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Prof Lorna Unwin
Prof Lorna Unwin profile picture
Appointment
  • Honorary Emeritus
  • IOE - Social Research Institute
  • UCL Institute of Education
Biography

I was appointed Chair in Vocational Education at the Institute of Education (IOE) in 2006 and became Professor Emerita in October 2013 when I retired from my full-time post.  I am also Honorary Professorial Research Fellow at the School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester and an Honorary Fellow of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. I am a governor of Oldham College. Prior to joining the IOE, I was Professor of Vocational Education and Director of the Centre for Labour Market Studies at the University of Leicester and also held academic posts at the University of Sheffield and the Open University. On leaving school, I  trained as a journalist and worked on a weekly newspaper in Lancashire before going to the University of Manchester to take a BA in American Studies and then a PGCE. I then taught English and General Studies at Barnsley College of Technology and completed an MPhil at the University of Sheffield on Nathaniel Hawthorne's English Writings. I have worked for Sainsbury's as a YTS tutor, and trained YTS workplace supervisors. I have also been a tutor for the Workers Educational Association. My PhD, exploring the role of employers in vocational education and training was awarded by the University of Warwick.

Research Summary

At the IOE, I co-founded the ESRC-funded LLAKES Research Centre with Professor Andy Green in 2008 and was Deputy Director from 2008 to 2013. My research focuses on how people develop occupational expertise (both inside and outside the workplace), workplaces as learning environments, apprenticeship as a model of learning, the history of British vocational and technical training, and education and training policy.  I draws on and try to combine insights from a range of disciplinary perspectives including the sociology of work, social theories of learning, political economy, economic geography, and industrial and educational history. My recent books include ‘Contemporary Apprenticeship: International Perspectives on an Evolving Model of Learning’, published by Routledge (co-edited with Alison Fuller) and the Wiley International Handbook on Vocational Education and Training (co-edited with David Guile).

Teaching Summary

As I am now retired from my full-time post, I no longer teach on courses or supervise doctoral students.

Appointments
  Professor Emerita Social Research Institute UCL, United Kingdom
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