SKOPE Seminar Series ¦ Dr Matthew Dixon – Graduates from vocational courses and the labour market: The realities and resulting weakness of the workforce planning policy perspective
From 16:30 until 18:00
At Seminar Room G/H, Department of Education, University of Oxford
15 Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6PY
Speaker: Dr Matthew Dixon
Matthew Dixon worked on Learning and Skills Policy within the national sectoral skills employer bodies in Information Technology and Engineering from the early 1990s till 2012, including leading the official comprehensive Sector Skills Assessments for IT (1999), Engineering Manufacture (Science industries, Leading Edge Technology, and Mature Engineering sectors), the Bioscience “Sector Skills Agreement” (2007/8), the labour market for Laboratory Technicians (2008), the SSA for Advanced Manufacturing (2009), culminating in the leadership of 7 SSCs in the official Sector Skills Assessment of (all) UK Manufacturing (2012).
At the European level, on behalf of the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies, he:
- co-authored the European ICT Skills Meta-Framework: a CEN Workshop Agreement European Pre-Standard (2005);
- led a survey and assessment of Accreditation arrangements in EU Countries for Higher Education Informatics/Computing courses (2006); and
- led a team assessing, for the European Commission, e-Skills Foresight Scenarios for the ICT Industry in Europe (2007).
As a result of these contributions, he was asked to contribute to the development of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).
In addition, as an Engineering Council official, he co-ordinated the UK Engineering profession’s involvement in multilateral international mutual-recognition agreements, and advised the Home Office, and then the Migration Advisory Committee, assessments of the UK labour market’s needs for IT and Engineering skills.
As a PhD in Control and Systems Engineering who had worked in International Systems Research Management and national Knowledge Transfer in advanced Information Technology, he entered the training and skills policy arena, after coordinating the national interests of a network of IT technician Training Centres, with little depth or experience in education matters or macro-economics. After some twenty years of watching research and policy interact in this area, Dr. Dixon is now unconvinced of the aspirations, assertions and effectiveness of most policy for learning and skills. Since core funding was withdrawn from the Sector Skills Councils in 2012, Matthew Dixon has liaised with ONS on various aspects of productivity and labour market measures, and is increasingly concerned about the apparent disconnect between enterprise-level realities and certain key macro measures that heavily influence public policy at the top level.