Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Global economic growth creates wealth, increases standards of living and provides jobs for people. Greater economic growth equals greater economic opportunities for people.

The pandemic has enforced a global recession, bringing about mass unemployment that could see half of the world’s workforce financially disadvantaged, and livelihoods are at risk.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an economic crisis throughout the world. A shrinking of the world economy has a detrimental effect on all nations’ economies and their citizens. It is expected per capita incomes will decline worldwide, production output will be reduced and commodity prices will fall leading to financial markets are becoming unstable, creating more risk factors for economic growth and widening economic injustices.

Find out more about Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth.

Teaching and learning

At the University of Liverpool, students are able to explore this topic from a number of different perspectives within course modules. Examples of course modules that have a direct or indirect focus on decent work and economic growth (as assessed by students) include:

We recognise that there is much more to do to equip students with the knowledge and skills that they need to make a contribution to achieving this global goal. Working with the Guild of Students our undergraduate and postgraduate students have the opportunity to audit their curriculum modules for their relevance to SDG8: Decent work and economic growth and to make recommendations for changes to the course content.  For more information on how students can get involved see the Guild curriculum audit report.

The University has also recently established an Education for Sustainable Development Working Group. This group brings together academics, students and representatives from the Centre for Innovation in Education to develop a strategic plan for embedding SDGs into the curriculum including SDG8: Decent work and economic growth. 

There are also a number of ways that students can support the aims and objectives of SDG8 through extra-curricula activities, including through volunteering opportunities provided by the Guild of Students.

Research and knowledge exchange

The University contributes to the identification of the root problems that are caused by not having decent work and economic growth. The University looks for potential solutions across many areas of research

Some key examples are:

Leadership, governance and professional services

Examples of Leadership, governance and professional services include:

Ethics and Values Commitments as an Employer 

As part of its commitment to employee engagement, the University consulted with staff to develop a set of University of Liverpool values and ethics principles. These values and ethics communicate our practices and aspirations that define how we operate in all areas including decision making, working in partnership with our students and collaborators, local and global impact, and staff offer. For all employees, we aim to create a culture of openness, transparency, and respect, where staff works together for the future success of the University. We will review and refresh our values from time to time to ensure they reflect the changing environment in which we work and what matters to us as employees of the University in the context of the wider organisational strategic goals.

The living wage 

The University has become officially accredited with the Living Wage Foundation. The real living wage is higher than the government’s minimum, or National Living Wage, and is an independently calculated hourly rate of pay that is based on the actual cost of living. It is calculated each year and is announced by the Living Wage Foundation as part of Living Wage Week. It is currently £9.00 in the UK, with a higher rate of £10.55 for London, reflecting the higher costs of living in the capital. Over 4,700 organisations, including the University of Liverpool, voluntarily choose to pay the real Living Wage in the belief that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. This commitment applies not only to directly employed staff but also to our third-party contracted staff.  The Living Wage movement has benefited hundreds of thousands of families by enabling them to earn a wage they can live on.  


GiveGetGo is a set of training opportunities for local people who are looking for employment, particularly the long-term unemployed, veterans, or people with mental health issues and social housing tenants. It’s half a day a week for a twelve-week period.  The programme aims to develop new skills, help with the search for a new job and provide tips for the interview process. We guarantee to interview all individuals who have completed the GiveGetGo volunteering programme, who meet the essential criteria for the post. 

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