary of state to monitor destinations data as a measure of the Department for Education’s success in mitigating the impacts of the crisis. Responding, Williamson expressed concern that young people who are out of school or college this spring and summer may not be urged to take up the opportunities available to them.

Our ongoing research for the Nuffield Foundation focusses on the post-school transitions of young people who do not achieve the benchmark grade 4+ in English and maths. This group is more likely than their higher-attaining peers to be disadvantaged and/or to have special educational needs. In 2019, 23 per cent of
(more…)

How women managers close the gender wage gap

Blog Editor, IOE Digital24 October 2019

Alex Bryson, John Forth and Nikos Theodoropoulos 

In the last few decades there has been what has been called ‘a grand gender convergence‘. Women now outperform men in educational attainment and are closing the gap in labour market experience. 

These trends are common across much of the developed world. Yet a gender wage gap persists, with women earning substantially less than men. While the gap has been closing the rate of convergence is slow. Britain’s 1970 Equal Pay Act came into force in 1975 yet in 2017 the raw gender wage gap in median hourly pay was 18.4 per cent.

What can be done? In our study we ask: 

(more…)

Do people change their political ideology when they lose their job? If anything, they move to the left

Blog Editor, IOE Digital16 August 2019

Dingeman Wiertz and Toni Rodon.

What happens to citizens’ political preferences when they are confronted with economic hardship? This longstanding question has recently attracted renewed attention in the wake of the Great Recession.

Nonetheless, many matters remain unresolved. For example, which types of preferences are affected? Are we mainly talking about views on concrete policy issues and politicians’ approval ratings, or are more deep-seated convictions such as political ideology also influenced? And are all people equally affected by experiences of economic hardship, or do such events elicit a bigger response from some groups than from others?

In a recently published study, we take these questions to the data. We (more…)

How the trade union approach to learning helps workers overcome maths phobia

Blog Editor, IOE Digital1 August 2019

Beth Kelly.

The more collaborative style of learning led by trade unions in the workplace helps people to become more motivated and confident about learning and using mathemtics. Indeed, my new research shows that even long-held negative feelings towards mathematics can be overcome.

The study, published in Motivating adults to learn mathematics in the workplace: a trade union approach, finds a strong link between developing adult learners’ confidence and the support provided by local social networks and the particular pedagogic processes promoted by trade unions in the workplace. However, there is still much debate about the value of using trade union resources to support such skills development. This is despite evidence from government-funded research showing that it is one of the ‘few effective existing models of work-based support for mathematics and English’ and (more…)

How an apprenticeship in the arts helps bridge the move from care into further education and fulfilling work

Blog Editor, IOE Digital23 May 2019

Katie Hollingworth.

Young people who have been in care face significant obstacles as they make the transition into adulthood. Statistics on the outcomes for this group are troubling. Almost 40% of care experienced young people are not in education, training or employment at ages 19-21, compared with 13% of the age group overall.

Yet it is essential for these young people to have the rich range of opportunities available to others, to work in industry, government and the arts. Programmes such as ‘Tracing our Tales’, an art-based training scheme run by the Foundling Museum are making this possible.

Improving outcomes for care experienced young people is a key policy area (more…)