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Ruth Helyer

01642 384268
Job title:
Head of Skills
Department for Academic Enterprise
Social Sciences, Business & Law research

About Ruth Helyer

Dr Ruth Helyer is an internationally recognised work-based learning specialist with particular interests in graduate employability, contemporary workforce issues, employer engagement and reflection on, and accreditation of, prior learning. She has published widely in these areas in a range of international peer reviewed journals including Higher Education, Skills and Work -based Learning (HESWBL), Education + Training and the International Journal of Training and Development.

Ruth is head of Workforce Development (Research & Policy) and a member of the management team in the Department of Academic Enterprise, as well as Editor in Chief of the Emerald peer-reviewed journal, Higher Education Skills and Work -based Learning (HESWBL) and a National Teaching Fellow. Ruth is also a member of SoFI, the multidisciplinary cross school research institute.  Ruth began her academic career as an English literature lecturer and has also published widely in this field including contributing to the Cambridge Companion to Don DeLillo (CUP, 2008). 

Research interests

Ruth’s current research focuses upon the learning which takes place where the workplace and higher education intersect. Her areas of interest align well with current Government policy around higher level skills, employability and Universities working closely with business.

She also undertakes numerous evaluations and reports, for example the evaluation of the University’s Graduate Internship Scheme and the Darlington Foundation for Jobs initiative. Due to her expertise in the area of apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships she is currently leading the Institute of Local Governance funded review of Gateshead Council’s Apprenticeship Programme. The recent special issue of HESWBL, which she edited, on higher apprenticeships, was launched in the House of Commons by Skills Minister Matthew Hancock.

Ruth is keen to collaborate with a range of partners in the public, private and third sectors and welcomes enquiries for contract research and consultancy as well as enterprise and workforce development activities.

Ruth has experience of supervising PhD students in the areas of work-based learning and business-facing HE activity and is happy to discuss applications for postgraduate research in these areas. She also continues to teach on the PgCLTHE, where she offers her module ‘Teaching Work-Based Learners’.


Selected publications

The Work-based Learning Student Handbook
(Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).  Editor, and author of the introduction and opening chapter.

'Mentoring for business engagement as continuing professional development of university academic staff', International Journal of Training and Development (16 (3), pp.217-227, With D Lee).

‘The 21st century multiple generation workforce: overlaps and differences but also challenges and benefits’, Education + Training (2012, 54 (7), pp.545-578, with D Lee). 

‘The role of internships in the employability of future higher education graduates’ Higher Education Quarterly, special issue on Employer Engagement (forthcoming, 2014). 

View Ruth Helyer's Publications on TeesRep

In the news

  • United in developing Tees Valley's skills
    BQ Magazine (Web)05/04/2017
    Head of skills Dr Ruth Helyer explains to Paul Robertson how partnership working is vital,Understanding the needs of employers has been fundamental to the development of apprenticeship programmes.

  • Welcome to the real world - of work
    Times Higher Education, 25/09/2014, p.24; Times Higher Education (Web), 25/09/2014
    Teesside University's Ruth Heyler comments on whether students would be better served if placements occurred during - and not after - their degree courses.

  • Top fellowship for lecturer
    Evening Gazette (Teesside), 28/06/2013, p.15
    Ruth Helyer is a leading expert in work-based learning and has developed a number of programmes, including Teesside University's work-based studies degrees, based in the Business School. She has also