Our research has had a significant impact on economic policy formation.
This impact is best exemplified by looking at two examples:
1) Safeguarding 10,000 jobs in Wales: providing the evidence base
for the introduction of the ProAct.
2) Providing critical evidence to the debate initiated by the
Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2011 for more market facing pay for
over 6 million public sector employees, which was subsequently abandoned
in 2012 in part based as a consequence of our research findings.
The underlying research on regional and labour economics spans over two
decades, involving the creation, since 2002, of 3 research centres (£2.4m
to Swansea) which, through 50 reports, have impacted directly on policy.
The research outlined below was instrumental in the development of a new
classification of graduate occupations, beyond a dichotomous
graduate/non-graduate distinction, which has become a standard typology
for analysing the graduate labour market. Policymakers and research
bodies, such as HECSU and Universities UK, have used it to better
understand the impact of higher education, labour market and wider social
policy reform, such as migration policy. Most UK HEIs have used this
typology to compare employment outcomes for their graduates and it has
also proved to be an important point of reference for careers advisors and
students to aid educational and career decision-making.
SKOPE has been an ESRC research centre since 1998. Successive pieces of
research on linked themes have cumulatively influenced thinking, and
practice, in policy circles and amongst practitioners more generally.
SKOPE is recognised by these constituents as providing important oversight
and challenging roles in the policy process, through its research on how
skills are acquired, and where and how they are best used in the labour
market. As indicated in a Frontier Economics report, its research
findings, built up over the years, have provided an influential British
critique of approaches to the making of skills policy.
This work has resulted in changes and amendments to specific policies and
processes not only in the UK (Train to Gain) but also in Australia (high
skill eco-systems), New Zealand (tertiary education) and within the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (skills and
The recommendations from this EOC funded research have had a demonstrable
impact upon policy. Government responded by implementing a national agenda
to challenge gender stereotypes and extend choices for young people which
included a review of work experience placements. Best Practice Guides
produced by EOC and distributed to key stakeholders foreground the study's
recommendations. At the local level, EBPs, LSC and schools have reformed
practice and piloted a range of initiatives. In response to the
recommendations made through this research, the construction of the London
2012 Olympic Games site met targets for greater gender equality —
specifically non-traditional placements for women.
This case study describes the impact of research on improving employment
outcomes for disadvantaged groups by influencing Government policy on
employability. The case study focuses on the contribution to national
employment policy from research conducted by the Employment Research
Institute (ERI) at Edinburgh Napier University. Impacts outlined in this
case study describe research that has been applied in the public policy
field to address the issue of improving employment outcomes for those with
complex barriers to employment.
Research by the University of Edinburgh (1997 to 2006, but part of a
continuing programme of work) on socio-economic inequalities in education
and the impact of educational reform has had an impact on public policy
debates, mainly in Scotland. The significance of the impact is seen in the
raised profile of socio-economic inequalities in policy agendas and the
extent to which it has informed the design of policy responses and
influenced policy debates. It has played an important role in holding the
public policy process to account, by providing the main independent
evidence base on the actual and potential contribution of policy. Its
reach has extended to include policy-makers and participants in public
debates about education and, indirectly, pupils and students.
European employment research at Manchester Business School's European
Work and Employment Research Centre (EWERC) has had a significant impact
on international policymaking bodies, specifically the European Commission
(EC), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the International
Labour Organisation (ILO). Demonstrated policy impact includes: the
defining and strengthening of a gender mainstreaming and gender pay policy
in Europe; technical improvements in the European Commission's approach to
the European Employment Strategy (EES) (which all EU member states are
required to report on and implement); and greater precision (regarding
up-to-date data and the functioning of labour market institutions) in EC
and ILO policy recommendations on low wage work, minimum wages and
regulation for decent work.
Research carried out at the University of Glasgow directly resulted in an
increased understanding of the complexity of modern youth transitions,
helped to ensure that policy-makers understood the implications of their
focus on the NEET group (Not in Education, Employment or Training), drew
attention to the implications of precarious forms of work and highlighted
the potential for acute social withdrawal among young people who
experience difficult transitions in employment. This work has been widely
covered by the media, has informed the development of a European agenda on
vulnerable youth and was used as part of the response by the International
Trade Union Congress to the G20 summit in Mexico.
"Gender equality in employment is recognised by policy makers and
advisors (such as the Low Pay Commission) as an extremely important policy
area." (Factual statement 1. Chief Economist and Deputy Secretary, Low Pay
Commission); affecting as it does, all employees in the UK labour market.
Research at the University of York analyses the gender wage gap at a
national level, making a new contribution to the understanding of wage
inequality in the UK. The three major stakeholder government departments
(Low Pay Commission, Government Equalities Office, and Department for
Business, Innovation and Skills) have used the research findings and
policy recommendations in their wage policy development to reduce the
gender wage gap in the UK. The report was personally identified by the
Minister for Employment Relations as making an important contribution to
the development of policy.