Jo Cutter

Jo Cutter


My research focuses on employment relations, social dialogue and the regulation of work with a core focus on skills formation and training. I am currently researching these themes in relation to two contexts: workers and the just transition and labour mobility. Prior to joining LUBS, I worked for 15 years as a policy researcher and consultant in the fields of vocational training, lifelong learning and worforce development policy for governments, NGOs, HE and trade unions. I am interested in ensuring that academic research has impact and have written on the co-production of research between academics and other stakeholders


  • Bid Assessment Panel Member ESRC Impact Accelerator
  • Sustainability Blueprint Champion
  • Business and Social Sciences Ethics Committee

Research interests

  • Work, labour and climate change
  • Green jobs and skills
  • Employment relations of skills formation and training
  • Worker voice; social dialogue and the regulation of work
  • Labour migration and skills

 Current projects

Just Transitions Towards Net Zero Societies in 11 countries (2022-2025) Hans Boelker Stiftung (556k EUR), Prof. Vera Trappmann (PI) Dr. Denis Neuman 

The Future of Work in Just Transitions (2021-2022) British Academy (£15,000), Dr. Jo Cutter (PI) with Luisa Miranda, C40 Cities; Sam Mason, Public and Commercial Services Union;  Prof. Raphael Heffron, University of the West Indies; Prof. Keri Facer, University of Bristol; Prof.  Neil Adger, University of Exeter; Prof. Simon McGrath, University of Glasgow; Dr. Treasa De Loughry, University College Dublin; Dr. Melanie Levick-Parkin, Sheffield Hallam University; Dr. Leah Lovett, University College London, Dr. Mattia Dessi and Rachel Magdeburg, University of Leeds

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 

Previous Projects

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

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

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

Recent Reports


Decarbonising the Foundation Industries and the implications for workers and skills in the UK (2022)

Worker perceptions of climate change and the green transition (2021)

Evaluation of the Union Learning Fund (2016)

The impact of the Essential Skills in Wales programme (2013)

Selected Refereed Conference Papers

Trappmann, V., Cutter, J., Balderson, U., Schulz, F. (2022) Workers, trade unions and climate change: an (ambivalent) representation gap in the UK  International Labour Process Conference: Labour, Mobility and Mobilization of Workers, 21-23 April 2022, Padua,​

Trappmann, V., Schulz, F., Cutter, J., Balderson, U. (2022) Employment systems, workers and the green transition​ BUIRA 2022 , Why Employment Relations Matter(s) for Democratizing Work, 28-30th June, Birmingham​.

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.

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. (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

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 Work and Employment Relations, University of Leeds
  • Masters in Business and Economic Studies (by research), University of Leeds
  • BA (Hons) Economics, School of Economic Studies, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

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

Student education

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 am currently supervising Xiaorui Xing and her study into how changing institutions shape the labour market experience of the internal migrants in China. I am interested to supervise PGR students in the areas of 

  • Work, labour and climate change
  • Green jobs and skills
  • Employment relations of skills formation and training
  • Worker voice; social dialogue and the regulation of work
  • Labour migration and skills

Research groups and institutes

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