Established in 1981, the Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) is a leading international social science research centre. Its research is interdisciplinary and made relevant to policy makers and practitioners. It is renowned for consistently delivering high quality research. Research questions are tackled in projects funded by a range of public and private sector organisations and through publications in academic journals.
IER has built a considerable reputation for its expertise in a broad range of research fields, including:
- Labour market assessment
- Labour market forecasting
- Work, welfare and public policy
- Apprenticeships, work based learning and training
- Guidance, learning and careers
- Employment relations and employer behaviour
- Labour market classification and measurement
- Higher education and the graduate labour market
IER researchers have diverse disciplinary backgrounds and work both within and across disciplines. Publishing theoretical, methodological and empirical academic outputs is a core activity, but IER also places great emphasis on maximising its impact among potential users of research.
Research findings are also disseminated to the academic, policy and practitioner communities through IER’s own publications, research reports published by sponsors, key stakeholder events and international conferences. In addition, a widely circulated Bulletin series is produced by IER to highlight key findings from particular projects. Click here for further details of IER publications.
IER uses multi-method, inter-disciplinary approaches to generate and tackle substantive research questions. Our strategy has been to broaden the methodological basis of IER work in order to deal more effectively with research problems that cross the boundaries of conventional academic disciplines and the methods of analysis associated with them.
We have one of the longest track records in employment forecasting, and much of our key research is also longitudinal. As a consequence, IER brings greater depth of insight to its research and can place findings within a long-term context.
IER track record
With over 30 years' experience of researching the labour market and its relationships with the wider economy, IER has a substantial track record of delivering high quality research and an established record of influential publications. IER has worked successfully with major Government departments, ministries, research councils and agencies at national and international levels. Find out more about current research and completed research projects here.
The IER team and interdisciplinarity
The IER research team brings together a breadth of labour market expertise from a variety of disciplines. It includes research leaders in: econometrics; forecasting; statistics; geography; social and public policy; sociology; education and training; organisational behaviour; career development; and industrial relations. Our team is well networked in the University of Warwick and the broader UK and international research communities.
Strategic research collaborations and international partnerships
IER researchers have developed a strong network of international research partners, collaborators and IER Associate Fellows for interdisciplinary, international and strategic research collaboration. IER has extensive links with international research centres; the European Commission, the OECD and other international bodies; UK government departments and agencies, local authorities and sectoral organisations.
IER collaborates with leading research institutes in Europe on a range of cross-national comparative social science research funded , for example, by the European Commission (FP7 and EC Directorates General), Cedefop and EACEA. Collaborations and partnerships with, for example IFF, Ipsos MORI, Cambridge Econometrics and ROA (at the University of Maastricht) enable IER to undertake and develop large-scale surveys, to develop more effective comparative labour market analytic techniques and to undertake robust cross-cultural research on comparative and global labour market change.
Ensuring quality and striving for continuous improvement
IER researchers are committed to the University of Warwick’s policy of advancing and safeguarding the highest academic and ethical standards in all its research activities. IER has developed a quality management system for its research management activities, and which is certified by the Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) as meeting the requirement of ISO9001, the international quality management standard. IER is the first academic department of the University of Warwick to seek and gain ISO9001 recognition.
For further information on IER's QMS, contact the IER Administrator, Catherine Vassallo, or the IER Administrative Officer, Lynne Horsler.
Impact of our work
IER has a strong demonstrable record of success in achieving user impact, which has been built upon the development and transformation of new knowledge. This has proved to be of key interest to academic, policy and practitioner communities. Our research evidence underpins national and international policy and practice on, for example, career guidance, the continuing vocational training strategy, the European New Skills for New Jobs initiative and the Beyond Current Horizons scenario work for the UK Government.
Our work has also involved progressive IT developments in international community building and knowledge sharing in, for example, supporting community building within career guidance and counselling (e.g. NGRF). Other IT developments include: Cascot a computer program designed to make the coding of text information to standard classifications simpler, quicker and more reliable; the LEFM a computer package designed to enable users to produce their own economic projections for local areas within the UK; and the LMI online learning module designed for those working in careers information, advice and guidance.
IER researchers have presented evidence to government departments, engaged in international symposia and steering groups, and contributed to National Task Forces and Expert Panels.
IER research activity is diverse, encompassing:
- basic and strategic research
- labour market assessment and evaluation
- econometric modelling
- forecasting and scenario based research
- policy analysis and evaluation
- quantitative and qualitative, and mixed methods
- surveys of individuals, households and employers
- longitudinal data collection and analysis
- literature and evidence based reviews
- researcher-practitioner collaboration
- user participation
IER has extensive experience and analytical skills in working with large repositories of socio-economic data and has developed substantial skills in the management and analysis of large datasets. This is complemented by substantial experience of survey design and management. IER researchers have also developed innovative applications in the research process, most notably in data collection methodology, socio-economic classification, survey analysis, forecasting and dissemination.
Location/Information for visitors to IER:
We are located on the ground floor of the Social Sciences building, wings B and C, adjacent to Gibbet Hill Road (adjacent to bus terminal, Main Campus).
Closest car-parks to the Social Sciences building are multi-storey car-parks 7, 8 and 15 (5 minute walk):