A new two-year research project aims to identify effective employer practice that enables people who experience barriers to advancing in the labour market to achieve career progression.

The Progression in Employment project, led by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) in the UK, in partnership with Oxford Research in Sweden, is supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation through their global New Skills at Work initiative. The project will focus on employer practice aimed at specific groups, including young people with limited work experience, older workers and workers stemming from migrant backgrounds.

Supported by case studies from key employers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden, the research analysis will focus on opportunities in the retail, social care, health and hospitality sectors, including an analysis of labour market trends and national policies in each country.

This important research will provide practical outputs for employers and policymakers, whilst raising awareness of key talent pools to recruiters and sectors currently experiencing acute staffing needs. The research may consider aspects of career progression such as the upskilling of current staff to avoid job loss due to structural change and automation, and the creation of entry-level roles and opportunities through the emergence of new technologies.

Dr Annette Cox, director of employment policy research at IES, commented:

In-work poverty across European countries has risen over the past 10 years with over seven per cent of the working population across Europe now at risk. People from these at-risk groups can find it especially challenging to access jobs which offer career progression.

‘The sectors we are investigating employ large numbers of people and have the potential to provide lots of career opportunities, whilst working with these groups offers employers access to latent talent pools. We are delighted to be working with the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and our partners across Europe to conduct this research and look forward to providing insights into how using skills and talents effectively can help employers meet their business needs.

Hang Ho, head of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation in EMEA and LATAM said:

This research aims to help employers facilitate career progression and develop a set of resources on implementing best practice for an underrepresented segment of workers. Data and research are integral to informing this objective and we are committed to supporting development of tools for both employers and workers to access greater economic opportunities and help communities prosper. Today’s announcement is part of a series of tools and resources that JPMorgan Chase’s global New Skills at Work initiative is supporting around the world.

For the latest news on the Progression in Employment project, and to subscribe to updates, please visit the Institute for Employment Studies.

Please find the full project description here.