Jobwatch: Work on working

May 14, 2004

Interested in a job that deals with other people's nine-to-five? Chris Johnston finds several institutions searching for those with an interest in research into employment issues.

The Institute for Employment Studies is never out of the headlines for long. In recent weeks the media picked up its report that says companies benefit from employing refugees but are fearful of talking about it because of possible negative publicity.

Similarly, newspapers picked up on its research for the Department for Education and Skills that concludes that working-class students are less likely to do well at university and more likely to get lower-paid jobs after graduating.

The IES, established in 1969, is looking for a director to replace Richard Pearson, who has held the post for the past 12 years. The package, worth up to £100,000, will prove attractive to many, but, as Pearson explains, the pool of potential candidates is likely to prove quite small.

The institute has 60 staff and is entirely self-financing, meaning the successful applicant will need managerial skills as well as experience in the human resources/employment field to ensure professional credibility with both staff and clients, Pearson says. "It's likely to be someone who has worked in academe but has moved to gain experience in the private sector."

The decision on whom to appoint will be made by the IES board, whose members include Sir William Stubbs, former chairman of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, and Robert Burgess, vice-chancellor of Leicester University. Interviews are expected to be held by the summer.

The institute, which describes itself as the UK's leading authoritative, independent centre of research and consulting in employment and human resource issues, is located in Brighton.

The director will be required to ensure that the IES continues to win research contracts and consultancies from FTSE 100 companies, government departments and bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. That may not prove too difficult, however, as Pearson says that the IES already turns down a considerable amount of work.

Meanwhile, Warwick University's Institute for Employment Research is looking to fill two research fellowships. The posts result from a collaboration between Warwick and the National Health Service University, the new training body for health service professionals.

Candidates should be social scientists with an interest in learning and/or labour market issues pertaining to health and social care. A professional background in that field is an advantage.

One of the posts is for a senior research fellow, who should have a substantial record of research and publication as well as experience of research management.

Interviews will be held on June 17.

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