Professor Lorna Unwin

Lorna Unwin is Professor Emerita (Vocational Education) and and Honorary Professor in the ESRC-funded LLAKES Research Centre at the UCL Institute of Education, London.

Research Interests

Lorna’s research interests lie in how people develop occupational expertise (of all types) and how it is afforded recognition, workplaces as learning environments, and the history of further education and training in the UK and its relationship with economic development. In 2018, she co-authored (with Professor Ruth Lupton) a report for the Greater Manchester Independent Prosperity Review, entitled ‘A New Approach to Education, Training and Skills in Greater Manchester: Building Capacity for Individual, Workplace and Civic Prosperity’. Since 1994, when she was a lead researcher in the national evaluation of the first Modern Apprenticeship programme, she has carried out many studies of apprenticeship training and workforce development practices in the UK and recently collaborated with colleagues at the University of Cologne on a comparative study of aerospace engineering apprentices in England and Germany. She continues to argue that the UK needs to pay much more attention to the variable capacity of its workplaces to both develop and utilise expertise rather than pursuing ‘one size fits all’ policies. Her most recent book is the Wiley Handbook of Vocational Education and Training (co-edited with Professor David Guile). Her book chapter (co-authored with Professor Alison Fuller), ‘Expanding skills and workplace capacity: a relational approach to industrial strategy’, will be published by Agenda Publishing in February 2021 in The Political Economy of Industrial Strategy in the UK, edited by Craig Berry, Julie Froud and Tom Baker. Lorna was awarded a Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute in 2005 and an OBE in 2014, both for services to vocational education and training. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Employment

Lorna Unwin is Professor Emerita (Vocational Education) and and Honorary Professor in the ESRC-funded LLAKES Research Centre at the UCL Institute of Education, London. She is also Honorary Professorial Research Fellow at the School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester, and a Governor of Oldham College. She has been a Governor of Niesr since 2009 and was a member of the Council of Management from 2015 to 2020. Her association with NIESR began in 2008 when she and Professor Andy Green invited Martin Weale and other colleagues to be partners in a bid to establish an ESRC-funded Research Centre.

Professor Lorna Unwin FAcSS

  • Professor Emerita (Vocational Education) UCL Institute of Education, London
  • Honorary Professor, ESRC-funded LLAKES Research Centre (www.llakes.ac.uk)
  • Honorary Professorial Research Fellow, School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester
  • Trustee and Governor, now Honorary Fellow at National Institute of Economic and Social Research
  • Governor, Oldham College

Additional Information

New articleIndustrial standardisation as a driver for cross-national convergence in training processes: Aviation apprenticeships in England and Germany.European Journal of Training and Development, 2019.

New book: The Wiley Handbook on Vocational Education and Training