The Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) is located in the Department of Human Resource Management within Strathclyde Business School. Its purpose is to produce high quality academic research for policy use in public, private and voluntary sectors. Contracts have been awarded to it by government, employers, trade unions and other university research centres. Most recent contracts awarded include research on the role of trade unions in effective skills utilisation for the Scottish Trades Union Congress and Scottish Union Learning, a joint award with SKOPE, Universities of Cardiff and Oxford, for an ESRC seminar series on Making Bad Jobs Better and another joint ESRC award with SKOPE for a comparative study on the utilisation of graduate skills in estate agency work. The Centre promotes extensive stakeholder engagement in academic, policy and practitioner communities and networks; for example, participating in priority setting networks for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and as part of an expert panel advising the Oxfam Humankind initiative.
SCER has also organised workshops for both academic and non-academic participants and audiences including for government, such as the Scottish Economic Policy Seminars for Scottish Enterprise and an ELLNet workshop for the Scottish Executive. Related to these workshops, members of SCER have edited and published a number of public interest reports intended for the policy, academic and media communities.
The Centre has also recently completed a collaborative international research project with the Universities of Karlstad and Sydney looking at soft skills in retail work. Further collaborative international research is being developed with various centres and individuals to look at the indicators of job quality (partners to be announced).