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Personal profile


I am Professor of Work and Learning and Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) at the University of Huddersfield where I have worked since 2006. Prior to joining the University I taught in Further Education (FE) colleges for sixteen years, mainly on ESOL and teacher education provision. I still maintain a keen interest in FE and I am currently leading a three-year national research project on initial teacher education for science, engineering and technology teachers working in colleges. This major project is funded by the Gatsby Foundation.

My first degree was in History and French from the University of Manchester and I later went on to study for a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education and the Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults. I completed an MA by research at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2005, which examined the impact of policy on FE teaching practice. In November 2009 I was awarded a PhD for my thesis entitled College Cultures and Pre-Service Trainee Teachers: a study in the creation and transmission of ideas about teaching. In 2015 I completed an MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research at the University of Manchester.

In 2014 the Higher Education Academy awarded me with a National Teaching Fellowship for my work around vocational education.

I am currently visiting professor at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Vocational education and training
  • Teacher education and professional development in the Further Education sector
  • Vocational pedagogy
  • College-based higher education
  • The work-based learning of architects
  • Quantitative research methods in educational research

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Vocational Education
  • Vocational Training
  • Teacher Education
  • Professional Development
  • Further Education
  • Vocational Pedagogy
  • College-Based HE
  • Work Based Learning
  • Quantitative Research Methods

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Kevin Orr is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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further education Social Sciences
teacher Social Sciences
trainee Social Sciences
Vocational Education Social Sciences
vocational education Social Sciences
education Social Sciences
learning Social Sciences
teacher training Social Sciences

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Research Output 2007 2019

Open Access

The recruitment of VET teachers and the failure of policy in England’s further education sector

Hanley, P. & Orr, K., 1 Jun 2019, In : Journal of Education and Work. 32, 2, p. 103-114 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

further education
vocational education
Vocational Education
reform of vocational education
engineering science

VET teachers and trainers

Orr, K., 1 Apr 2019, The Wiley Handbook of Vocational Education and Training. Guile, D. & Unwin, L. (eds.). 1st ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., p. 329-348 20 p. (Wiley Handbooks in Education).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Black students in VET: Learner experiences in an English metropolitan and provincial setting

Avis, J., Orr, K. & Warmingtom, P., 4 Sep 2018, Trends in Vocational Education and Training Research: Proceedings of the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Vocational Education and Training Network (VETNET) 2018 . Nägele, C. & Stalder, B. (eds.). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, p. 44-52 9 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
division of labor
social capital
labor market


Orr, K. & Jarvis, C., 25 Jul 2018, In : Studies in the Education of Adults. 50, 1, p. 1-3 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Activities 2011 2019

  • 17 Oral presentation
  • 5 Invited talk

The charlatans: Possession, corporate shamen and the cult of the empowering leader.

Paul Willis (Speaker), John Nicholson (Speaker), Kevin Orr (Speaker)
10 Jul 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Teaching Training for Inclusive Adult Education: Pedagogical Approaches at University of Huddersfield

Kevin Orr (Keynote speaker)
16 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Black Students in Vocational Education and Training: Learner Experience in Metropolitan and Provincial Settings

James Avis (Speaker), Kevin Orr (Speaker), Paul Warmingtom (Speaker)
12 Sep 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Black Students in Vocational Education and Training: Learner Experiences in an English Metropolitan and Provincial Setting

James Avis (Speaker), Kevin Orr (Speaker), Paul Warmington (Contributor to Paper or Presentation)
7 Sep 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Why Employer Engagement and Curriculum Matter for Skills and Social Justice

Kevin Orr (Keynote speaker)
5 Jul 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Press / Media

Ofsted reveals FE research reference group

Kevin Orr & James Avis


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Other

Revolutionary New Vocational T-Levels are Doomed Without Teachers

Pamela Hanley & Kevin Orr


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment