Jo Cutter

Jo Cutter


My research focuses on the employment relations, social dialogue and the regulation of work with a core focus on skills, education and training. I am currently researching these themes in relation to two contexts: the climate change mitigation strategies and work and labour mobility.

Prior to joining the academy in 2015, I worked for 15 years as a policy researcher and consultant in the field of skills and employment for governments, public agencies, NGOs, HE and trade unions.

I am also interested in participatory research and research impact and have written on the co-production of research between academics and other stakeholders


  • Sustainability Champion

Research interests

I am currently supervising one PHD student researching internal migration in China. I am interested in supervising projects related to the research interests noted above.

Research Grants 

I have successfully lead or contributed to the following research bids:

Just Transitions Towards Net Zero Societies in ten countries (2022-2025) Hans Boelker Stiftung (556k EUR), Prof. Vera Trappmann (PI) Dr. Denis Neuman 

The worker voice in Just Transitions to a low-carbon economy: building evidenced based policy making in Yorkshire and the Humber UKRI Research England (£32,313.00) Jo Cutter (PI) with Prof. Vera Trappmann

LIMITS project “Labour mobility in transition: a multi-actor study of the re-regulation of migrant work in 'low-skilled' sectors”  2021-2024 ESRC Standard grant (£972,000), Dr. Gabriella Alberti (PI), with Prof. Chris Forde, Dr. Marketa Dolezalova, Dr. Ioulia Bessa, Dr. Gary Graham, Dr. Zyama Ciupijus 

Responding to Brexit before Brexit: navigating the work and labour market impacts of the 2016 EU referendum Leeds Social Sciences Institute / ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (£14,402.50) Jo Cutter (PI) with Prof. Chris Forde and Dr. Gabriella Alberti 

Combating climate change: The role of labour LUBS Challenge Fund (£21,778) with Dr Vera Trappmann (PI)

The impact of Brexit on employers and employment rights LUBS/CERIC (£3,300) with Dr. Gabriella Alberti (PI), Dr. Ioulia Bessa, Dr. Zyama Ciupijus, Prof. Chris Forde

Theorising worker-employer relations in the new world of work 2018-9 BSA Early Career Network £990 with Dr Simon Joyce

Evaluation of the Union Learning Fund rounds 15-16 and support role of unionlearn TUC Unionlearn, (£127,622), Jan 2015, with Mark Stuart (PI) and Hugh Cook on collaboration with the University of Essex

Building capacity and reflexive learning for urban co-production, RCUK-N8, (£15,000), December 2014, with Paul Chatterton (PI) and Gary Dymski

The impact of the Essential Skills in Wales programme: counterfactual evaluation, Welsh Assembly Government, (LUBS £11,000), Dec 2013, in collaboration with York Consulting with Chris Forde (PI) and Ioulia Bessa

Refereed Conference Papers

Cutter, J. and Alberti, G. (2020) Transnational Labour Solidarity in Retreat? Freedom of Movement in the Shadow of Brexit ISA World Forum of Sociology, July 14-18, 2020, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Forde, C., Alberti, G., Bessa, I., Ciupijus, Z., Cutter, J., Roberts, M. (2019) Labour Migration and Stakeholders’ Role In The Making Of Brexit ILERA European Congress: Perspectives of Employment Relations in Europe, Düsseldorf, 5–7 September 2019

Trappmann, V. and Cutter, J. (2019) Trade Unions and Climate Change Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) 31st Conference Fathomless Futures: Algorithmic and Imagined, New York, 27th-29th June 2019.

Joyce, S. and Cutter, J. (2019) Not dead yet: emergent hybrid forms of resistance under fragmented collective bargaining. ILPC 2019 Special Stream, Vienna 24th-26th April 2019

Cutter, J. Ciupijus, Z. Alberti​, G. (2018) Imagining labour migration in a post-Brexit world:  the role of institutional actors shaping labour market governance in the UK​. Work, Employment & Society Conference, ​12-14 September 2018, Belfast​

Cutter, J. (2018) Learning to bargain in the workplace: the case of bargaining for skills in the UK. 18th International Labour and Employment Relations (ILERA) World Conference, Seoul July 23-27th 2018

Alberti, G., Cutter, J., Ciupijus, Z. (2018) United in Uncertainty: British Trade Unions (and other interest groups)’ Response to Migration in the Context of Brexit, XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology (July 15-21)

Cutter J., (2016) Revitalising what? Union learning reps and new (old) forms of activism, Work Employment and Society Conference: Work in Crisis, Leeds, UK


  • PhD Getting Learning into the Bargain, University of Leeds
  • Masters in Business and Economic Studies (by research): Gender attachment to the labour market
  • BA (Hons) Economics, School of Economic Studies, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA)
  • British Sociological Association (BSA)
  • British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA)
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • European Sociological Association (ESA)

Student education

Teaching Experience

My teaching experience covers undergraduate, Masters and Executive MBA level provision covering courses on economic and labour market institutions, sustainable business and the future of work, research methods and practice, introductory economics, international economic history (1870-1945) and management consulting.

I was the Director of the MSc in Management Consulting at the University of Leeds 2016/17- 2019/20.

I am the module leader for the module Sustainable Futures: Climate Change the Environment and Business

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change
  • Executive MBA
  • Sustainability