Becci Newton

MA, PGCert

staff photo

Associate Director

becci.newton@employment-studies.co.uk

+44(0)1273 763 441

Becci has over 15 years’ experience of applied social research and evaluation, and is a recognised expert on a range of topics including: young people’s transitions, particularly within the 14-19 phase; further education and Apprenticeship; and unemployment, inactivity and welfare to work. Cross cutting themes within her research are equality and diversity, social mobility, and overcoming poverty and disadvantage. Becci often manages large-scale, complex research projects and is adept at synthesising evidence from multi-method research studies and devising policy implications and recommendations. She leads process, critical realist and impact evaluations and research as part of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to provide formative and summative assessments of interventions.

Recently, she headed the consortium which evaluated the ‘18-21 Work Skills Pilot 1’ working with economists and researchers at IES, NatCen and AlphaPlus Consultancy. The pilot tested the provision of online training in English and Maths to low skilled young jobseekers. Implemented as an RCT, the evaluation involved an examination of the RCT data to test whether random assignment had operated successfully, a cost-benefit forecast, process evaluation as well as detailed insights into the nature of the English and Maths assessments and training initiated by providers of the pilot. While the pilot was withdrawn early due to the falling rate of unemployment, Becci and the team were able to derive lessons for future policy development and RCT delivery.

She has also recently led a large-scale qualitative study into the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) Reform Trials for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), complementing in-house research by the DWP analysts to understand impact using experimental and quasi-experimental techniques. The trials aimed to support ESA claimants to make progress towards the labour market. The project, which was completed in collaboration with Professor Roy Sainsbury at the University of York, involved longitudinal qualitative interviews with claimants and observations of claimant-adviser meetings. The primary, qualitative research was underpinned by the development of a theory of change for each of the trials.

Before joining IES, Becci worked as a Research Officer at the University of Brighton. Between 2000 and 2002, she led a project to implement a learning resource intranet within Brighton Business School. During this time she won a grant from the Business Education Support Team to explore models of e-learning in higher education. Following this, she moved to the Education Policy Evaluation Unit within the Faculty of Education, University of Brighton, where she led the local evaluation of the Children's Fund initiative. Prior to this she worked as a senior administrator within Brighton Business School and other departments at the University of Brighton.

Education

2003 University of Brighton PG Cert (Distinction), Research Methods
2002 University of Brighton MA, Sequential Design and Illustration

Career

2002‑2004 Research Officer, Education Policy and Evaluation Unit, University of Brighton
2000‑2002 Research Officer, Brighton Business School, University of Brighton

Research publications

Articles and chapters

Conference appearances

  • The Cedefop VET toolkit to tackle early leaving from education and training, Newton B, Nouwen W, Policy learning forum: VET as a solution to leaving education early, Cedefop, Artion Events, Thessaloniki, Greece, May 2017
  • Local policymakers and institutional level actors measures, Newton B, Policy learning forum: VET as a solution to leaving education early, Cedefop, Artion Events, Thessaloniki, Greece, May 2017
  • Labour market for young people: today and tomorrow, Newton B, Future of work and employability at age 19, Department for Education, London, June 2016
  • Evidence Report, Newton B, Skills Commission Spotlight on Young People: Evidence Session 1, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Skills and Employment, London, March 2016
  • Apprenticeships Equality, Diversity and the Reform Programme, Newton B, Community Safety Social Inclusion Scrutiny Commission, Hackney Council , London, February 2016
  • Evaluation of the Apprenticeship Trailblazers, Newton B, Evaluation of the Apprenticeship Trailblazers, Campaign for Learning, London, July 2015
  • Overcoming unemployment among young people: lessons from Youth Contract for 16-17 year olds, Newton B, Speckesser S, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion seminar, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE), London School of Economics (LSE), October 2014
  • Addressing under-representation by gender and ethnicity in Apprenticeships, Newton B, Apprenticeships and Equality: A call to action, Department of Business Innovation and Skills, the National Apprenticeship Service and the TUC, London, April 2014
  • Under-representation in apprenticeships, Newton B, Network Rail seminar, Network Rail, Milton Keynes, March 2014
  • Increasing diversity in apprenticeships , Newton B, 5th International Apprenticeship Conference, National Apprenticeship Service, London, March 2014
  • RPA Phase 4 Evaluation , Newton B, South West Partnership for Participation and Progression, South West Partnership for Participation and Progression Group, Somerset, January 2014
  • Under-representation in Apprenticeships by gender and ethnicity - A research overview, Newton B, Under-representation in Apprenticeships by gender and ethnicity, Unionlearn with TUC, London, January 2014
  • Contributor, Newton B, Livechat: How can we secure sustainable jobs for the most disadvantaged?, The Guardian, October 2013
  • Research on the Raising the Participation Age (RPA) Phase 4 Local Delivery Projects , Newton B, RPA projects – Phase 4 Dissemination Event, Department for Education, Sheffield, September 2013
  • Evaluation of the Work Programme: Key findings, Newton, B, Welfare to Work Convention, Inclusion and Shaw Trust, Manchester, July 2013
  • Measuring impact, accountabilities, systems and processes: What can we learn from recent evaluations?, Newton B, Youth Employment Convention, Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion, London, May 2013
  • Youth transitions: a route to the labour market through Apprenticeship, Newton B, Select Committee on the Student Journey, Kent County Council, Kent, January 2013
  • Expert contribution, Newton B, Expert seminar: Youth unemployment and young people NEET, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), London, July 2012
  • Expanding and Improving Part-time Higher Education, Hillage J, Pollard E, Newton B, Higher Education Seminar, Department for Business, Inmovation and Skills, London, June 2012
  • Youth transitions: learning and the labour market, Newton B, Select Committee on the Student Journey, Kent County Council, Kent, July 2011
  • Employers! Put your best where it will do the most, Miller L, Newton B, The point of partnership: understanding employer engagement in education, University of Warwick, October 2010
  • How do we engage reluctant post-16 learners? Some lessons for Raising of the Participation Age (RPA), Newton B, Maguire S, British Education Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, BERA, Warwick, September 2010
  • Youth apprenticeships, Newton B, Apprenticeship in Challenging Times, Institute of Education, London, July 2010
  • Re-engaging young people through the Activity Agreements: the perspectives of young people and their advisers, Newton B, Levesley T, NEETS: what the research says, A London Region Post-14 Network Conference, Universtiy of London Institue of Education, July 2009
  • Lessons from the Young Apprenticeships, Newton B, Researching Practice: Work Based Research in the Learning and Skills Sector, Further Education Research Association, London, May 2009
  • Findings from the Careers Advice Service Progression Insight Research, Newton B, Gloster R, Policy makers' seminar, April 2009
  • Putting research into practice in the Young Apprenticeships, Newton B, Learning and Skills Research Network Conference 2008, NIACE, London, December 2008
  • Vocational Guidance using new technologies - Lessons from Learndirect Guidance telephony-based service UK, Newton B, Gloster R, Bringing Public Employment Services directly to jobseekers, employers and local communities using accessible, sustainable systems and technologies, EU Open Access Project, FAS - Irish Employment Board, Dublin, November 2008
  • Designing, developing and evaluating Tasters, Newton B, Workshop series, Brighton, London, Coventry and York, Summer 2007
  • Designing sector-based careers information, Newton B, Workshop series, London, Norfolk, Brighton, Spring 2007
  • Equal opportunities in the Young Apprentices, Newton B, Young Apprentices Conference, Department for Education and Skills, London, Autumn 2006
  • The Wider Benefits of Learning in Later Life - Keynote address, Dench S, Newton B, Later Life Learning - Fit for Purpose?, Association for Education and Ageing, NIACE, IES, Celebrating Age 2006, Brighton, July 2006
  • Improving large group participation for business students in an eLearning environment using sustained role play in a virtual business, Newton B, Rospigliosi A, 9th Annual EDINEB International Conference, Breaking Boundaries for Global Learning, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Guadalajara, 2002

Advisory roles and affiliations

  • Expert, DWP & ESRC roundtable on Work, Health and Disability (2017 - 2017)
  • Occasional Reviewer for the Journal of Social Policy (2016 - present)
  • Occasional reviewer for the Journal of Social Policy & Administration (2015 - present)
  • Associate of the Education and Training Foundation (2016 - present)
  • Occasional Referee for Educational Research journal (2014 - present)
  • Occasional Referee for The International Journal of Training Research (2014 - present)
  • Associate Researcher for the Department for Education (2014 - present)
  • Member, London Borough of Newham 16-19 education and employment advisory group (2009 - 2010)

Projects