Notes on the Conference: Inclusive Labour Market: Exploring Job retention, rotation and social dialogue

Professor David Etherington and Dr Duncan Adam

Purpose of the Conference

Both Staffordshire University and ERSA have been exploring models of labour market policy which are inclusive and democratic. The Job retention rotation model promoted by the Danish Government and trade unions has had a great deal of success in engaging unemployed/ disadvantaged groups with employment and at the same time providing unskilled workers opportunities to participate in vocational training. The model enables employees to be released from work to undertake study, by replacing them with substitutes who have been unemployed. The unemployed participants receive pre-employment support and mentoring as part of the scheme. Through this approach, those otherwise excluded from the workforce, are given a unique opportunity for paid work experience and vocational training. Employers benefit because production/services continues while staff are freed up to develop their skills.

This model has been mainstreamed in some European countries, promoted by the European Union, and successfully piloted in Scotland by the Workers Education Association. An essential ingredient of the JR model is the role of social dialogue and the bringing together of relevant labour market partners, including trade unions and worker representatives. For more information on the Danish approach see

The main aim of the Conference was to focus on solutions to poverty and inequality by considering the possibilities of initially piloting such an initiative in the UK, possibly in the Stoke/North Staffordshire area. Previous reports by Staffordshire have drawn attention to deep seated in work and out of work poverty (see ) where a large proportion of working age adults are either excluded from the labour market or in low paid/skills employment. A key focus is also to assess how trade unions/civil society organisations can play a greater role, along with other stakeholders within the UK employment and skills system.

Summary of all the presentations is available for download below at the bottom of the page

Speakers at the conference

Professor Martin Jones (VC) Staffordshire University

Professor David Etherington, Professor of Local and Regional Economic Development, Staffordshire UniversityJob retention and social dialogue: Lessons from Denmark

Jill Rutter, Head of Programme and Policy, Learning and Work InstituteWhich way now for employment support?

Dr Katy Jones,  Research Fellow, Centre for Decent Work and Productivity, Manchester Metropolitan UniversityWhat role for employers? Universal Credit and Employers: exploring the demand side of UK active labour market policy

Matt Pointon West Midlands TUCand the development of the TUC-WMCA Skills Partnership.

Simon Harris, North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Citizens Advice

Alexandra Jones, Policy Manager – GingerbreadThe Single Parent Employment Challenge: Overview and Key Findings

Plenary SummaryElizabeth Taylor CEO Employment Related Services Association (ERSA)

All notes in one document below