Meet Professor Anne Green, Chair of Regional Economic Development at City-REDI

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I’m a human geographer with particular interests in population geography, economic geography and the geography of labour markets. I am especially interested in spatial dimensions of employment change and issues of non-employment, local skills strategies, inclusive growth, migration, and urban and regional development. My interests stray into several other fields too but most of my research is applied in nature and has relevance for policy.

I started my research career at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), University of Newcastle upon Tyne. My very first project involved analysis of Census of Population data and working in a team on the delineation of Travel-To-Work Areas. I have also worked at the University of Cardiff in the field of urban and regional development. Since then I have spent many years at the Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick.

Joining City-REDI (Regional Economic Development Institute) in June 2017 enables me to continue working on many of my established research interests. At the same time I relish the chance to forge new research partnerships with established, mid-career and early career academics working on scientifically interesting topics in an institute with a strong and supportive business development ethos. Moreover, the University of Birmingham offers opportunities to engage with researchers who have complementary interests in others departments and schools.

Over the years I’ve contributed to evaluations of welfare-to-work programmes for central government departments. The national evaluation of the City Strategy initiative was particularly interesting as it involved examining the activities of local partnerships. Moreover it involved a mixed methods approach which I like. In other work I have examined local initiatives to combat worklessness. Recent work with an employability theme has examined young people’s transitions to employment, including contributing to the national evaluation of the Big Lottery’s Talent Match initiative; (you can see papers on the role of key workers and on in-work support here).

Much of my research on migration has focused on migrant workers at regional level. I have also had commissions from the Migration Advisory Committee to examine workforce composition in low-skilled sectors. But as well as looking at mobile people I’m also interested in place attachment and why people don’t make residential moves – and how they might choose to live in locations where it is possible to substitute commuting for migration. All of these questions have important implications for regional economic development.

Another thrust of my research is on local skill strategies – something of relevance to city-regions in the West Midlands and beyond. This work has included projects commissioned by the Department for Education, the OECD’s LEED (Local Economic and Employment Development) programme and the Government Office for Science’s Foresight project on the Future of Skills and Lifelong Learning.

I’ve examined employment, skills and poverty issues (with Paul Sissons at Coventry and Neil Lee at LSE) for an ESRC project on ‘Harnessing Growth Sectors for Poverty Reduction’ and we have published papers on data analysis, employment entry, progression and job quality. This fits neatly with my interest in inclusive growth and how cities might implement inclusive growth strategies. It’s great to be looking at all these and other issues from a base at City-REDI and the University of Birmingham!

To read Anne’s latest publication on the role of non-UK workers in construction, please see here for a summary and here for the full report.

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