Learning and employee development

We have an extensive portfolio of work on education and training for clients such as the Department for Education (DfE), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS, now the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)), and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) as well as local and sectoral education and skills bodies.

We have conducted major evaluations on the impact of public training and development policies at national and international level.

We also evaluate in-company training and development programmes and help employers to better understand their training investment in order to create a more effective development offer. We have researched the growth in coaching, the changing face of human resource development and the impact of workplace learning and development strategies.

Our work in this area

Find out about our work in specific areas below.

Coaching and mentoring

Coaching and mentoring are often important elements of many workplace learning and development programmes. We help organisations design, create and implement coaching and mentoring initiatives for strategic change-readiness. We also help evaluate coaching and mentoring – an area of high interest but considerable difficulty.

Contact: Alison Carter

Continuing professional development for HR professionals

Vocational education and training

Vocational education and training (VET) generally refers to the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, and knowledge relating to particular occupations and often involves, in whole or in part, elements of learning in the workplace. Such learning is an important contributor to national and organisational productivity. It provides a stepping stone for young people between initial education and the demands of work, supports many adults with limited initial skills acquisition, and helps maintain employability.

We seek to understand the impact of programmes and initiatives and scrutinise the contribution of national and in-company training schemes and systems. Our work spans all aspects of education and training from when young people first start to prepare for their labour market future in their early teens, through post-16 and tertiary education and training, to learning at work and in the wider community and beyond.

Contact: Emma Pollard and Becci Newton

Our work in this area


A key element of vocational education and training in the UK is the growing number of apprenticeships, at a range of levels. We have a long track record of researching into the numbers, characteristics and pay of apprentices, the form of learning involved, how best to engage employers in the delivery of apprenticeships and the impact apprenticeship programmes have on individuals' subsequent labour market experiences.

Contact: Becci Newton

Our work in this area

IES experts

Becci Newton

Jim Hillage

Kari Hadjivassiliou

Becci Newton
Associate Director
Jim Hillage
Director, Employment Policy Research
Kari Hadjivassiliou
Principal Research Fellow

Related projects

Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER)
Department for Education

Support in the development of MOD Skills Strategy
Ministry of Defence

Evaluation of the Pathways to Apprenticeship programme
Welsh Assembly Government (WAG)

Study on a Comprehensive Overview on Traineeship Arrangements In Member States
European Commission

Evaluation of the Impact of Learning below Level 2 in FE
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Occupational Route Map for T Levels
The Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Careers Information Advice and Guidance Impact Tracking
The Careers & Enterprise Company (C&EC)