Department of Education

Professor Ewart Keep

Director of SKOPE

Professor Ewart Keep holds the chair in Education, Training and Skills at the Department of Education, Oxford University. He was one of the founders and is now the director of the Centre on Skills, Knowledge & Organisational Performance (SKOPE). SKOPE was funded by the ESRC for the first 15 years of its life. Before coming to Oxford, he worked for 21 years in Warwick Business School, and then at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. He has been at Oxford since 2013.

His first degree was in Modern History, Economic History and Politics (Royal Holloway College, University of London) and his PhD is in Industrial relations (University of Warwick). He has researched and written on apprenticeships, personnel management in schools and HE, HE policy more generally, the relationship between skills and economic performance, managerial attitudes towards investing in skills, qualifications reform, the youth labour market, adult and lifelong learning, and skills policy formation and enactment across the four UK nations. He is currently managing an ESRC-funded project on NEETs (those not in education, employment or training) in the UK, as part of a wider European project on NEETs.

He has served on major committees of the Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for England, and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, as well as advising HM Treasury, DBIS, DfE, the No.10 Policy Unit, the Cabinet Office, the UK Commission on Employment and Skills, the Scottish, Welsh, New South Wales, Queensland and New Zealand governments, the NAO, the OECD, and various professional bodies and think tanks (including Demos and IPPR). He also acted as an advisor to a Government Office for Science (Foresight) project on adult learning and the changing labour market, and was a member of the Greater London Authority’s task and finish group on the skills strategy for London. He is currently a member of the Scottish Government’s Labour Market Strategy Group.

Doctoral Applications

Links between skills and economic performance:

  • Skill policy formation
  • Apprenticeships
  • Adult training and re-training
  • The governance of skills formation activities
  • Vocational education colleges
  • The links between work organisation, job design and skills
  • Workplace innovation and skills

Publications:

  • Books

    • Hermannsson, K, Keep, EJ, Lecca, P, Peat, J, Sutton, L, Swales, K (2012) Further Education, the Scottish Labour Market and the Wider Economy. Edinburgh: David Hume Institute.

  • Book chapters

    • Michie, J, Cooper, CL (2015) Introduction. 1-7
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1057/9781137269928.0004

    • Keep, EJ, James, S (2012) “Making Bad Jobs Better – Trends, determinants and responses to job quality in the twenty-first century”, In: C Warhurst, P Findlay, C Tilly, F Carre (eds.) Making Bad Jobs Better – Trends, determinants and responses to job quality in the twenty-first century. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 240-253

    • James, SF, Bryson,, J, Keep, E (2012) “Recruitment and Selection”, In: S Bach, M Edwards (eds.) Managing Human Resources: Human resource Management in transition. 5th Edition. Chichester: Wiley.

    • Keep, EJ (2011) “Education and the Economy”, In: N Lawson, K Spours (eds.) Education for the Good Society The Values and Principles of a New Comprehensive Vision. London: Compass. 49-52

    • Keep, EJ (2011) “Education, Employment and the Economy: Time to Bid the Past Goodbye?”, In: Open to Ideas. London: Associate Parliamentary Skills Group. 31-33

    • Keep, EJ (2011) “The English skills policy narrative”, In: A Hodgson, K Spours, M Warring (eds.) Post-compulsory Education and Lifelong Learning Across the United Kingdom Policy, Organisation and Governance. London: Institute of Education. 18-38

    • Keep, EJ, Payne, J, Rees, G (2010) “Devolution and strategies for learning and skills: the Leitch Report and its alternatives”, In: G Lodge (ed.) Devolution in Practice 2010. London: ippr. 83-100

    • Keep, EJ (2010) “Recent Research on Workplace Learning and Its Implications for National Skills Policies Across the OECD”, In: J Bryson (ed.) Beyond Skill Institutions, Organisations and Human Capability. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 105-126

    • Keep, EJ, Lloyd, C, Payne, J (2010) “Skills Policy and the Displacement of Industrial Relations: The Elephant in the Corner”, In: T Colling, M Terry (eds.) Industrial Relations Theory and Practice. London: Wiley. 398-421

    • Mayhew, K, Keep, E (2009) “Knowledge, skills and competitiveness”, In: F Rauner, R Maclean (eds.) Handbook of TVET Research.

    • Keep, EJ (2009) “Higher education and a skills agenda more broadly conceived”, In: K Withers (ed.) First class? challenges and opportunities for the UK's university sector. London: ippr. 73-84

    • Keep, EJ (2007) “The multiple paradoxes of state power in the English education and training system”, In: L Clarke, C Winch (eds.) Vocational Education International Approaches, Developments and Systems. London: Routledge. 161-178

    • Keep, EJ (2006) “Who can bring forward the education and training dimension of the National Action Plans?”, In: M Kuhn, R Sultana (eds.) Homo Sapiens Europæus Creating the European Learning Citizen. New York: Peter Lang. 149-165

    • Keep, EJ (2006) “Training and Skills: An Institutional Patchwork”, In: L Dickens, AC Neal (eds.) The Changing Institutional Face of British Employment Relations. Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International. 49-61

    • Keep, EJ, Payne, J (2005) “Promoting Workplace Development: Lessons for UK Policy from Nordic Approaches to Job Redesign and the Quality of Working Life”, In: B Harley, J Hyman, P Thompson (eds.) Participation and Democracy at Work, Essays in Honour of Harvey Ramsey. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 146-165

    • Keep, EJ (2005) “‘Skills, Training and the Quest for the Holy Grail of Status and Influence”, In: S Bach (ed.) Managing Human Resources Personnel Management in Transition. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 211-236

    • Keep, EJ (2004) “After access: researching labour market issues”, In: M Osborne, J Gallagher, B Crossan (eds.) Researching Widening Access to Lifelong Learning Issues and Approaches in International Research. London: Routledge. 115-126

    • Keep, EJ, Payne, J (2004) “‘”I can’t believe it’s not skill”: the changing meaning of skill in the UK context and some implications”, In: G Hayward, S James (eds.) Balancing the Skills Equation Key Issues and Challenges for Policy and Practice. Bristol: Policy Press. 53-76

    • Brown, A, Keep, EJ (2004) “Paradoxes, pitfalls and prospects for a dynamic VET system”, In: WJ Nijhof, W van Esch (eds.) Evaluation of the Dutch VET System. Den Hague: Ellsevere. 255-256

    • Brown, A, Keep, EJ (2003) “Competing perspectives on workplace learning and the learning organisation”, In: B Nyham, M Kelleher, P Cressey, R Poell (eds.) Facing Up to the Learning Organization Challenge: Selected European writings. Thessaloniki: CEDEFOP. 73-91

  • Journal articles

    • Keep, E (2017) “English exceptionalism re-visited: divergent skill strategies across England and Scotland”, Journal of Education and Work. 30(7) 741-749.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2017.1380755

    • Findlay, P, Warhurst, C, Keep, E, Lloyd, C (2017) “Opportunity Knocks? The Possibilities and Levers for Improving Job Quality”, WORK AND OCCUPATIONS. 44(1) 3-22.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1177/0730888416689813

  • Reports

    • Keep, EJ (2016) Improving Skills Utilisation in the UK - Some Reflections on What, Who and How?. Oxford: SKOPE Research Centre.

    • Keep, EJ (2012) “Skill ecosystems – lessons for England?”, In: paper written for David Willetts, minister for higher education in DBIS (mimeo). Cardiff: Cardiff University: SKOPE.

    • Keep, EJ (2012) “Reforming Vocational Qualifications: Some Problems Ahead?”, In: SKOPE Issues Paper. Cardiff: Cardiff University, SKOPE.

    • Keep, EJ (2012) “Employer Involvement and Leadership in Skills Policy”, In: paper written for the Skills and FE Branch of DBIS. London: UKCES.

    • Keep, EJ (2012) “Apprenticeships – some problems and issues”, In: submission of evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Business, Innovation and Skills inquiry into apprenticeships.

    • Keep, EJ (2012) “Youth Transitions, the Labour Market and Entry into Employment: Some Reflections and Questions”, In: SKOPE Research Paper. Cardiff: Cardiff University, SKOPE.

    • Holmes, C, Mayhew, K, Keep, EJ (2012) “Ten Big Questions for Higher Education”, In: SKOPE Issues Paper. Cardiff: Cardiff University, SKOPE.

    • Payne, J, Keep, EJ (2011) “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? Skills Policy in England under the Coalition Government”, In: SKOPE Research Paper. Cardiff: Cardiff University, SKOPE.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (2011) “Future Directions for Skills Policy”, In: SKOPE submission to the Labour Party Policy Review on skills (mimeo). Universities of Oxford and Cardiff, SKOPE.

    • Keep, EJ (2010) “The challenges and dilemmas of public skills policy and investment”, In: EEDA Foresight: Skills. Cambridge: East of England Development Agency.

    • Keep, EJ, James, S (2010) “Recruitment and selection – A review of extant research and some thoughts on its implications for education and training policy”, In: SKOPE Research Paper. Cardiff: Cardiff University, SKOPE.

    • Keep, EJ (2009) “The limits of the possible: shaping the learning and skills landscape through a shared policy narrative”, In: SKOPE Research Paper. Cardiff: Cardiff University, SKOPE.

    • Keep, EJ (2009) “Internal and External Incentives to Engage in Education and Training – A Framework for Analysing the Forces Acting on Individuals?”, In: SKOPE Monograph. Cardiff: Cardiff University, SKOPE.

    • Keep, EJ (2008) “Skills and Social Justice”, In: SKOPE Issues Paper. Cardiff: Cardiff University, SKOPE.

    • Keep, EJ (2008) “A Comparison of the Welsh Workforce development Programme and England’s Train to Gain”, In: SKOPE Research Paper. Cardiff: Cardiff University, SKOPE.

    • Keep, EJ (2008) “From Competence and Competition to the Leitch Review – The Utility of Comparative Analyses of Skills and Performance”, In: IES Working Paper. Brighton: Institute of Employment Studies.

    • Keep, EJ (2007) “Key Future Labour Market and Skills Issues in Scotland (and beyond)”, In: Futureskills Scotland Expert Briefings Series. Glasgow: FSS.

    • Oancea, AE, Hayward, G, Hodgson, A, Johnson, J, Keep, E, Pring, R, Rees, G, Spours, K, Wilde, S (2006) Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training Report 2005-2006.

    • Keep, EJ (2006) The English Lesson’, The Skill Ecosystem National project, Sydney, NSW. DET NSW, SKOPE and the Australian Government Department for Education, Science and Training.

    • Keep, EJ (2006) “Market Failure in Skills”, In: SSDA Catalyst. Wath-upon-Dearne: SSDA.

    • Oancea, AE, Hayward, G, Hodgson, A, Johnson, J, Keep, E, Pring, R, Spours, K, Wilde, S, Wright, S (2005) Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training Report 2004-2005.

    • Huddleston, P, Keep, EJ, Unwin, L (2005) “What Might the Tomlinson and White Paper proposals Mean for Vocational Education and the Work-Based Route?”, In: Nuffield Review Discussion Paper.

    • Keep, EJ (2004) “The Multiple Dimensions of Performance – Performance as Defined By Whom, Measured in What Ways, To What Ends?”, In: Nuffield Review Working Paper.

    • Oancea, AE, Hayward, G, Hodgson, A, Johnson, J, Keep, E, Pring, R, Spours, K, Wright, S (2004) Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training Report 2003-2004.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (2004) Can Employers Be Persuaded That Training Pays?. Glasgow: Future Skills Scotland/ScottishEnterprise.

    • Keep, EJ, Huddleston, P (2004) “Education-Business Link Activity Structure and funding”, In: Report for internal use by the Learning and Skills Council National Office (mimeo). Coventry: University of Warwick, Centre for Education and Industry.

    • Mayhew, K, Wilson, R, Hogarth, T, Keep, E (2003) Tackling the low skills equilibrium. London: Department of Trade and Industry.

    • Keep, EJ (2003) “Training in the current economic climate”, In: Training in the current economic climate. London: CIPD.

    • Keep, EJ, Payne, J (2003) “What can the UK learn from the Norwegian and Finnish experience of attempts at work re-organisation?”, In: SKOPE Research Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick, SKOPE.

    • Mayhew, K, Keep, E, Bosworth, D (2003) Tackling the low skills equilibrium: a review of the issues. Department of Trade and Industry.

    • Keep, EJ, Wilson, R (2003) DTI Skills Seminar – An overview. London: DTI.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K, Corney, M (2002) Review of the evidence on the rate of return to employers of investment in training and employer training measures. London: Department of Trade and Industry.

    • Keep, EJ (2002) “Organisation, Governance and Regulation”, In: Nuffield Foundation, 14-19 Education – Papers Arising from a seminar series held at the Nuffield Foundation. London: Nuffield Foundation.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (2001) “Globalisation, Models of Competitive Advantage and Skills”, In: SKOPE Research Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick, SKOPE.

    • Coleman, S, Keep, EJ (2001) Background Literature Review for PIU Project on Workforce Development. London: Cabinet Office/PIU.

    • Costley, D, Fettes, T, Fiehn, J, Foweather, R, Gleeson, D, Harper, S, Huddleston, P, Keep, EJ, Neill, S, Stillwell, S (2001) Independent Research to Evaluate the Key Skills Support Programme (KSSP) – Stage One. Coventry: University of Warwick, Centre for Education and Industry.

    • Keep, EJ (2000) “Creating a Knowledge-Driven Economy – Definitions, Challenges and Opportunities”, In: SKOPE Policy Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick, SKOPE.

    • Keep, EJ (2000) “Learning Organisations, Lifelong Learning and the Mystery of the Vanishing Employers”, In: SKOPE Research Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick, SKOPE.

    • Keep, EJ (2000) “Employers’ Attitudes Towards Adult Training”, In: National Skills Task Force Research Project Report. Sheffield: DfEE.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (2000) “The Leisure Sector”, In: National Skills Task Force Research Project Report. Sheffield: DfEE.

    • Keep, EJ (1999) National Skills Task Force Issues Paper on Management Skills for the Third Millenium and UK Management Education, Training and Development. Coventry: University of Warwick, SKOPE.

    • Brown, A, Keep, EJ (1999) Lifequal Project: Effective processes for the acquisition of qualifications for lifelong learning - with the focus on processes of school to work transition through vocational education and training - English National Report’. Coventry: University of Warwick, IER.

    • Keep, EJ (1998) Employment Policies and Training Policy in Europe – the UK Case Study. Fondazione Regionale Pietro Seveso/Warwick University: SKOPE.

    • Edwards, P, Gilman, M, Hall, M, Keep, EJ, Lloyd, C, Sisson, K (1997) “The industrial relations consequences of New Labour”, In: Hot Topics series, (special web edition). Warwick Business School.

    • Edwards, P, Gilman, M, Hall, M, Keep, EJ, Lloyd, C, Sisson, K (1997) “The industrial relations consequences of New Labour”, In: European Industrial Relations Observatory. Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

    • Keep, EJ, Waddington, J (1995) ECSC Measures and the Restructuring of Steel and Coal in the UK. Coventry: University of Warwick Business School, IRRU.

    • Ferner,, A, Keep, EJ, Waddington, J (1995) ECSC Readaptation Measures in the Restructuring of the European Coal and Steel Industries - Final Report. Coventry: University of Warwick Business School, IRRU.

    • Ferner, A, Keep, EJ, Waddington, J (1995) ECSC Readaptation Measures in the Restructuring of the European Coal and Steel Industries - Initial Report. Coventry: University of Warwick Business School, IRRU.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (1994) “UK Training Policy - Assumptions and Reality”, In: Background briefing paper for TUC national conference 'Looking Forward to Full Employment'. London: TUC.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (1994) Scoping paper for the Institute of Personnel Management 'What Makes Training Pay?' Project. London: IPM.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (1993) Submission on training and skills utilisation to the House of Commons Select Committee on Trade and Industry's inquiry into the competitiveness of British manufacturing', June, 1993. (subsequently published in Evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Trade and Industry Committee 2nd Report 'Competitiveness of UK Manufacturing Industry', Vol 2, Memoranda of Evidence. London: HMSO.

    • Keep, EJ (1993) Final Report for the EC on Social Dialogue in the Community Steel Industry. Coventry: University of Warwick, IRRU.

    • Keep, EJ, Waddington, J (1993) Report on Social Dialogue in the Implementation of Social Measures Accompanying the Restructuring of the Steel Industry: The Case of the United Kingdom'. Coventry: University of Warwick: IRRU.

    • Keep, EJ, Edwards, P, Ferner, A, Hall, M, Sisson, K, Waddington, J (1993) Report for the EC on Social Dialogue and Restructuring in the Community Steel Industry - Initial Report. Coventry: University of Warwick, IRRU.

    • Keep, EJ (1992) Report on British Steel for the ILVA-METIS-STOA Project. Coventry: University of Warwick, IRRU.

    • Keep, EJ (1992) Submission of Evidence to the National Commission on Education on Key Issue 3, The Teaching Profession and Quality. Coventry: University of Warwick, IRRU.

    • Keep, EJ (1987) “Britain's Attempts to Create a National Vocational Education and Training System: A Review of Progress”, In: Warwick Papers in Industrial Relations. Coventry: University of Warwick, IRRU.

    • Keep, EJ (1986) “Designing the Stable Door: A Study of How the Youth Training Scheme was Planned”, In: Warwick Papers in Industrial Relations. Coventry: University of Warwick, IRRU.

    • Keep, EJ “Reflections on a curious absence – the role of employers, labour market incentives and labour market regulation in English 14-19 policy”, In: Nuffield Review Working Paper.

  • Other

    • Keep, EJ (2013) “Skills Policy in England – a case of the Walking Dead? TJ Opinion Piece”, Training Journal. (May) 12-13.

    • Keep, EJ (2012) “Danger review will be left on the shelf”, Adults Learning. 24(2) 36-36.

    • Keep, EJ (2012) “The reform of vocational qualifications should loom large”, Adults Learning. 24(1) 12-12.

    • Keep, EJ (2012) “Communicating the reforms will be a huge challenge”, Adults Learning Extra. (January) 7-7.

    • Keep, EJ (2011) “Skills utilisation”, Holyrood Magazine, skills supplement. (September) 7-8.

    • Keep, EJ (2010) “Where now for adult learning?”, Adults Learning. 21(10) 16-16.

    • Keep, EJ (2009) “The Skills Story”, Workplace – Learning and Skills Bulletin. (7) 12-12.

    • Keep, EJ (2009) “Understanding Incentives Better”, Workplace Learning and Skills Bulletin. (7) 15-16.

    • Keep, EJ (2007) “Live and learn is a better strategy”, Talisman. (57) 14-14.

    • Keep, EJ (2007) “Balls no one is likely to catch”, Parliamentary Brief. 11(7) 29-30.

    • Keep, EJ (2007) “Unless we link skills policies to economic development, much effort will be wasted”, Adults learning. 19(1) 15-15.

    • Keep, EJ (2007) “Skills equals success? If only it were that simple”, Parliamentary Brief. 11(1) 9-9.

    • Keep, EJ (2007) “Both Leitch and Gordon Brown are over-optimistic about what skills and education alone can deliver”, Adults learning. 18(5) 15-15.

    • Keep, EJ (2006) “Market failure and public policy on training: some reasons for caution”, Development and Learning in Organizations. 20(6) 7-9.

    • Keep, EJ (2006) “Adult learning in the balance”, Adults Learning. NIACE. 18(1) 8-8.

    • Keep, EJ (2006) “Live and Learn, Viewpoint”, People Management. (27 July) 7-7.

    • Keep, EJ (2005) “New Labour”, New Humanist. (July/August) 14-15.

    • Keep, EJ (2004) “Trapped on the low road”, Adult Learning. 15(6) 16-17.

    • Keep, EJ (2003) “The trouble with training”, People Management. 9(7) 27-27.

    • Keep, EJ (2003) “‘We have been here before…..’”, Adult Learning. 14(11) 16-17.

    • Keep, EJ (2002) “Joined up thinking”, People Management.

    • Keep, EJ (2001) “Ewart Keep talks to LSC chief John Harwood”, Parliamentary Brief. 7(7) 16-17.

    • Keep, EJ (2001) “La impaciencia del capital”, Organizaciones que aprenden. (42) 18-20.

    • Keep, EJ (2001) “Researchers on tap but never on top: working with the Cabinet Office”, Social Sciences. (49)

    • Keep, EJ (2000) “The future of work may not be highly-skilled”, The Edge. (5) 16-17.

    • Keep, EJ (2000) “New dynamics to encourage social inclusion and lifelong learning”, College Research. 3(2) 9-10.

    • Huddleston, P, Keep, EJ (2000) “What do employers want from education – a question more easily asked than answered?”, Centrelink. (7) 3-5.

    • Keep, EJ (1999) “'Missing links’, Viewpoint”, People Management. (28) 35-35.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (1999) “Demand and supply”, People Management. 40-42.

    • Keep, EJ (1999) “Success may need a little more learning”, Parliamentary Brief. 6(2) 7-8.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (1998) “Was Ratner Right”, T-Magazine. 15-17.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (1998) “Welfare to Work - some questions ministers must answer”, Parliamentary Brief. 5(3) 18-19.

    • Keep, EJ (1998) “When the secretary is better educated than her boss”, Parliamentary Brief. 5. 5

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (1996) “What Training Can and Cannot Do for the Jobless”, Parliamentary Brief. 4(4) 43-46.

    • Keep, EJ (1996) “A New Approach”, Training Tomorrow. 10(1) 5-6.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (1994) “Skills Cannot Promise a Job”, Parliamentary Brief. 3(2) 17-20.

    • Keep, EJ, Mayhew, K (1994) “Skilling the Jobless: Time for a New Deal”, Employment Policy Institute Economic Report. 8(1) 1-5.

    • Keep, EJ (1988) “Ministers Prepare to Hand Training Over to Employers”, BIM Employment Bulletin and IR Digest. (3) 1-3.

    • Keep, EJ (1986) “Can Britain Build a Coherent Vocational Training System?”, Personnel Management. 28-31.

    • Keep, EJ “Are employers failing young people?”, Business in Wales. (Feb/March) 30-30.

Follow Us