Productivity is one of the ESRC’s current research priorities. Raising productivity levels across the UK is a concern for many businesses and policy makers, but tackling it is a complex ‘wicked’ problem with no easy solutions. We are developing an ambitious, innovative, and impactful research agenda to fund productivity-related research over 2018-2023. Many of our investments are already delivering high quality knowledge about productivity and are engaging with government departments, devolved administrations, businesses and policy makers to practically address the challenge of low productivity.

To strengthen our portfolio of investments and to encourage new insights and collaborations, we have invested in a new Productivity Insights Network (PIN) led by researchers at the University of Sheffield, and the Skills Employment Survey (SES), based at Cardiff University.

Productivity Insights Network

The Productivity Insights Network (PIN) was established in early 2018 and led by Professors Philip McCann and Tim Vorley at the University of Sheffield. PIN aims to build a network comprising researchers, business leaders and policy makers to generate and benefit from the latest research on improving productivity.  

PIN conducts its own research, provides an on demand research briefing service and operates a small research grants programme for eligible researchers which can include non academic experts. Membership of the Network is open to all and is free.

You can follow the Network’s activities and the themes of work on Twitter @productivityNW, or join the mailing list

Skills and Employment Survey

The Skills and Employment Survey 2017 is the seventh in a series of studies which began in 1986, and is co-funded with the Department for Education, Cardiff University and the Welsh Government. These cross-sectional surveys collect data on what people do at work, what skills they use and how they work.  The 2017 survey also included a new set of questions on the employee perspective on productivity.

Other activities

We are also engaged in scoping work around the following complementary areas to explore a potential new research agenda around work: