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Dr Andrew Dean

Dr Andrew Dean

Head of Regional Impact

 +44 (0) 1392 72 4925

 Innovation Centre Phase 2 


Innovation Centre Phase 2, University of Exeter,  Rennes Drive,  Exeter,  EX4 4RN, UK

 Office hours:

Full Time



Dr Andrew Dean is Head of Regional Impact within IIB at the University of Exeter.

He is an experienced project manager,  bid-writer and  researcher and a specialist in the topics of employment, skills, labour market monitoring and impact.

The Marchmont Observatory, is a research centre dedicated to supporting real-world interventions in local and regional labour markets.

His main interests include: local and regional higher education impact, labour market and employment policies; the link between universities and 'place'; regional and local labour market monitoring; the role of social partners in employment and skills policy and, linking policy with practice. 

He currently leads IIB activities related to the Future of Work.


1987 – 1991                         PhD, University of Exeter

1986 – 1987                         MSc, University of Sheffield

1983 – 1986                         BSc (Hons), University of Hull


Andrew has significant experience in managing complex multi-partner projects designing and carrying out pragmatic (mixed methodology) social science research and evaluations. In 2019/20 he led a major research project with Unison to explore union members skills needs and is the author and UK lead for the Escalate project which is examining future approaches to AI and digitalisation within Europe's HEIs. He has led large skills evaluation and research projects with UNISON and the TUC. 

He supports policy development regionally, inlcuding providing the secretariat for the HotSW LEP Innovation Board and is supporting the establishment of three new Civic University Agreements in the region. Andrew also leads the development and adoption of the Data Analytics Skills Escalator for the University of Exeter.

He manages a large number of UK and EU funded projects and programmes including the SPIDAS and OCEAN CONNECTIONS ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnerships seeking to boost young people’s competences, and interests in, careers in data analytics and STEM subjects and the VET-EDS ERASMUS+ SP transnational project seeking to align economic development strategy with VET policy in European regions. In 2018 he completed a piece of research for the British Council on Institutional Leadership in TVET Governance.

He also managed and delivered the University of Exeter elements of a number of ongoing and recently completed International Project's Mid Life Skills Review and European Mid Life Skills Review, (led by the TUC), Replayvet and ACSOL (led by partners in Bilbao) and ESCALATE (led by partners in Timisoara). Andrew is the UK and Ireland expert for a major CEDEFOP project looking at real-time LMI and web vacancies with the University of Milan-Bicocca (2017 – 2020 and 2021 - 2025).

In 2017 Andrew co-authored the Jersey Skills Strategy and the Centre of Excellence Strategy and Roadmap for Digital Jersey. Also in 2017 he authored two reports for the OECD LEED Programme, one on the Greening of Energy Intensive Sectors and the other on the problems of delivering Apprenticeships to Hyper-Rural Geographies (Norway). Other recent projects include a number of bespoke pieces of analysis and impact support for Local Enterprise partnerships; writing a Handbook on Long Term Unemployment for the OECD. Andrew has done a number of pieces of work for the TUC (unionlearn) including several Evaluations of the Union Learning Fund (2017 - 2021).

Now in his second career, Andrew trained initially to work as a scientist (earth sciences and environmental sciences) before switching to support the creation of a new labour market observatory – the Marchmont Observatory, in 1998. Since then he has worked as a labour market analyst, project manager and writer, increasingly specializing in research with social partners and in the field of VET. 

Andrew has supported international agencies such as the British Council and acted as an international expert for the German Development Agency - Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – for whom he has designed and delivered training courses. Andrew is the University of Exeter coordinator for the international network - EUniverCities (medium cities with research intensive universities). He has been Vice Chair of the Scientific Committees for the European Network on Regional Labour Market Monitoring since 2014 and has authored a number of pieces for the network’s anthology. 

Research group links


Research interests

His main research interests include: local and regional Higher Education Impact, labour market and employment policies; the Future of Work; regional and local labour market monitoring; the role of social partners in employment and skills policy and, linking policy with practice. 

Research projects

  • European Mid Life Skills Review Project (2021 - 2023) - Andrew co-authored and built this multi partner follow-on ERASMUS+ Project for partners in the TUC and is supporting the project with evaluation and research. The project will design a suite of new online learning materials to help deliver the new mid-life skills review programme.
  • ACSOL Project (2021 - 2023) - Andrew is leading the University input to this COVID digital skills project, which will inlcude surveys, research and the development of training materials.
  • ESCALATE Project - Andrew is the author and Exeter lead for this 2019 - 2022 ERASMUS+ Project exploring how universities internationally are responding to digitlisation and artificial intelligence through new curricula and support for students.
  • Skills for the Future - Andrew managed and co-authored the UNISON research into public service workers’ experiences, hopes and fears around learning, training, and the future of work. With over 38,000 responses, the survey was the biggest of its kind and the implications for skills policy are far reaching.
  • SPIDAS – Andrew wais the Project Manager for this 2017 - 2020 ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership Project exploring how to attract and young people into data analytics. The work took place within a number of local Exeter Schools and in partnership with University of Lleida and University of Pamukkale.
  • Mid Life Skills Review Project – Andrew co-authored and built this multi partner ERASMUS+ Project for partners in the TUC and is supporting the project with evaluation and research. The project will design a suite of new online materials to help deliver a new mid-life skills review programme.
  • Digital Jersey Centre of Excellence Strategy and Roadmap – Andrew managed and co-authored this report for Digital jersey based on the findings of a survey and interviews.
  • Jersey Skills Strategy – In 2017 Andrew managed this large research project for Skills Jersey which developed a strategy with recommendations supported by LMI which was subsequently adopted by the states of Jersey.
  • TVET Governance: The role of the Institutional Leaders – Andrew led this short research project which surveyed a number of TVET leaders internationally and is seeking to inform the role and approach taken to skills by the British Council (2018).
  • CEDEFOP Real-time Labour Market Information Project. Working with colleagues in University of Milan Bicocca Andrew acted is national expert for the UK and Ireland supporting the work to analyse and characterise web vacancies and supporting the production of the model. (2015-2020)
  • The VET-EDS and SIMOVET Projects – Andrew was instrumental in the building and writing of these two successful bids to the ERASMUS+ SP VET Programme (2014 – 2016). Both looked at labour markets and the pivotal role of observatories. Andrew managed VET-EDS which established a new mechanism for better aligning economic development with skills strategies. SIMOVET sought to align the supply of VET provision to that of labour market demand and is led by partners in Bilbao. Both projects were submitted as partnership projects within the European Network on Regional Labour Market Monitoring.
  • Unionlearn – Andrew has partnered unionlearn in their work with the Gatsby Charitable Trust including work analysing potential ESIF activities; writing a new Supplementary Funding Strategy; creating a new Fundraising Online Course and writing a series of major bids, including one successful £1.2m bid to the UFI charitable Trust. (2014 – ongoing)
  • Local Enterprise Partnership Support – Andrew continues to work for a number of Local Enterprise Partnerships to provide research and analytical strength to support their Strategic Economic Plans and Structural and Innovation Funding Strategies. This has included research into the infrastructure needs of Further education, the potential impact and impact indicators of investments and a secondment to develop an innovative new Project Management Office (2013 – ongoing).
  • The SEEING Project – Andrew was brought into the SEEING Project in 2014 to devise its impact strategy and to coordinate a series of reports.  The project has examined how to enhance cross sector working between the private sector, public sector and social enterprises. Andrew’s role was to pull together the findings and transform these into actionable and practical actions that partners, such as the Local Enterprise Partnership, could take forward.
  • The European Commission’s EU Skills Panorama: Achieving Regional and Local Impact (ARLI) – Andrew was the Project Manager for this major piece of labour market research. The project sought to research established good practices in the demand and supply of labour market intelligence and how the resultant intelligence can effectively be transformed into European Commission policy and practices.
  • Skills for the Future – Andrew contributed to the Country Report of this PROGRESS Project Report for the Commission in July 2013.
  • OECD Handbook - Tackling long-term unemployment amongst vulnerable groups – Andrew was selected to write this for the LEED OECD programme (published in 2014). He designed the research methodology, analysed case studies and reports from the OECD worldwide and compiled them into a practical, user-oriented Handbook. The report was subsequently published by the OECD and Andrew presented the findings to the World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES) Conference in Washington. 
  • ComTal – Andrew was the UK project manager for this three-year project which sought to further knowledge on the skill-sets needed to work effectively in a team. He designed and compiled the competence assessment of the role of a Team Coach, including analysing the précises skill-sets needed to do this role.  
  • Science Education for Diversity – Andrew managed the very large Science Education for Diversity (Framework 7) Project (2010-2013), achieving several notable publications for its participants and including it being written up as a case study by the European Commission. The project finished on time and to budget. He also authored the Final Report of the FP7 Project, January 2013.
  • DESCRIBE – Andrew managed the successful (2012-13) DESCRIBE project exploring the Impact of Higher Education Research and authoring one of its main publications. The DESCRIBE project was funded by JISC to look at how we provide definitions and capture the evidence of research impact and provide the recommendations for universities, research funders and those who enable research. Andrew edited and contributed to the key publication: 7 Essays on Impact (Dean et al (Eds) (2013) 7 Essays on Impact. DESCRIBE Project Report for Jisc. University of Exeter.)


Research networks

Vice Chair of the Scientific Committees for the European Network on Regional Labour Market Monitoring since 2014.

An international expert for the German Development Agency - Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit.

University of Exeter coordinator for the international network - EUniverCities (medium sized cities with research intensive universities). 


Supervision / Group

Postgraduate researchers

  • Lindsey Anderson
  • Cecilia Manosa Nyblon

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