Engaging employers in employability and skills programmes

This is an event in the Ideas in Practice series taking place at Leeds University Business School on Wednesday 13 December 2017

In this workshop, Dr Jo Ingold (Leeds University Business School) will present findings from comparative research into ‘Employer engagement in Active Labour Market Programmes in the UK and Denmark’. Funded by an ESRC Future Research Leaders Award, this innovative project has resulted in a detailed analysis of the views and experiences of both employers and organisations that deliver employment and skills provision. Findings will be shared from a survey of over 1,500 employers and 100 in-depth interviews with employers and employability and skills providers in the UK and Denmark. Potential lessons for policy design and delivery will also be shared.

The workshop will explore:

• Employers’ perspectives on employability and skills programmes

• A model of ‘Instrumental and Relational Employer Engagement’

• The role of inter-organisational relationships in effective employer engagement

• How we can encourage employers to recruit from disadvantaged groups

• Translating the lessons from this comparative research to the evolving UK context (including devolution and Brexit).

This event will be of significant interest to policymakers, practitioners and influencers, as well as to academics researching and teaching in the area of labour market policy and human resource management.The presentation of findings will be followed by an interactive panel discussion and Q&A chaired by Fran Parry (FRSA FIEP), MD of Bright Sparks Consultancy and Associate Director of the Learning and Work Institute. The panel will include:

  • Sophie Brooks, Strategic Lead for Employability, Marks and Spencer
  • Jørgen Bang-Peterson, DA (Confederation of Danish Employers)
  • Damien Smith, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Sam Windett, Head of Policy & Communications, Employment Related Services Association (ERSA)
  • Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
  • Paul Warner, Director of Research and Development, Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP)

Event format

9.00am Registration and Refreshments
9.30am Welcome and Keynote speaker - Councillor Peter John OBE
10.00am Presentation of Findings - Dr Jo Ingold
11.30am Tea/Coffee break
11.45am Panel Discussion and Q&A
12.45pm Concluding Remarks
1.00pm Networking Lunch
2.00pm Close

About the speaker

Cllr Peter John OBE

Cllr Peter John OBE has been the leader of Southwark council since May 2010 and was appointed London Councils' executive in 2012 and is now executive member for business, skills and Brexit.

He was born in Weston-super-Mare and attended his local comprehensive school, before going on to study law at the University of London. After graduating in 1988 he became a barrister. He was elected as a councillor for South Camberwell Ward in 2002 and after serving as group chief whip became leader of Southwark Labour in 2004.

Dr Jo Ingold

Dr Jo Ingold is a Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Public Policy at Leeds University Business School. Her research interests include active labour market policies, the employment challenges for disabled people and parents/carers, and policy learning between countries. She holds a First Class (Hons) degree from the University of Bristol, a Masters and PhD from the University of Sheffield and a Masters-level higher education teaching qualification from the University of Leeds.

Jo has previously worked in the voluntary sector and held posts in research in the Department for Work and Pensions and in workforce development policy and learning and development in the Department for Education and Skills.

Jo has been a recipient of a prestigious ESRC Future Research Leaders Award for her research on employer engagement in employability and skills programmes in the UK and Denmark. She has published in a range of top-rated journals, including Work, Employment and Society, Journal of Social Policy and Journal of European Social Policy and has recently co-edited a Special Issue of Human Resource Management Journal on Employer Engagement.

She was Winner of the 2016 Ken Young Prize for the Best Paper published in the journal Policy & Politics for her article on evidence translation (with Mark Monaghan), which was also one of the most-read articles in the journal. She has recently been re-elected as a member of the Associate Editorial Board of the leading sociology of work journal Work, Employment and Society, is a member of the ESRC Peer Review College, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an Academic Member of the CIPD.