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Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 5 June, 2018 - 11:27 with: Comments

NIESR was founded 80 years ago this week and it’s a time to remember those who contributed to the life and success of the Institute over the decades. One of our brightest stars is Professor Sig Prais who was closely associated with the Institute for more than 60 years.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 14 March, 2018 - 15:40 with: Comments

The period from 2010 to the present has been one of far-reaching change in the design and delivery of welfare and of welfare to work. This has included the replacement of six key benefits with Universal Credit (UC); the introduction of an intensified conditionality and the sanctioning regime, requiring claimants to meet certain conditions or face losing benefits; and changes to assessment and entitlement to incapacity and disability-related benefits.

NIESR research for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, published today, reviews evidence for the impact of the reforms on protected, equality groups. Covering more than 400 sources of research evidence, we found that some reforms, for example UC, have winners and losers. Others have no winners, for example the benefit cap, bedroom tax and sanctioning. The data also clearly showed that the most disadvantaged in British society have been hit hardest.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 22 February, 2018 - 10:13 with: Comments

The latest immigration statistics, out this morning, show net migration of 244,000 in the year ending September 2017. While this is slightly higher than figures for the year ending June 2017, they show a large decrease in EU net migration, compared to migration from outside the EU. This is a result of a fall in the number coming to look for work and an increase in the number leaving, continuing a downward trend since June 2016. The number of citizens from the EU8 countries, including Poland, coming to the UK to work is now at its lowest level since accession in 2004.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 5 February, 2018 - 13:19 with: Comments

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) has been operating since 1999, with the objective of combating exploitative pay, and the National Living Wage (NLW) since 2016 to raise wage levels more widely for workers aged 25 and over.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 6 September, 2017 - 12:25 with: Comments

A leaked Home Office document setting out a number of post-Brexit immigration proposals has set alarm bells ringing, not least among UK employers. Just when they thought sense was prevailing, that there would be no ‘cliff edge’ they now hear of plans to end free movement immediately after Brexit. And while once they perceived a welcome recognition of the importance of low skilled workers, as well as the highly skilled, in key sectors, they hear of proposals to drive down the number of these workers and allow them only temporary residency.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 27 July, 2017 - 15:54 with: Comments

Employers concerned that they will no longer be able to hire the skills and labour they need post-Brexit will have heaved a sigh of relief at today’s news that they will finally have a chance to have their say on future immigration policy. The Home Secretary announced the long-awaited consultation by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and set out the Government’s priorities. Among much recent talk of cliff edges, it is not surprising to find that cliffs get a mention here too.  

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 19 June, 2017 - 15:01 with: Comments

If the UK’s route out of the EU was less than clear before the General Election, events of the last ten days have torn the road map into shreds. The Conservative and Labour manifestos ruled out free movement, yet everything now seems to be up for grabs. 

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 5 May, 2017 - 09:57 with: Comments

In her launch statement outside 10 Downing Street last June Theresa May spoke of her vision of ‘a country that works for everyone’, one that wasn’t completely consumed by Brexit and capable of ‘delivering a programme of serious social reform’

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 20 December, 2016 - 12:45 with: Comments

Christmas is here and being marked in the British way by excessive consumption of food and drink, harvested, processed, delivered and served thanks to the labour of migrant workers. 

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 11 August, 2016 - 09:00 with: Comments

The referendum result took the nation by surprise. Among others, politicians and journalists voiced this collective shock, expressed by some as jubilation, by others as dismay and even by regret.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 15 June, 2016 - 12:01 with: Comments

There is now little doubt that immigration will be the issue that will decide the referendum result. But it is danger of being decided on fiction rather than facts about its impact. We have never needed evidence about migration more. We do know a lot. We know that any statistical effects of migration on jobs and wages are very small. But statistics are often mistrusted.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 27 April, 2016 - 10:26 with: Comments

A large section of the public would like to see significant restrictions on free movement whatever the result of the EU referendum. Employers have a particular interest in the outcome and have joined the debate but there has been little independent assessment of their position on the issue. Our research, out today, aimed to help fill this gap through research with employers in three sectors – food and drink, hospitality and construction.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 11 February, 2016 - 12:30 with: Comments

For some time opinion polls have shown that the public sees immigration as one of the most important issues facing Britain.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 24 August, 2015 - 00:00 with: Comments

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request from Welfare Weekly has led the Department for Work and Pensions to withdraw a leaflet featuring fictional case studies from ‘Sarah’ and ‘Zac’. The leaflet gave Sarah’s reflections on being sanctioned:

‘I didn’t think a CV would help me but my work coach told me that all employers need one. I didn’t have a good reason for not doing it and I was told I’d lose some of my payment’.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 30 June, 2015 - 09:16 with: Comments

The lower educational achievement of white working-class pupils has long been recognised as a key challenge for schools. But in recent years, the yardstick against which their under-performance has been measured has changed – from middle-class pupils to children from ethnic minorities. This is due to evidence that pupils from ethnic minorities, including recent migrants and those with English as a second language, have been increasingly outperforming white working-class pupils.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 12 June, 2015 - 12:42 with: Comments

How children think about their own ability can affect their progress and achievement at school, according to a number of leading education researchers. The work of Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck and her concept of “mindset” has been particularly influential in the way teachers are trying to change their pupils' views of their own intelligence.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 12 January, 2015 - 13:06 with: Comments

When we think of welfare to work schemes we picture job centres, the Work Programme and providers such as A4E and Ingeus. We think of media representations of jobcentres,  through television sitcoms such as The Job Lot or the League of Gentleman's dispiriting job club run by the cruel pen-fetishist Pauline.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 30 September, 2014 - 10:46 with: Comments

Much has been made of Ed Miliband’s failure to deliver sections of his conference speech on the economy and on immigration. But he didn’t forget to repeat the policy first announced just before the party’s 2013 conference to require employers to recruit an apprentice for every non-EU migrant they employ:

 

 ‘If you want to bring in a worker from outside the European Union, that’s OK, but you must provide apprenticeships to the next generation’

 

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 27 August, 2014 - 09:44 with: Comments

What do the public think about international students? Do they see them simply as generating revenue for universities or as longer term migrants who can bring new talent to the UK? New research by British Future shows that there is support for international students among the general public who both recognise the benefits they bring and believe we should make us of their skills and talent.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 5 November, 2013 - 07:12 with: Comments

While the debate over the service impacts of migration from the EU becomes ever more heated, it’s business as usual for UK employers who recruit migrants to fill skills gaps and to get the expertise and talent they need. A new NIESR report takes an in-depth look at why they do this and at the views of the general public who work with migrants. It finds a more positive picture than is often painted.

Re-focusing the debate on the real issue of economic migration

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