Why household surveys are key to well-judged policy

The years since 1990 have been littered with policy failures rooted in a misunderstanding of ordinary households. So says Professor Sir Ivor Crewe of Oxford University, who believes large scale household surveys like Understanding Society could help policy makers and politicians get it right.

Big Data for business and local government

The government have allocated 73 million pounds in the quest to unlock the potential of Big Data. Within the social sciences the ESRC has been given money to develop four new research centres to allow policy makers, local government and business to benefit from the “Big Data revolution”.

Should universities take school performance into account?

With exam results out soon and discussions about the future of GCSEs and A-levels continuing, new research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, published by the Department for Education, investigates the role played by secondary schools in explaining whether students go to university and how well they do once there.

The Work Programme; better but still not good enough?

According to The Centre for Social and Economic Inclusion, figures published by the Department of Work and Pensions show that nearly 1 in 4 people taking part in the government Work Programme found a job within 2 years. However, the CESI briefing paper argues that this is slightly below expectations, and points out that the […]

Unpaid work; the norm for young jobseekers?

A team of researchers from the universities of Warwick, Leicester, Aston and the Open University are about to start a large-scale project, Precarious Pathways to Employment for Young People. It will examine the experiences of all young people, not just graduates, from school leaving age upwards and address the question: is unpaid work likely to […]

Vocational training; key to a better future

Britain needs stronger and better-quality vocational education, according to a new report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research. It estimates that we will need an extra 3.6 million jobs in medium-skilled occupations by 2022 and points out that 39% of vacancies in skilled trades are caused by skills shortages.