Category Archives: Work-Futures-Research-Centre

Holiday balancing acts: misogyny, work and leadership

misogyny factorCathy Pope



This month’s post is a review of Anne Summers’ TheMisogyny Factor by WFRC director Professor Catherine Pope



The directors of the Work Futures Research Centre like the idea of work-life balance  even if the demands of our working lives sometimes seem to get in the way.  One of the ways I try to inject some ‘balance’ into my life is through taking holidays when I spend  time reading things that are not directly related to my research work – often fiction, but not always. If I venture abroad I try to pick up a book connected to the place I am visiting and this has been a great way of discovering new things – ranging from poetry to ancient history.

This year I was lucky enough to follow an academic visit to see colleagues at University of New South Wales involved in a project about organisational performance and accreditation with a trip to Australia. I was there just ahead of the general election so the news was full of electioneering and amongst this lots of discussion about Kevin Rudd the then Labour prime minister and his predecessor Julia Gillard.

The YouTube video of Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech of 2012 had already gone viral at this point, and this was followed by some UK media notably a self-penned piece after the election (in which Labor lost)  in the Guardian on ‘power, purpose and Labor’s future’.  Sydney Opera House hosted a discussion between feminist writer Anne Summers and Gillard which had picked up on some of the themes of sexism and leadership that Gillard had debated in speeches and writing – and these are revisited in Summer’s book ‘The Misogyny Factor (2013) which I bought for my holiday reading.

If we in the UK are disheartened about lack of progress on workplace equality agendas then this book suggests that our sisters in Australia have even more to complain about. Summers describes how, despite pioneering workplace reforms (Australia was the first to introduce the 8 hour day) and human rights (one of the first places to grant women the vote was South Australia in 1894), Australia lags behind in supporting working women.  Australian women have lower participation in work than many other OECD countries  and the gap between lifetime earnings of men and women is a shocking  AUS $1 million. The Misogyny Factor is not a lighthearted read – Summers documents the political and legislative history of the struggle for gender equality in and outside work, and devotes a chapter to a fairly harrowing account  of the way that Julia Gillard was taunted, attacked and vilified because of her gender in politics’  ‘top job’. Thankfully the book concludes with a chapter called ‘Destroying the Joint’. The title comes from a phrase which entered the Twitter lexicon when another feminist writer, Jane Caro, decided to take on the misogynists when radio presenter Alan Jones said ”Women are destroying the joint – Christine Nixon in Melbourne, Clover Moore here. Honestly.” Caro responded with her now famous tweet, “Got time on my hands tonight so thought I’d spend it coming up with new ways of ”destroying the joint” being a woman & all. Ideas welcome.” This ignited a social media debate about misogyny – in Australian politics, in the workplace and in the street which alongside other projects like #everydaysexism has become a global conversation about gender inequality.  We are hoping to add to this conversation with our Policy Briefing on ‘Gender Equality at Work : where are we now and how far have we still to go?’ which will be out soon.

Guest blog by Su White: Athena SWAN and Southampton

su white


Su White is part of the Web and Internet Science research group in ECS. Her research interests include research-led learning, the effects of technology on education and learning, and web science.




The need and value for balanced and diverse teams and equality of treatment of all staff are two principles which might seem rather challenged in academia when the representation of female academics as a proportion of the whole is considered.nd web science.

This year has seen a widespread and continued series of small celebrations for prestigious Athena SWAN Awards around the University achieved by a range of academic areas. Six academic areas and the university as a whole have all gained bronze awards. There are three more applications in the pipeline, and two more areas are exploring the possibility of making applications.


Athena SWAN is an initiative designed to advance the representation of women in science, engineering and technology, mathematics and medicine.

Currently there are no STEMM subjects at Southampton that have equal proportions of male to female academic staff. Furthermore the numbers of female staff at higher pay grades are significantly reduced at.

The figures for the rounded percentage of female staff in STEMM is as follows:  overall 41%; 49% Grade 4; 47% Grade 5; 31% Grade 6; 21% Grade 7.

This looks quite respectable, however, when you discount colleagues from medicine, health sciences and psychology the picture is less rosy. Overall 33% are female. The breakdown is 41% Grade 4; 37% Grade 5; 23% Grade 6; 17% Grade 7.

In a desire to secure recognition of good practice there has been a massive effort on campus over recent months to look at the university workplace alongside the student experience, to think about the way we balance the gender scales; and how we could do it better.

The university successfully renewed its charter this summer, and the self assessment team chaired by Professor Iain Cameron Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, have declared the ambition to achieve a silver award in 2015. There has been concerted effort by academic teams in all the academic areas involved, the work assisted by the University’s diversity and equality officer Alexander Melhuish alongside others in HR.

Despite reward and recognition of successful female academics in the University, like the rest of the sector we seem to be experiencing a ‘leaky pipeline’ where the proportion of females diminishes as we progress along the career ladder. Systematically ensuring that our processes are fair and equal for all staff and students are important activities for which the prospect of an Athena SWAN award can provide a constructive focus and motivation. Furthermore, there are some areas of academic study where the percentage representation of female students at all levels appears to be surprisingly unbalanced. Effective actions which can improve the experience of staff and students include monitoring current practice, investigating the possible causes of imbalance and remedying problem areas.

Observations that there appear to be differences between the expected progression of staff, or the recruitment of students when analysed by gender need to be made objective so that effective interventions can be identified and implemented.

This in turn may require an increase in the budget for professional development or broad brush developmental and awareness activities which are the necessary pre-cursors to organisational change.

The work of local interest groups such as WiSET (Women in Science Engineering and Technology) can be invaluable in identifying issues which need remedy. Such groups can lobby for change or raise awareness of unexpected issues.


The Bigger Picture

Equality of treatment and experience for all staff and students is essential and backed up by equality legislation, however evidence from national and international surveys suggests that there is room for improvement.

Women in the UK account for around 38% of science researchers, according to the UNESCO institute for Statistics’ 2012 report.

There are some major external drivers to make sure we get things right. Around two years ago institutions were told not to expect to be shortlisted for biomedical research grants unless they could demonstrate evidence of actively supporting women’s career progression.

And it was widely reported earlier in the month that the universities and science minister David Willets said he expected those bidding for government cash to offer evidence of ‘commitment to equality and diversity’.

In mid October the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee held its first evidence hearing for its enquiry into “Women in STEM’ careers. The panel will hear personal views and experiences from witnesses who have worked or are working in academia.

Gender equality is only one aspect of equality, but an awareness of current practice can impact on all facets of equality. From an institutional and societal perspective, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to benefit from the best if we do not ensure all possible participants are recruited and developed. The strengths and value to an organisation of diverse teams is widely recognised, depriving ourselves of the potential for fully balanced teams seems to be shooting ourselves in the foot – never mind the possible consequence from loss of research funding.


Sex Work Futures?

Sex work futures?

It’s the start of the new term for Universities and Colleges throughout the world. Choices and compromises have led new students to embark on courses that are likely to profoundly influence their future careers – because of the knowledge and skills they acquire, because of the networks of contacts they build and because of the previously unthought-of of possibilities that they are awakened to.  Of course, universities can also influence future career choices in other ways and student clubs and societies can also play a role in developing people’s future career choices and opportunities.

So far this sounds like a dull homage to the benefits of a university education and the role of extracurricular activities in preparing for the future. Not really the stuff of a blog on work futures and, let’s be frank, potentially disappointing given the title of the blog. Not so.

Here is the thing. Last week, the annual University of Southampton Fresher’s week ‘RAG’ showcased the work of many student societies, including the University Pole Dancing Club. Now I must confess that encountering a pole dancing demonstration outside a University Students Union was, for me, rather unexpected. I was equally surprised that the display was not the subject of any protest by members of the student body, but perhaps my view on these things has been skewed by being a the University of Sussex in the 1980’s where (I am fairly certain) such things would not have been  tolerated.

I know that pole dancing is now being pushed as ‘exercise’, but let’s be very clear about this. It is a form of exercise that is based on a form of sex work. This got me thinking. Am I simply a dinosaur stuck in the past? Perhaps sex work is just one more career opportunity and if some members of the University Pole Dancing club find their way into the sex industry because their horizons are broadened while at university, so be it. Certainly evidence from recent surveys suggests that sex work does have a role, potential of actual as a means of supplementing students’ income while at University in the UK. The ‘mainstreaming’ of sex work seems widespread in other developed economies.

Is sex work just another job?

Is sex work just another job?

So can we regard sex work as ‘just another job’? Is it simply a choice that some (mostly women, although by no means exclusively) choose to make, as free and legitimate as any other? Perhaps for some it is, I really don’t know. But what I do know is that sex work operates in a context that is associated with human trafficking and forms of slavery. Sex work operates in a context that relies on the objectification of other human beings in a way that is often predicated on treating them as less than fully human.

You might protest not in this country (are you sure?), not our University Club (of course not!), not pole dancing (…maybe?). Perhaps, but in my view, until the sex industry operates in a world where women are universally given equal opportunities the association between sex work and exploitation is too close for me to ever feel comfortable with pole dancing being treated as just another recreational activity or a fully informed career choice. Of course, exploitation is not confined to the sex industry and when we  consider the future of work we should consider the many forms of exploitation that remain hidden to a greater or lesser extent – cheap labour in sweat shops comes to mind. Perhaps next year the Fresher’s fair could include a sponsored sweatshop in which students have to produce garments at high speed in order to get enough money for tomorrow’s food? Or would that be seen as distasteful? It certainly would not be seen as opening up a career opportunity

Some might find it reassuring, others depressing (perhaps it is both) that the club raised a grand total of £2.10 for charity at the Fresher’s fair – the lowest of any of the clubs or societies listed on the University web site.


WFRC welcomes Professor Peter Griffiths as co-director

Peter Griffiths

We are delighted to announce that we have recruited a new co-directorto the Work Futures Research Centre.

Peter Griffiths is currently Professor of Health Sciences Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Peter studied Social Psychology at the University of Sussex in the 1980s, a decision that he says was influenced by an ‘anarchist egg attack’ on David Owen in 1981. Following a subsequent career in nursing, Peter undertook a PhD in nursing research at Kings’ College London.

Peter’s research interests include the relationship between healthcare management structures and the outcomes for staff and patients. His early research involved nursing-led care delivered to post-acute patients, where he set up and evaluated pioneering nursing-led units.

More recently, Peter has been involved in the EU-funded RN4CAST study, which examines human resources management of nursing staff in 13 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA, and the impact of nurse deployment on patient safety. Peter also collaborates with the Health Quality Council of Saskatchewan in Canada where he is helping to evaluate the Productive Ward programme, and the Health Quality Improvement Programme in England where he assessed the feasibility of a national audit of nutritional care in hospitals and care homes.

Before arriving at Southampton, Peter was director of England’s National Nursing Research Unit from 2006 to 2010, and retains a visiting professorship there. He is also Executive Editor of the International Journal of Nursing Studies.

Peter’s strong background in multidisciplinary research means that he is an excellent addition to the WFRC, and we are looking forward to incorporating his ideas into our programme. Incidentally, this is not the first time Peter has been involved with the WFRC, he gave a seminar on his research back in 2011.

Peter will take the place of Alison Fuller at the WFRC, which was made available following her appointment as Chair in Vocational Education and Work at the Institute of Education. We wish Alison the very best in her new adventure and welcome Peter to the team.

Peter will be making his debut on the Work Thought Blog later this week, make sure you look out for it!

‘The Internship’ : Precarious Work Futures #2


Copyright Elite Daily- The Internship 2013 Movie PosterThe smiling faces of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson currently decorating the sides of many local buses are advertising a new film called ‘The Internship’. Their cheerful demeanor informs us that the film is a comedy-but the rising number of internships appearing in the UK and European youth labour markets is far from a laughing matter.

The fact is that internships – short periods of often unpaid work- are rapidly becoming a structural feature of the transition into work for young people. How much this development has been driven by the recessionary economic climate is unclear, but internships are now being offered by an ever increasing number and range of employers. And as the number of paid opportunities for young people shrinks, these forms of employment are highly sought after, being seen as an important route onto the career ladder. An auction held recently at Westminster School of elite internships revealed how anxious parents are even prepared to pay high sums of money in order to secure this sort of occupational advantage for their children.

Copyright Ross Perlin Intern Nation PBYet the evidence also suggests that internships are highly diverse in terms of the experiences and benefits they offer to young people. Recruitment practices vary, as do employment conditions, benefits and rewards, occupational progressions and payment expectations. As such, Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation, describes internship as ‘a many-headed monster’.  Whilst some organisations have been documented as providing highly-desirable and structured schemes with clear training  and career benefits for young people, at least a fifth of internships are unpaid, with smaller organisations the least likely to provide wages.


In addition, it appears that access to internships is unequal, strongly affected by education, social class, ethnicity, personal/family wealth. The most sought-after internships are often accessed through privileged contacts and a recent Cabinet Office (2009) report likened internship recruitment to an ‘informal economy’, where privileged access routes and non/low payment, render take-up unsustainable for young people without the necessary social networks and/or financial support.  In a development of Paul Willis’s findings on how working class kids end up with working class jobs, internships may have become a key mechanism for middle class kids to get middle class jobs, potentially also reproducing divisions of ethnicity, gender and place.


Copytight: intern serves coffeeIt would thus appear that there is somewhat of a paradox here: on the one hand internships can make a valuable contribution to (some) young men and women, the organisations they spend time in as well as the national economy which is of course benefiting hugely from all their hard work. On the other hand, internships can be highly discriminating, offering much needed work experience to the privileged few, or may be exploitative for the young people within them, with an absence of support and protection.


The problem is exacerbated by the fact that our knowledge of internships is scanty and unsystematic. With youth employment high on the policy agenda, now is the time for the issue to be investigated and questioned thoroughly.


See also: Precarious work futures? #1


Latest Insights: Digital technology, learner identities and school-to-work transition project

Michaela Brockmann

Latest Insights into the Digital technology, learner identities and school-to-work transition project by Michaela Brockmann.


We are an interdisciplinary working group at the Work Futures Research Centre at Southampton University. Funded through SIRDF (Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Development Fund), our aim is to explore the role of digital technology in the formation of learner identities and in school-to-work transitions. The project runs from February to December 2013.

In the context of rapid technological innovation, it is understood that digital skills are of increasing significance in education and employment and, in turn, for national economic performance (e.g. BIS 2009).


Digital TechnologiesDespite this, there is a debate about how to educate a digitally literate workforce. The British government has announced a thorough overhaul of the secondary school curriculum for IT, whilst there is concern across Europe (and beyond) that school leavers do not have the appropriate skills either for paid work or higher education. Many countries report shortages of highly skilled IT professionals.

Attention to this area has been divided between those who focus on how digital technologies are (or are not) used to deliver education and those concerned with the content of secondary school education for digital skills. There is a gap between our understanding of how students learn with digital technologies and what they learn about these technologies. This project aims to begin a dialogue to overcome this separation.


The project has an international perspective, focussing initially on Germany and the UK. These countries provide an excellent point of comparison, as they face seemingly similar issues but are different in context and structure, particularly regarding vocational education.

Questions include:

  • How does digital technology (inside and outside school) shape young people’s learning, their learner dispositions and identities?
  • How does the students’ informal learning of technology feed into the formal school context (is it encouraged or impeded)?
  • How does digital technology translate into post-compulsory education career choices?

The Association for Information Technology in Teacher EducationAs part of the project, we are hosting a series of seminars, each on a particular theme, with invited scholars and practitioners in order to explore relevant issues and concepts in this area of research. Details on the seminar series can be found here


The working group is composed of academics from a range of disciplines, including members of the Education School (Dr Michaela Brockmann, Professor Alison Fuller), the School of Social Sciences (Professors Susan Halford and Pauline Leonard), and the School of Health Sciences (Professor Catherine Pope). The members are all part of the Work Futures Research Centre (WFRC), which draws itself on a range of disciplines including Sociology, Psychology and Physical and Applied Sciences and already has a large portfolio of research on the digital economy.

The research focus requires an interdisciplinary approach, concerned as it is with identity formation and learning careers, and the role of class, gender and ethnicity (sociology/sociology of education); with the structure and content of education and further education settings and the teaching and learning within these (education); and, in particular, the role of digital technology in learning.

Precarious work futures?

Amongst all the fuss about the recent Great British Class Survey (GBCS), a collaboration between social scientists Professor Mike Savage and Professor Fiona Devine of LSE and University of Manchester, and the BBC was the interesting observation that the group at the bottom of the social class structure are what the survey’s authors call  the “precariat” (or precarious proletariat). This group – the most deprived of the lot –  makes up 15% of the population, its members earn just £8,000 after tax, have average savings of £800, and are extremely unlikely to go on to higher education. Elsewhere Guy Standing has argued that what he labelled as the precariat is the “new dangerous class” while some others on the left have argued that “We are all the precariat”.

In the Work Futures Research Centre we were interested in the GBCS and the debate surrounding it because of what it told us about workers, different forms of capital and the enduring relationships between work and class. We were especially intrigued by the concept and delineation of precariat particularly the idea that these workers might be on limited, short term or zero hour contracts, those who experience maximum job insecurity.

Working as researchers in academia we are all too aware of the job insecurity of our own profession (in 2010/11 HESA data showed that 68.9% of research staff were on fixed term contracts, continually chasing new research jobs and experiencing redundancy and disruption). But we are also aware of research and commentary that suggests that a rise in freelancing work and especially the ‘micro-gig’ is a new way of working that is welcomed by employers and some employees.

Are these micro-giggers also the precariat?

On one hand, short term work or freelancing offers freedoms – to manage time and work life balance – on the other these ‘gigs’ often come with lower pay, reduced benefits (no sick or maternity pay or leave entitlement) and produce what look like very precarious working lives.

It is suggested that casual work is no longer the sole occupation for the unskilled (think dockers and agricultural labourers) and is becoming the preferred employment mode for professionals such as laywers and skilled technical workers. Reportedly, gig working is the major shift in working patterns of this century. This new mode of work even has its own nomenclature – this is the ‘Freelance Nation’ and ‘Generation flux’ and has spawned various websites ( and devoted to supporting ‘gig’ working.  In addition it appears that more of these new freelancers are women which we might expect as women often cluster in part time employment, but some writers suggest that this represents a rebalancing of work – that women have an answer to austerity and the economic ‘mancession’.

What does all this mean for Work Futures?  I’m not sure. Clearly we are living in very interesting, changing times.  There are issues here – about class, casualization, gender and employment.  All things that matter to those of us interested in the future of work.



Savage M, Devine F, Cunningham N. et al. A New Model of Social Class? Findings from the BBC’s Great British Class Survey Experiment. Sociology 2013 vol. 47 no. 2:219-250

Standing G.  The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011

Gender Equality at Work … an Unfinished Job

This has been a busy few weeks for those of us interested in issues of Gender Equality at Work. First, a report produced by Women’s Aid and the Fawcett Society in May showed that current government spending cuts have hit women disproportionately hard and are threatening to reverse any gains in gender equality which have been achieved over the last few years.  A key factor here is that the Coalition’s austerity measures have cut public sector jobs –the very jobs which are largely occupied by women. This has an effect on both women’s incomes and their pensions.  As Vivienne Hays, Chief Executive of the Women’s Resource Centre argues, “austerity should not be an excuse for discrimination”. Later in May, Harriet Harman’s Commission on the experience of older women in the workplace revealed how, of all presenters over the age of 50 on British TV, only 18% are women: fewer than one in five. Whilst 39% of TV presenters as a whole are women, the vast majority of these are under 50. Once women hit the age of 50, a combination of ageism and sexism ensures their careers are on the decline.  This is in spite of the fact that a BBC survey last year found that audiences would welcome more middle and older age women on television, providing positive role models and greater gender equality (Guardian 16 May 2013 p9). In June, we celebrated the centenary of the suffragette Emily Davison’s death. Exactly a century ago, she was knocked down by the King’s horse in the Epsom Derby as she attempted to draw attention to the Votes for Women Campaign. Fifty five years later, a group of women workers at the Ford Dagenham plant, infuriated by the pay structure which blatantly favoured male workers, made history by going on strike and marching to Whitehall. Their action resulted in the women agreeing to return to work and the conception of the Equal Pay Act of 1970. Now, in 2013, despite many improvements in gender equality in the workplace, there is still a 15% pay gap on full time hours, and this almost doubles in part time roles, many of which are filled by women. As the Fawcett Society argues, it is as if from 7th November to the end of the year, women work for nothing! Such issues of Gender Equality at Work are the focus of the PublicPolicy@Southampton Policy Commission currently being conducted by Susan Halford and myself. After our successful seminar at the House of Commons on International Women’s Day on the 8th March, we are in the process of interviewing a range of influential stakeholders including Kay Carberry, the Assistant General Secretary of the TUC and Scarlet Harris, Women’s Equality Officer at the TUC; Sarah Jackson and Liz Gardiner of Working Families, Baroness Margaret Prosser and Helen Sachdev of the Barclay’s Bank. The interviews will inform a Policy Briefing which will be disseminated later in the year in which the key question : ‘Gender Equality at Work : where are we now and how far have we still to go?’ will be addressed. Keep checking for further updates!

Inaugural Lecture of Professor Catherine Pope: Why Medical Sociology Matters

Inaugural Lecture Catherine Pope, Professor of Medical Sociology

21 June 2013 | 17:30 – 20:00

Lecture programme:  5.30pm Tea & coffee; 6.00pm Inaugural Lecture; 7.00pm Drinks reception

All welcome! RSVP at:

For further details, please contact Tim Lees (


Inaugural Abstract

Medical Sociology is one of the most successful branches of Sociology, applying as it does the study of society and social experience to the vital matters of what happens when we are ill or injured. Understanding ‘medicine’ by exploring the experience of health and sickness, and explaining the activity of healthcare organisations and professionals, is important not just because these things matter deeply to us and our loved ones when we are ill or injured, but also because this understanding gives us the power to intervene.

This lecture explores why Medical Sociology matters. It will draw on research and theory which has inspired me, and describe some of my own research about health care work (such as studies of secretaries managing waiting lists, and surgeons doing surgery) and organisational change in the NHS (ranging from the introduction of walk-in centres to computerised ambulance triage systems). I will argue that Medical Sociology is necessary and essential to understand and challenge health services and inform health care practice.

Catherine Pope: Bio

Catherine Pope is Professor of Medical Sociology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Southampton. Her research has included ethnographic studies of waiting lists, operating theatres and ambulance journeys, and evaluations of NHS walk-in centres and NHS Treatment Centres, and Advanced Access to primary care. Most recently she has been studying a computerised decision support system in urgent and emergency care and the new health service commissioning arrangements. Thanks to a stint as deputy director of the RCUK Web Science Doctoral Training Centre, Catherine is also firmly enmeshed in research and teaching about the World Wide Web, including thinking about how the Web might be shaping health and health care. She was co-editor, with Professor Graham Crow, of Sociology and, with Professor Nicholas Mays, of the popular introductory text Qualitative Research in Health Care which has been translated into Japanese and Portuguese. She has also written (with Nicholas Mays and Professor Jennie Popay) a core text on Synthesizing Qualitative and Quantitative Health Evidence for the Open University Press.

Recognising the role and contribution of the intermediate level workforce in healthcare

In the wake of the scandal about healthcare standards at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust laid out in the Francis Report , the debate about the regulation and registration of the healthcare support workforce has been ratcheted up. The Times journalist Camilla Cavendish has been asked to undertake an independent review  in to the training and support of healthcare assistants, reporting to Government by the end of May 2013.


In this context a new report by members of the Work Futures Research Centre undertaken in collaboration with colleagues at the ESRC LLAKES Centre at the Institute of Education, London argues that the binary division between so called ‘qualified’ staff such as nurses, midwives, radiographers and healthcare scientists and ‘unqualified’ support staff is unhelpful and inaccurate.

Instead it reveals the increasingly important contribution being made to patient care by ‘intermediate’ level staff positioned between ‘registered professional’ and ‘semi-skilled’ grades. It concludes that policy has been silent on the role of intermediate level workers in relation to patient safety, and asks whether there could be distinctive expectations about their contribution. It is clear that all healthcare staff have a role to play in patient safety and high standards of care.

The project, commissioned by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation has recently been completed and the final report is available to download here.

Key Findings

The research looked at intermediate level work in a range of occupational fields including midwifery support, radiography support, dental technicians, and healthcare science. Of special interest was the education and training of different professional groups and the thorny issue of registration.  The project explored the views of a wide range of stakeholders and found that more accurate data on and better understanding of the roles undertaken by the intermediate workforce across the healthcare is needed to:

  • Help raise its profile and visibility
  • Help policy-making bodies monitor and plan for the size and development of this group
  • Provide the basis for developing a clearer relationship and alignment between qualification pathway and occupational level
  • Review the impact of the decline in the work-based education and training route for the availability of intermediate level posts and how and by whom they are accessed
  • Capture the contribution of intermediate level staff to patient care and safety
  • Explore how the regulation and registration of intermediate workers in specific occupational areas could better support and recognise their expertise


Full details:

Final report: ‘Technician and Intermediate Roles in the Healthcare Sector’, Alison Fuller, Jill Turbin, Lorna Unwin, David Guile and Julie Wintrup. The Gatsby Foundation, University of Southampton and the Institute of Education, London, 2013.

Contact: Professor Alison Fuller, University of Southampton