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Dr Dean Stroud


PhD (Cardiff) FHEA MSc B.Sc. (Econ) Wales


School of Social Sciences

+44 29208 74000 ext 77406
Glamorgan Building, Room 2.39, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a Reader teaching and researching in the area of skills and workforce development. I have a particular interest in the political economy of skill and skill systems, especially in relation to the workplace and the organisation of vocational education and training, and the role of trade unions therein. Other research interests include the greening of skills, jobs and the economy and processes of technological change and digitalisation. Heavy industry, and the European steel industry particularly, provides the context for much of my research. My recent research includes the ESSA project on the European steel industry's future skill needs and currently I am involved in the ALCHIMIA project Alchimia Project | ( focusing on optimising the efficiency of steel production in Electric Arc Furnaces.

Significant funding granted for new research project to increase the sustainability of steel production - News - Cardiff University

Industry 4.0 and the Road to Sustainable Steelmaking in Europe: Recasting the Future | SpringerLink

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Dean Stroud is a Reader in Skills and Workforce Development at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences. The principal focus of his research is skills and training needs and workplace learning. Other areas of interest include the labour process and industrial relations, workforce reconfiguration and equality and diversity. More recently his research has focused on 'green' and sustainability issues, particularly with regard to 'green' skills and jobs and transitions from high to low carbon economies and processes of technological change and digitalisation.

Current Research

€3.5M ALCHIMIA: Data and decentralised Artificial Intelligence for a competitive and green European metallurgy industry The project aims to build a platform based on Federated Learning and Continual Learning to help large European metallurgy industries unlock the full potential of AI to support transformation to high quality, competitive, green and efficient industry. Horizon Europe - Call: HORIZON-CL4-2021-DIGITIAL-EMERGING-01 Alchimia Project | (

Duration: 2022-2025

Significant funding granted for new research project to increase the sustainability of steel production - News - Cardiff University


European Training Foundation Exploring the Sectoral Skills Balance Research Approach: Insights from Poland and Wales and its Implemetation Potential in Türkiye This project aims to draw methdolological lessons from sectoral research in Poland and Wales for application of sector skills analysis in Türkiye

Duration: 2023-2024


Past Projects

€3.9M European Steel Skills Agenda (ESSA) The project aims to develop a Blueprint for a sustainable, steel industry driven and coordinated European Steel Skills Agenda (ESSA). The Agenda will present a strategy for meeting current and future skills demands, and pilot the development of modules and tools for building awareness and implementing new skills for a globally competitive industry. The aim is to be ready to anticipate new skills demands and to develop pro-active practical activities to meet the future requirements of the industry.

“New Skills Agenda Steel”: Industry-driven sustainable European Steel Skills Agenda and Strategy (ESSA) is an Erasmus+ Call: Sector Skills Alliances (Lot 3) Action: Sector Skills Alliances in vocational education and training Action type: Sector Skills Alliances for implementing a new strategic approach (Blueprint) to sectoral cooperation on skills
Project Number: 600886-EPP-1-2018-1-DE-EPPKA2-SSA-B
Agreement Number: 2018-3059/001-001

Duration: 2019-2023

Industry 4.0 and the Road to Sustainable Steelmaking in Europe: Recasting the Future | SpringerLink

£12,647K Preparing for Just Transition: Meeting Green Skill Needs for a Sustainable Steel Industry, Funder: Community Union July-October 2021: The aim of this project is to understand better steelworkers' preparedness for decarbonisation and the greening of the steel industry.

Access the report here: Meeting the green skills need - Community Trade Union (

€1.7M Dromosplan, Funder: European Commission Research Fund for Coal and Steel 2016-2020: The aim of this project is to evaluate the benefits arising from the application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in steelworks

€738K Expert Role: “Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills: towards an EU strategy addressing the skills needs of the steel sector” Funder: European Commission – Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) Programme: COSME – EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, 2019-2020

€1.7M WaterWatt, Funder: European Commission Horizon 2020 (2016-18 lead UK partner/co-applicant with DECHEMA, of 24 month research project, with full RA pt6, plus research costs). The Project WaterWatt “Improvement of energy efficiency in industrial water circuits using gamification for online self-assessment, benchmarking and economic decision support”, which started at 1st of April 2016, has the main objective of increasing energy efficiency in industrial water circuits.

WaterWatt | myScience / news

€2K The Sector Social Dialogue Committee Steel – Training Working Group: Workforce Development, Recruitment and Retention: Mapping Social Demographics, Funder: European Commission (2015-2016/7: Engagement as international expert and principal investigator)

€3K + expenses Boosting Skills Eco-systems for Greener Jobs in the Pomeranian Region in Poland Funder: OECD LEED programme (2014: engagement as international expert)

$20K (AUS) Skilling the Bay Geelong – Regional Labour Market Profile, Funder: Victoria State Government and RMIT Melbourne (2012-13: consultant on 12 month research project, with part-time RA pt6)

€530K – Greening Technical VET - Sustainable Training Module for the Funder: European Steel Industry Leonardo da Vinci Multilateral Projects: Development of Innovation (2011-2013: lead UK partner/co-applicant with sfs Dortmund, of 24 month research project, with full RA pt6, plus research costs).

$8K (AUS) Latrobe Valley Skills and Transition Study Funder: Victoria State Government and RMIT Melbourne (2011-12: consultant on 6 month research project, with part-time RA pt6)

€25K Towards a European Steel council on Jobs and Skill: Identifying the Actors, Funder: European Commission (2010-2011, lead UK partner as invited expert)

£2K Evaluation of Basics of Gas Combustion Training Funder: Tata Steel (2009-10: consultant on 6 month research/evaluation project)

£5K Women in Ports, Funder: International Transport Workers’ Federation & European Transport Workers’ Federation (2009: Researcher)

£14.5K The Practices and Process of Workplace learning in the British Steel Industry Funder: SKOPE ESRC Research Centre (2007-08: co-applicant with Peter Fairbrother)

£6K Workplace Education: Exploring the efficacy of work based learning strategies Funder: Nuffield Social Science Awards Scheme (2007-08: Principal Investigator)

£10K An Investigation of the Re-training of Redundant Steelworkers in Steel Communities in Wales Funder: Cardiff University, Cardiff Young Researcher Initiative (2007-08: Principal Investigator)

Independent Study into the Devolution of Student Support System and Tuition Fee Regime in Wales, Funder: Welsh Assembly Government (2005: Researcher)

€572K Equality and Diversity Learning in the European Steel Industry Funder: Leonardo Da Vinci Pilot Project (2004-2007: lead UK partner/co-applicant with Peter Fairbrother of 36 month research project)

€25K Equality and Diversity in the European Electricity Industry Funder: European Commission (2004: Researcher)

€540K New Steel Industry Challenges Funder: Leonardo Da Vinci Pilot Project (2001-2004: Project Manager and Researcher)

€31K Future Skills Needs in the European Electricity Sector, Funder: European Commission (2003: Researcher)

Independent Investigation Group on Student Hardship and Funding, Funder: Welsh Assembly Government (2000: Researcher)

ESRC PhD Scholarship An investigation of the social construction of labour markets by students in higher education’ (1997-2000).


I teach on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the fields of work, employment, labour markets and skills, including on the MSc Social Science Research Methods and MSc Education programmes.

I was Programme Director for the MSc Skills and Workforce Development, which is a collaboration with the Institute of Adult Learning, Singapore University of Social Sciences and ran between 2014-2022

I supervise PhD research in the areas of education and training, skills development, work, employment and industrial relations. I am education pathway lead for the ESRC Wales Graduate School of Social Sciences (WGSSS)

Since 2015 I have organised an annual Erasmus+ placement with my research partners at Sozialforschungsstelle, Technical University of Dortmund for second year undergraduates.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.



  • PhD in Sociology of Education (School of Education, Cardiff University) Title: 'The Social Construction of Labour Markets by Students in Higher Education'.
  • MSc Econ. Social Science Research Methods (School of Social and Administrative Studies, Cardiff University).
  • BSc Econ. Sociology (School of Social and Administrative Studies, Cardiff University)


I completed my ESRC sponsored PhD in 2002. Between 2001 and 2008 I was employed at Cardiff University on a number of research projects, the majority of which explored worker experiences of education and training in the workplace. In 2008 I was appointed as Lecturer (Education), Cardiff School of Social Sciences, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2016 and Reader in 2022.

Honours and awards

  • European Training Foundation (ETF) Open Badge - Skills Lab Network of Experts 2024 
  • Greening Technical Vocational Education and Training (GT-VET) - European Commission's Leonardo da Vinci Vocational Education and Training Programme (Lifelong Learning Programme) 2011 - Awarded Best Project 

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Member of DYSG's Research Forum and Equality Network Forum (Learning and Skills Development Agency for Wales)
  • Associate member of DYSG (Learning and Skills Development Agency for Wales)
  • Expert Advisor – European Metalworkers' Federation Steel Select Social Dialogue Committee on Workforce Development, Recruitment and Retention (2009-2012)
  • Associate member of SKOPE
  • Member of BUIRA

Speaking engagements

Since 2003 I have been invited to speak at various events and forums, including:

  • Presented on the workforce implications of the internationalisation of the steel industry at the Eurosteelmaster professional programme in Terni, Italy. (2003)
  • Since 2005 I have attended on invitation the European Commission's Sector Social Dialogue Committee Steel to speak on skills and training, Brussels.
  • Invited discussant to the ESRC Waste of the World Programme roundtable, Sheffield University. (2007)
  • Presented UK evidence on the case for a European Steel Council on jobs and skills, Brussels. (2011)
  • Presented the findings of the 'Skilling the Bay' (Regional Geelong Area) project to Victoria State government (Education Department), Geelong. (2013)
  • Invited by Centre for Sustainable Organisations and Work, RMIT to speak on greening regions, Melbourne. (2013)
  • Submission to the Welsh Government consultation on co-investment on adult skills (2014)
  • Invited expert to a workshop organised as part of the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) programme project on the greening of the Pomerskie region’s blue economy, Gdansk. (2015)
  • Invited discussant to a roundtable organsied by Jean Lambert MEP on developing a green economy for a report to Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee, London. (2015)
  • Workshop: A volatile political economy: Climate Change and work - International perspectives, Donald Lafleur, Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress, Bela Galgoczi from the European Trade Union Institute, Carla Lipsig Mummé, of York University, Toronto, John Calvert, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Graham Petersen, UCU and Greener Jobs Alliance; Dean Stroud and Claire Evans of Cardiff University; Linda Clarke and Colin Gleeson, ProBE, University of Westminster; Martin Mayer, Sheffield TUC; Sheffield 4 April (2017)
  • Conference Panel: Prof. Carla Lipsig Mummé (Chair) (York University, Canada); Dean Stroud (Cardiff University); Donald Lafleur (Executive VC, Canadian Labour Congress); Lisa Schulte (University of Middlesex). Green Issues: Climate change and digitalisation, International Labour Process Conference, Sheffield, 5 April (2017)
  • Invited panel speaker at the ILO Future of Work Centenary, Debating the Future of Work, Sheffield. (2019)
  • Invited expert to ESRC/EPSRC/Innovate UK workshop on the UKRI’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund proposed new areas, ‘Transforming the Foundation Industries’ (2019)
  • Invited discussant to the University of Glasgow and Alex Ferry Foundation RoundTable on  'The research and policy opportunities and challenges around the issues of 'good work', TUC Congress House, London. (2019)
  • Invited presentation on industry road maps to the 'Building the right skills for the European steel industry', Steel Sector Careers Conference, Brussels. (2020)
  • Invited discussant to the Policy Connext and Manufacturing Commission's Parliamentary Roundtable on Skills for Sustainable Manufacturing, 27 January, 2021
  • Invited presentation on 'Innovating for energy efficiency: Digital gamification in the European steel industry', at the ETUI-ETUC Conference: Towards a new socio-ecological contract - Panel 1: A new social contract for a zero-carbon world, 4 February, 2021
  • Invited presentation on 'Preparing workers for a green and digital future: a European VET Perspective' at the European Institute of Public Affairs (EIPA) & German University of Administrative Sciences, Speyer: Skills for  a Modern and Digital Working Environment, 25th February, 2021
  • Invited presentation on 'The Impact of Transitioning to a Green Economy on Skill Development' at the ETUI Reskilling Workers at Sectoral Level for a Green Economy training event, 25th February, 2021
  • Workshop: Invitation to participate in Innovate UK's Transforming Foundation Industries Workshop on Technical Skills Provision in the UK (organised by SQW Consultants), 23rd April, 2021
  • Invited presentation on 'Securing skills and talent for the UK Steel Industry' at EPSRC research centre 'Sustain bi-annual conference: Sustainability in Steel'. 2nd December, 2021 Steel industry gathers to discuss sustainability - News - The Chemical Engineer
  • Invited presentation on 'Digital Technology and Well-being: A Sociological Perspective' at Celsa Group Innovation 2022 Webinar - Enhancing Well-Being Through Artificial Intelligence. 16th February, 2022
  • Invited presentation on 'European Steel Skills Agenda' at SPIRE-SAIS Mid-term Conference, session on 'Implementation and Roll-Out', 3rd/4th March, 2022
  • Invited expert evidence - Welsh Government: Mainstreaming Equality and a Just Transition to Net Zero, 22nd March 2022
  • Invited presentation on 'Defining and adjusting skills and jobs for a future proven steel industry' at 5th Just Transition Platform Meeting: Reskilling and Future-proof jobs, 12th May 2022
  • Expert contribution to green skills strategy for the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) published the report online 13 October 2023
  • Invited evidence to the Senedd Enquiry 'Future of Welsh Steel' Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee February 29th 2024
  • Invited speaker and discussant on European Steel Industry Skill Needs: Lessons from the ESSA Project at Sustainability in Steel Conference 8th-10th July 2024, Swansea University

Committees and reviewing

  • Australian Research Council (ARC) Proposal Assessor
  • ESRC Proposal Assessor
  • Journal reviewer:
    • Economic and Industrial Democracy,
    • International Journal of Educational Development,
    • Sociology,
    • Globalisations,
    • Relations Industrielles,
    • British Educational Research Journal,
    • European Journal of Industrial Relations (special issue),
    • Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society
    • Energy and Environment
    • Transfer
    • Information and Organization
    • Applied Economics
    • PLOS One
    • Scientific Reports
  • Book proposal reviewer: Polity Press


I am interested in supervising PhD and Prof Doc students in the areas of:

  • Comparative political economy
  • Skills and workforce development
  • Industrial relations
  • Greening of jobs, skills and the economy
  • Technology and digitalisation

Currently supervising:

  • Tracy Eastment - The Myths, the Magic and the Melancholy: The professionalisation and credentialization of surfing instructors
  • Emma Chivers - How can HEI’s increase the retention and progression of Foundation Year Students within HE in Wales?
  • Gareth Downey - The reform of vocational qualifications in Wales - the role and influence of learning providers in the reform process
  • Andrew Burnett - The impact of professional teacher training on the professional identity of the medical professions
  • Geena Whiteman - Youth Digital-Social Entrepreneurship in Post-Conflict/Post-Socialist Countries: Comparative Study of Kosovo and Slovenia
  • Francisco Pando Junco - A mixed methods investigation into the workers attitudes to Industry 4.0 in the Food and Drink Industry: A comparison between Spain and UK.

Current supervision

Emma Chivers

Emma Chivers

Research student

Gareth Downey

Gareth Downey

Research student

Andrew Burnett

Andrew Burnett

University Teacher

Geena Whiteman

Geena Whiteman

Research student

Francisco Pando Junco

Francisco Pando Junco

Research student

Past projects

Co-supervisor (50%) for Jean Pia - “nangangamuhan”: An analysis of the standard employment contract (POEA-SEC) for Filipino seafarers (Awarded 2018)

Co-supervisor (50%) for Junichi Mori - Dynamic Skill Formation in Vietnam: Beyond a ‘Skill Mismatch’ Paradigm (Awarded 2019)

Co-supervisor (50%) for Issa Al Shabibi - Planning for Entrepreneurialism in a Rentier State Economy: Entrepreneurship Education for Economic Diversification in Oman (Awarded 2020)

Co-supervisor (50%) for Scott McKenzie - The utility of area-based policies and practices in the university access agenda in Wales (Awarded 2022)

Co-supervisor (50%) for Khalifa Al Hatmi - The Impact of Credentials and Social Capital on Employment Outcomes (Awarded 2022)

Co-supervisor (50%) for Faisal Al Balushi - The Role Student Advisory Councils play in the Development of Citizenship and Civic participation Skills Among Higher Education Students in Oman (Awarded 2023)