The Work Futures Research Centre (WFRC) was founded in 2008 as one of the University of Southampton’s Strategic Research Groups to provide an interdisciplinary hub for a wide range of work-related research. By bringing together research strengths across a wealth of diverse activities and interests, the WFRC tackles some of the most pressing challenges facing the world of work. We are interested in diversity within labour markets, whether through gender, race and ethnicity, social class, educational background, age, sexual orientation, or geographical location.
The WFRC offers a focal point for organisations looking for research expertise to investigate the issues that matter to them. It is also providing a forum for specialists from across the University to work together in innovative ways to develop research proposals and insights into contemporary and emerging themes across the field. Our research expertise is drawn from disciplines ranging from the social sciences, web science, health, education, and business management. We have published widely, in both academic and policy and practice formats, on a range of cutting-edge contemporary issues from gender equality to the new dynamics of work, and from adult apprenticeships to work-life balance. We have hosted seminars at the House of Commons, provided expert speakers for Policy Commissions and international and national symposia, and conducted bespoke research and systematic reviews for the UK’s funding bodies.
The WFRC is coordinated by 4 directors and a steering group of researchers from across a range of University departments. It aims to bring together cross-disciplinary expertise for knowledge exchange and enterprise and as part of academic bids. We aim to facilitate cross-disciplinary research collaboration and innovation, disseminate our cutting-edge research, to influence policy and practice though seminars, briefings and events, and to showcase cutting edge research on work and its futures.