Related research reports

One in 10 of the European labour force – 23.5 million people – are out of work. IPPR's research has delved into this and other labour market problems, and recommends action in a number of areas.

Making inclusion work: How work-based learning can bring excluded groups closer to the workplace (April 2017)

This collection examines the possibilities, practicalities, successes and struggles of various approaches to work-based learning as a means of achieving greater inclusivity in labour markets, through seven case studies documenting initiatives in five European countries. [Read more]

Skills 2030: Why the adult skills system is failing to build an economy that works for everyone (February 2017)

England’s current adult skills system cannot deliver an economy that works for everyone: low demand and investment among employers has resulted in a glut of low-quality provision with poor outcomes in terms of pay and productivity. This report reviews the evidence, and recommends that the government expands the apprenticeship levy into a wider skills levy and creates a regional skills fund to invest in the lowest-skilled areas. [Read more]

Working well: A plan to reduce long term sickness absence (February 2017)

Not enough is being done by businesses or government to prevent people leaving work and moving onto sickness benefits; the result is a stubbornly high number of employment support allowance and incapacity benefit claimants. This report makes the case for a new system with additional incentives and support for employers and employees, to help keep people well in work. [Read more]

Earning and learning: Making the apprenticeship system work for 16–18-year-olds (November 2016)

Boosting social mobility in Britain requires better education-to-work transitions for young people who have low qualifications. Reviewing the evidence, this report recommends that the government introduces a new, distinct pre-apprenticeship programme for 16–18-year-olds. [Read more]

Jobs and skills in Scotland: Addressing productivity, progression and in-work poverty (June 2016)

This report looks at the jobs recovery in Scotland since 2010, the current jobs market and the implications for the skills system in Scotland of changes to Scotland’s economy. [Read more]

European jobs and skills: A comprehensive review, 2015 (November 2015)

This second annual European Jobs and Skills review examines trends in employment and skills development across the EU28, and in Europe’s five biggest economies: Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy. It assesses how effective policy has been to date at boosting employment and skills, and identifies the key labour market weaknesses that firms and policymakers must address in the coming years. [Read more]

See also: European jobs and skills: A comprehensive review, 2014

European employers’ perspectives on long-term unemployment, recruitment and public employment services (May 2015)

Employers are currently too peripheral to services, and services too peripheral to employers: bringing both sides together will be key to the future of the European jobs market. Based on original polling across five European countries, this report explores employers’ attitudes towards the unemployed, especially on skills and employability, and on the effectiveness of their contact with public employment services. [Read more]

Migrant employment outcomes in European labour markets (April 2015)

Many migrant groups in Europe have relatively poor employment outcomes. The underutilisation of skills and talent, and the waste of potential and talent that this represents, is concentrated in specific groups – particularly at the higher end of the jobs market. This report presents new statistical analyses of European labour markets that illustrate where and how migrants’ skills are underutilised relative to the non-migrant population, in terms of both low employment rates and the misallocation of skills. While surveying the situation across Europe, it focusses on a set of illuminating contrasts between Britain and Germany. [Read more]

Technology, globalisation and the future of work in Europe: Essays on employment in a digitised economy (March 2015)

This collection of essays explores the likely trends in employment across Europe over the next 10 years, and collects experts’ recommendations for how policymakers, firms and individuals should respond to them. Its central argument is that the risk that new technologies will lead to an increased polarisation of the workforce – and thus to increased economic inequalities – is greater than the risk that they simply destroy more jobs than they create, and so must be urgently addressed. [Read more]

Employee progression in European labour markets (February 2015)

Employee progression offers vital routes out of in-work poverty and job insecurity. If Europe’s skills needs are to be met, the existing workforce needs more and better in-work training and lifelong learning, and the skills of entry-level workers must be improved. This report explores how rates of in-work progression vary across European economies, and its impacts on career pathways and the supply of skilled workers. [Read more]

Self-employment in Europe (January 2015)

Self-employment and entrepreneurship are key drivers of economic growth, but the self-employed face a number of challenges – including access to training, pensions and in-work benefits – that policymakers and employers need to address in order to help support growth. This paper provides an analysis of the characteristics of self-employed workers in different European countries, and provides insights into the uneven pattern of self-employment across the continent. [Read more]

Women and flexible working: Improving female employment outcomes in Europe (December 2014)

Better flexible working options could help raise female employment rates and improve skills-matching among women across Europe. Flexible working in the reduced-hours form prevalent in many countries simply isn’t flexible enough – especially for low-income jobs. Access to flexible work scheduling is beneficial for firms and employees alike. This report assesses the demand and policy options for flexible work practices, and reviews the challenges and opportunities that greater flexible working could offer. [Read more]

The European case studies series

IPPR also publishes a series of European case studies, which offer in-depth analysis of skills, training and human resources policies in major European countries. Those published so far include:

A selection of other recent IPPR research on jobs and skills: