18th December 2019 Written by Skills for Health

Image: Jon Parry.“No research is ever quite complete. It is the glory of a good bit of work that it opens the way for something still better, and this repeatedly leads to its own eclipse.” - Mervin Gordon

Our Principal Research Manager Jon Parry wholeheartedly believes in the power of research and would agree his work is never done. Take a few minutes from your day to discover more about Jon and some of his current projects by reading through his blog below.

  • What experiences led you to work for WD Trust?

I took a long and winding road that started in the steelworks in Sheffield. I was there 4 years working on the night shift - 48 hours a week (and they say we haven't progressed!). I became a Union Official and jumped ship to do a degree in Politics. Subsequently, I left uni with a qualification that equipped me nicely to spend 3 years as a telemarketing team leader at Aviva. I escaped via a fire exit and secured a job as a Research Associate at Sheffield University (leading a project on political activism), followed by a position as Researcher to the Deputy Leader of the European Labour Party (no need to ask which way I voted on Brexit). I spent 6 years fighting the good fight and then started looking for a role which was focused on my favourite area of research - young people and widening participation. I got a job as the Head of Research at Connexions South Yorkshire, working across all the local authorities in the region. In 2009, I spotted an advert for a Head of Research for Skills for Justice, applied and got the job - the rest, as they say, is history. What have I learned over the years? I'm always suspicious of a tidy desk!!!

  • What does an average day look like for you?

A mix of working on research and evaluation projects, bidding for tenders, crunching data, writing thought-pieces, attending meetings, battling to understand how to do my expenses and tidying my desk!!!

  • What do you enjoy most about your job?

Variety; challenge; opportunity; discovery; my team and other great colleagues.

  • What upcoming projects are you working on?

A fair old mix - as a team we share projects around, so at present (and for the near future) we're involved in work on scenario planning for the Crown Prosecution Service; learning needs analysis for Border Force; skills audit in Jersey, Uganda and Egypt; competency/careers frameworks for HEE; evaluating Healthcare Horizons for Barts NHS Trust; People 1st International projects including World Host and conducting Labour Market analysis for employers.

  • In a perfect world…

    ......we'd all sing in tune, but this is reality so gimme some room!

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