Policy makers and academics to examine UK labour market at annual conference

WPEG ThumbAcademics and policy makers will discuss the state of the UK labour market and pensions at a key annual conference in Sheffield this month.

The Work Pensions Economic Group (WPEG) Conference 2016, supported by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and part of the Faculty’s new Sheffield Solutions series, will bring together researchers from across the UK and civil servants to examine pressing issues in work and pensions.

The plenary session of the two-day event will be presented by Tim Butcher, Chief Economist at the Low Pay Commission who will be discussing "The Challenge of the National Living Wage".

Laura Webster, Deputy Chief Economist at the DWP, will open the conference on Monday 25 July with a talk on ‘DWP Evidence Needs and Challenges’.

Karl Taylor, Professor of Economics at the University of Sheffield and WPEG Convenor, said: "The WPEG Conference each year gives the opportunity for policy makers and researchers to get to grips with new research in the area of Work, Pensions and Education relevant for policy makers.

“Key issues for policy makers include reducing unemployment, increasing the number of skilled workers and easing the pensions burden on the government. So this year, like previous years, new research will be discussed and debated by the people that inform and reform policy in this area.”

As well as policy makers from the DWP, delegates at the conference include researchers from the UCL, University of Southampton, LSE and Cardiff University.

The Work Pensions Economic Group, originally known as the Labour Economics Study Group, was founded in the late 1960s and funded by the Social Science Research Council and then by the research unit of the Department of Employment (EMRU). While the title of the group and government department has changed over the years, the main purpose of the group to create dialogue between social scientists and policy makers remains.

Sheffield Solutions’ is a new initiative of the Faculty, led by the Social Sciences Policy Impact and Knowledge Exchange (SSPIKE) team, aimed at bringing together policy makers, practitioners and Sheffield’s social scientists to address pertinent policy issues through events, workshops and other outputs.