Dr Catherine Robinson, Deputy Dean and Senior Lecturer in Applied Economics and Business Statistics at Kent Business School, has been awarded a grant by UK Research and Innovation to carry out a major study into the impact of Covid-19 on the labour market outcomes of graduate workers in the UK.
The project, undertaken jointly with Dr Michela Vecchi of Middlesex University, which will receive £53,650 in funding, will investigate changes fuelled by the pandemic and their impact on the existing skill mismatch in the labour market – defined as those working in jobs that underutilise their qualifications – focussing on graduates.
Using the UK’s quarterly labour force survey (QLFS), Dr Robinson and the team aim to evaluate the extent of occupational shifts – changes in the distribution of workers across job roles – and the impact of the pandemic on a growing skills mismatch both regionally and nationally.
Dr Robinson says: “Recent ONS analysis shows a large proportion of graduates unable to find work matching their skillset. This disparity is much higher than is seen in non-graduates, so it is vital we examine this particular group of individuals.”
The research will also analyse whether the uptake of extra training has any positive effect on employment retention and employment opportunities for recent graduates.
This grant is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19.