This is the website and blog of Dr John Lever.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

The dilemma faced by refused asylum seekers

A new report from the Refugee Council discusses human rights abuses and persecution in a number of countries from where many UK asylum seekers come from and fear returning to when they are refused asylum. Click on the link below to download the full report: 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place: the dilemma facing refused asylum seekers.'

Monday, 22 October 2012

New research highlights the challenges young people face looking for work

New research published today by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlights the challenges faced by young people looking for work - the major obstacle being a shortage of jobs. The research found that:

"Only 24 per cent of low-skilled vacancies found for the study offered full-time, daytime work. Over half of vacancies stating the pay offered minimum wage, and 78 per cent paid under £7 an hour, making it less likely that jobseekers could travel far for them.

Employers also preferred local candidates for such jobs. So although jobseekers need to search beyond their immediate neighbourhood, policies demanding wider geographical searches will not necessarily get more people into work.

Intense competition meant that some employers advertise vacancies online and close them as soon as they have sufficient applicants to select from. Not all jobseekers were aware how speedily they need to respond to vacancies, and those without internet access at home were at a disadvantage.

Despite public perceptions that employers discriminate against residents from neighbourhoods with poor reputations, the study found no significant difference in positive response rates."

Friday, 14 September 2012

No Return, No Asylum: Destitution as a way of life?

Over recent years considerable evidence has emerged from agencies working with asylum seekers in Bradford that significant numbers of those refused asylum are destitute. A new report launched today by Destitution Concern Bradford examines the extent and impact of this destitution. Whilst adding to a growing body of research on destitution amongst asylum seekers in a number of UK cities, the report by Dr John Lever (www.jblresearch.org) presents important new evidence about the length of time that individuals, families and children are experiencing destitution. Read the full report 'No Return, No Asylum: Destitution as a way of life' here.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

New Oxfam report on a 'fair food future'

"It is obvious that the food system needs fixing. It is much less obvious how this should be done. The sheer size and complexity of the system can seem overwhelming; and the power of some of the corporations and governments involved is daunting. They can and must take urgent action to change the policies and practices that play a huge part in the broken food system.

With this report, we bring this big picture down to a more manageable size. We show the connections between the global food system and the things we do every day. We show how households, acting together, can make a difference." Click here to read:  'The Food Transformation: Harnessing consumer power to create a fair food future'.

Friday, 6 July 2012

The role of third sector organisation's in pro-environmental behaviour change

A new working paper from the Third Sector Research Centre reviews the evidence of the role of third sector organisation's in bringing about pro-environmental behaviour change. The paper finds that participation in third sector environmental initiatives can bring about change on low level issues, but that challenges remain around resources and upscaling public engagement. The paper argues that more discussion is needed on empirical research in this area. Read the full paper here.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

'Economic stagnation, the rising cost of living, public spending cuts, and the impact on UK poverty'

A new Oxfam GB briefing paper/ report finds that a combination of falling incomes, rising prices, public service cuts, benefit cuts, a housing crisis and weak labour rights is impacting those living in poverty hardest. The report argues that the Coalition Government could protect people in poverty and stimulate economic recovery by making different political choices, thus setting the UK on the way to short term economic recovery and long term social and environmental sustainability. It also highlights a number of ways of protecting the incomes of the poorest without undermining the depth or pace of deficit reduction: Click here to download the 'The Perfect Storm' report.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Migrant children act as 'cultural brokers'

A study by researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland reports that children of Eastern European migrants play a key role as 'cultural brokers' for their families after migration. Although the experiences of migrant children vary findings suggest that children help their parents to mediate access to services and develop social relationships, and that their children's happiness, education and well-being determine whether migrants will return home or stay in the UK. Read more about the research here.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Big Society and Austerity

An interim briefing from the New Economic Foundation's 18-month project into the impact of economic recession/ public sector funding cuts on efforts to build 'Big Society' reports that the organisations that could make 'Big Society' a reality are being pushed to breaking point. It suggests 'Big Society' will not help those being hit hardest and that the people/ places that can foster the 'Big Society' agenda are quickly disappearing. Read the full report here:

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Cuts threaten the quality of third sector provision

New research by the knowledge, resource and support charity Lasa reveals that nearly 9 out of 10 (86%) charity sector professionals are concerned that the quality of services they provide will be affected by cuts to training budgets; 76% of almost 450 respondents in a UK wide survey indicated that training and professional development are absolutely essential if they are to do their jobs well. Read the full report here.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

UK children facing multiple risks to development

A new study provides evidence that one if four UK children are growing up in families where multiple risks threaten their development. The study – carried out by the Institute of Education at the University of London – highlights the diverse difficulties children are now being exposed to. The ten risk factors considered were: living in overcrowded housing; having a teenage mother; having parents with depression, a physical disability, or low skills; substance misuse or excessive alcohol intake; living in a family with financial stresses, worklessness or domestic violence. Drawing on data from 18,000 families taking part in the Millennium Cohort Study, the researchers found that 28 per cent of families faced two or more of these risk factors. Though less than 2 per cent of children were exposed to five or more factors, the researchers conclude that diverse combinations of the factors present policy-makers with significant challenges. Read 'Multiple Risk Factor's in Young Children's Development' here.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Neither necessary nor desirable

There is an argument that very large remuneration packages are an essential means of recruiting, motivating and retaining company directors. A briefing from One Society highlights evidence that challenges this assertion. Click here to read the full briefing.

Monday, 23 January 2012

England as an emerging political community?

A new report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) examines the emergence of an increasingly politicised ‘English Identity’. Based on a joint initiative by Cardiff University, the University of Edinburgh and the IPPR/ Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the survey on which the report is based provides evidence that the more English people feel, the more likely they are to support an English dimension to governance in the UK. Read the full report here.