Work, employment & organisationLabour markets, skills & employability

Drawing on critical labour market studies, work sociology and work psychology, our research develops theory and informs evidence-based practice and policy in the areas of skills, employability, education and human resource development. We analyse changes in employment and industry restructuring, and consider how this may shape labour market disadvantage, reproduce social inequalities, and issues of skill utilisation, recruitment and retention.

Current projects

SMARTDEST project webpage

Horizon 2020, 2020-2022

Staff: Professor Tom Baum, Dr Donagh Horgan, Dr Kendra Briken, Dr Pratima Sambajee

This three-year project involves a consortium of 11 universities addressing social exclusion as a consequence of contemporary tourism-related mobilities in major European cities. The project aims to organise 8 City Labs to identify innovative structures, policies and governance to inform the design of alternative policy options for more socially inclusive places. The Strathclyde team contribution focuses on two key areas, changing urban labour markets, the growing gig economy in tourism and consequences for social exclusion and the development of Edinburgh as a case city, with an emphasis on festivalisation and social exclusion.

Selected publications

Baum, T. (2018). Changing employment dynamics within the creative city: Exploring the role of ‘ordinary people’ within the changing city landscape. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 0143831X17748371.

Robinson, R. N., Ritchie, B. W., Kralj, A., Solnet, D. J., Baum, T., & Ford, R. C. (2014). An Asia-Pacific core–periphery futures paradox: Divergent worker and tourist mobilities. Journal of Travel Research53(6), 805-818.

COVID-19: micro-tourism enterprise sustainability, support and revival after the pandemic

Staff: Professor Tom Baum, Dr Irma Booyens

Funding: Global Challenges Research Fund: Covid-19 Response Fund 2019/20

This study looks into the impact of COVID-19 on micro-accommodation establishments in South Africa. The emphasis of this research is on emergency business management: whether tourism enterprises have been able to sustain operations and adopt certain coping mechanism or strategies in response to the impact of the pandemic. We also consider related issues such as the impact of COVID-19 on employment, the long-term sustainability prospects of enterprises and the perceived effectiveness of government support measures.

This project is a collaboration with Prof. Chris Rogerson and Prof. Jayne Rogerson (School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg, South Africa).

Employment Experience of Hospitality Workers in Scotland

Staff: Dr. Irma Booyens, Dr. Tasos Hadjisolomou, Prof. Tom Baum, Prof. Dennis Nickson

This is an online survey with workers in the hospitality sector with respect to harassment, workplace abuse and the impact of Covid-19 on their employment. The topic of the study aligns with the University of Strathclyde’s overall strategic focus on sustainability, particularly in terms of creating a ‘Fairer Society’ with an emphasis on gender-based violence, safety and wellbeing (see Vision 2025). Similar surveys have been rolled out in Ireland and New Zealand and we aim to do comparative work with colleagues in these countries which is of policy and management significance in the tourism sector. The project also links with the Department’s work on labour and workplace issues (see Research Theme: Regulation and Restructuring of Employment Relations).

Selected publications

Booyens, I. (2020). Education and skills in tourism: Implications for youth employment in South Africa. Development Southern Africa

Booyens, I., Motala, S.Y. & Ngandu, S. (2020). Tourism Innovation and Sustainability: Implications for Skills Development in South Africa. In T. Baum and A. Ndiuini (Eds), Sustainable Human Resource Management in Tourism: African Perspectives (pp.77-92). Cham: Springer.

Graduate transitions to work in the UK and Italy

Staff: Dr Daria Luchinskaya

Graduate transitions to work in the UK and Italy project webpage

Project twitter: @grads_and_work on Twitter

Funding: Oxford Brookes Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice, Warwick Institute of Advanced Study Visiting Fellowships

This ongoing interdisciplinary mixed-methods project looks at the role of work placements undertaken during study in graduate transitions to employment from inclusive and interdisciplinary perspectives, using the UK and Italy as examples. We explore two broad questions: (1) how participation in and outcomes of different kinds of work placements taking place during higher education differ by characteristics such as gender and fields of study, and (2) how students experience their placements. We aim to situate graduate transitions to employment within national education and labour market systems, looking at the issue holistically from critical, institutional and interdisciplinary perspectives, identifying mechanisms of social disadvantage and highlighting the implications for students and graduates, employers, and policymakers.

Research Collaborators: Dr Charoula Tzanakou (PI, Oxford Brookes University), Dr Luca Cattani (University of Bologna) and Dr Giulio Pedrini (Kore University of Enna), with Dr Dorel Manitiu (AlmaLaurea)

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Selected publications

Tzanakou, C., Cattani, L., Luchinskaya, D. & Pedrini, G. (2021). How do internships undertaken during higher education affect graduates’ labour market outcomes in Italy and the United Kingdom? In A. Stewart, R. Owens, N, O’Higgins & A. Hewitt (Eds.). Internships, Employability and the Search for Decent Work Experience. Edward Elgar.

Tzanakou, C., Cattani, L., Luchinskaya, D. & Pedrini, G. (2020). Access and Labour Market Outcomes of Internships During Higher Education in Italy and the United Kingdom. University of Bologna-AMS-Acta.

Virtually the same thing as in-person internships? Mapping the virtual internship landscape and exploring intern and employer experience in the UK and Italy

Staff: Dr Daria Luchinskaya, Prof. Dora Scholarios

Virtually the same thing as in-person internships? Mapping the virtual internship landscape and exploring intern and employer experience in the UK and Italy project webpage

Project twitter: @Virtually_Same on Twitter

Funding: UK Economic and Social Research Council [grant number ES/S012532/1] as part of the Digital Futures at Work Research Centre (Digit).

This research project explores the growing area of virtual internships through student intern and employer experience in two contrasting institutional contexts, the UK and Italy. Our aims are (1) to map the key features of the virtual internship landscape and (2) to compare digital to in-person internships on accessibility, skill development and employability for the intern, and on recruitment process and internship design/delivery for the employer. This project will inform emerging research on the process and effectiveness of virtual internships and provide best practice guidance for students, employers and other stakeholders in developing successful virtual internships.

Research Collaborators: Dr Charoula Tzanakou (Oxford Brookes University), Dr Luca Cattani (University of Bologna), Dr Giulio Pedrini (Kore University of Enna), Prof. Vincenzo Fasone (Kore University of Enna), Dr Dorel Manitiu (AlmaLaurea), and Dr Wil Hunt (Digit Research Centre at the University of Sussex).

Graduating in a Pandemic

Staff: Dr Pauline Anderson, Dr Daria Luchinskaya, Prof. Dora Scholarios

Graduating in a Pandemic project webpage

Project twitter: @pandemicgrads on Twitter

This project explores college and university leavers’ transitions after higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic. We take the city as a focal point to bring together different kinds of contexts that might affect graduates’ decisions and available opportunities, looking at Glasgow and Preston in the first instance. We focus on graduates’ experiences of the transition from higher education to work or to other activities, their feelings about their careers and life in general, and factors that help or hinder job search and career ambitions, adopting a sustainable careers framework. By carrying out a series of surveys, we intend to get a sense of how transitions to work and to other activities are unfolding over time in the pandemic context.

Research Collaborators: Dr Scott Hurrell (PI, University of Glasgow), Dr Belgin Okay-Somerville (University of Glasgow), Andrew Dorrance (University of Glasgow)

Selected publications

Okay-Somerville, B., Luchinskaya, D., Anderson, P., Hurrell, S. & Scholarios, D., (Accepted/In press). Graduate employability during a crisis: Evidence from Scottish graduates during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Y. Cai, E. Hunt, J. Neugebauer, T. Broadley & M. Firth (Eds.). The Sage Handbook of Graduate Employability. Sage Publications Ltd.

Dorrance, A. & Luchinskaya, D. (2021). Silver linings but no silver bullet: Graduate careers in (times of) crisis. Society for Research into Higher Education Blog.

Luchinskaya, D. (2021). All Hands on Deck. The Ship 2020-2021 [St Anne’s College Alumnae Publication].

Research networks

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