Date of release: Friday, November 11, 2016

WERU seminarSkills shortages facing the UK labour market and government policies aimed at remedying them form the subject of an open seminar at the University of Greenwich.

Four expert speakers will be tackling this topic, in an event organised by the University of Greenwich's Work and Employment Research Unit, part of its Business School. It takes place on Wednesday 30 November, with all welcome.

Speakers include Dr Patrick McGurk and Richard Meredith (University of Greenwich), Professor Ken Mayhew (University of Oxford) and Sue Fearns (Deputy General Secretary at Prospect, the trade union representing professional staff in the civil service and energy industry). 

Dr McGurk is the university's Head of Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour. He has researched and published on leadership and management in the public services, and on government employment and skills policy.

Richard Meredith, a MPhil/PhD student and part-time lecturer, is researching employers' motives for recruiting the long term unemployed, particularly in the case of the UK.  He has a wealth of both public sector and industry experience.

In their paper, the Greenwich academics investigate the responsibilities and membership of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England and assess the prospects for devolution of employment and skills policy. Government employment and skills programmes are set to be dominated by a centralised contracting regime involving large private sector agents, they contend.

Ken Mayhew, Emeritus Professor of Education and Economic Performance at Oxford, has published widely on labour economics, human resource management, the economics of education and policy analysis.  An editor of Oxford Economic Papers and The Oxford Review of Economic Policy, his topics at the seminar include pathways into the labour market and how policy makers might address problems.

Sue Fearns leads Prospect's work on equal opportunities, legal services, campaigning, communications, science, engineering and sustainability.  She will cover STEM skills, the civil service and the 'productivity puzzle', and will also reflect on the role of Prospect as a trade union representing highly skilled professionals.

New Skills for a Skilled Economy? The Post-Brexit Outlook takes place from 3pm at Queen Anne Court, Room 175. Please notify Professor Geoff White of attendance by emailing

For more information on the Work and Employment Research Unit (WERU):

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