In 2014/15 I led an Edinburgh Napier University team on a research project to profile the UK information professions. My colleagues were Christine Irving (now retired) and Dr Bruce Ryan of the Centre for Social Informatics; and Professor Robert Raeside (also retired), Dr Matthew Dutton, and Dr Tao Chen (now at the University of Bradford) of the Employment Research Institute. The output was a 186-page report (inclusive of 20 figures and 97 tables of statistics).
The work that we undertook was commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and the Archives and Records Association (ARA). It was first project of its kind worldwide in terms of comprehensiveness of scope and scale, and levels of penetration. Since completion, the impact of this work has been felt across a range of beneficiaries.
- The two bodies that commissioned the research have used the findings to support their business, and as an evidence base for external advocacy and strategy development.
- The members of CILIP and ARA have benefited from the changes implemented b the two bodies in response to the research findings, e.g. initiatives to address issues related to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
- Information professionals regardless of their professional membership have been advantaged by the work, e.g. the findings on salary levels have been deployed in the promotion of fair pay across the sector.
- Policy makers have used the research in strategy development, e.g. in respect of skills development.
I was excited to see this week that a Workforce Data Consortium convened by CILIP and ARA has issued an invitation to suitably qualified and experienced individuals/institutions/organisations to tender for a further Workforce Mapping Survey to be completed in 2021/22. As was the case for the work that we carried out seven years ago, the new project will include the implementation of a ‘core’ online survey to gather key demographic data to be presented by sector and geography. In addition, the work will include a more in-depth examination of EDI in the workforce.
The deadline to submit a 3,000-word tender for this work is 5pm, Wednesday 17th November, with the execution of the project to take place between December 2021 and May 2022. The indicative contract fee is £40,000, exclusive of VAT. Full details are in the tender document.
The Napier team members will be very interested in the findings of this new work when they are reported, especially to see how they compare with our own findings from 2015.