Calum Carson

Profile

I have recently completed a PhD on the UK Living Wage, with a focus on both the workers who benefit from it and on the employers who voluntarily adopt Living Wage rates, and have a research background which ranges from the implications for the world of work of the emergence of the gig economy, to the stigmatisation of social security support claimants across the UK welfare state. At present I am working with CERIC colleague Dr David Robertshaw on an international project exploring the impact of digitalisation on employment support services in the UK and Australia, alongside Dr Jo Ingold of Deakin University, and funded by the Digit Research Centre.

I have previously worked as a researcher at the International Labour Organisation, Geneva, where my research focused on the development of non-standard forms of employment, and how better to extned social protections to gig economy workers. Beyond academia, I currently hold a Labour Market and Policy Research Officer position at the Employment Related Services Association(ERSA), where my work has a particular focus on youth unemployment and the strategies by which it can be effectively alleviated across the UK.

Throughout my doctoral research I held the role of PhD Network Coordinator for the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA), independently and collectively organised and managed several academic conferences, and as a founding member helped to create the World of Work interdisciplinary research network. In 2016 I took a period of leave from my doctoral research to take up a position at the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, focusing on research surrounding non-standard forms of employment and the implications of the growth of precarious work within the gig economy. I have acquired research experience outside of my own thesis on several other research projects, ranging from an exploration of worker resistance within the platform economy, to partnerships between employers and trade unions in helping workers develop new skills, to the role and impact of increasing forms of digitalisation in the employment support sector.

I continue to hold the role of Editorial Manager for the academic journal Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy (ASAP), and am a trustee board member and vice-chair of a local charity that specialises in providing welfare and legal support for at-home workers. Outside of academia, I am a keen photographer. 

Research interests

I am primarily interested in issues of income inequality, the decent work agenda, and wider changing trends in the world of work. I have a research background which ranges from the implications for the world of work of the emergence of the gig economy, to the stigmatisation of social security support claimants across the UK welfare state. At present I am working with CERIC colleague Dr David Robertshaw on an international project exploring the impact of digitalisation on employment support services in the UK and Australia, alongside Dr Jo Ingold of Deakin University, and funded by the Digit Research Centre.

Student education

Prior to my doctoral studies I completed a Masters in Social Research at the School of Sociology, University of Leeds (Distinction), supported by a HEFCE scholarship for promising young scholars from low-income backgrounds. During my Masters I took a particular interest in growing rates of in-work poverty in Britain, and the continued demonisation of social security claimants through both media discourse and public policy.