Staff profile

Professor Bill Esmond


Professor of Professional Education and Training

Square image of staff member Bill Esmond


Education, Childhood and SEND


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


Institute of Education

Research centre

Technical and Vocational Education and Training Research Cluster




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



My work examines the policies, structures, institutions and discourses that shape learning and work internationally. My recent publications discuss the stratification of vocational education and training (VET) and its distinctive theorisation in different countries. I work with researchers and support doctorates seeking to move VET towards sustainable and socially just futures. 

Teaching responsibilities

The development of new researchers is central to my work for the University. I currently supervise the following doctoral students: 

I teach on the taught modules of the University's Doctor of Education programme and contribute to other postgraduate programmes by invitation. 

I examine doctorates in other universities across the UK, Australia and Africa.

Research interests

Membership of professional bodies


Postgraduate qualifications

Recent conferences

Experience in industry

Before joining the University, I taught in the Further Education sector for twelve years, including teaching on the University's teacher training programmes in a partner college. Prior to this, I worked in various industrial roles including construction supply and vehicle manufacture.

International experience

My work is based on an engagement with international policies, practices and patterns of education and training. Current international collaborations include work with German colleagues on the theoretical foundations of VET and with researchers from two Norwegian institutions on the VET as a sphere of inclusion and as a primary space of material practice.

Additional interests and activities

Editorial Management Committee, Journal of Vocational Education and Training

Special Issue Editor:

JVET Special Issue, Knowledge and expertise in vocational education and training 

Bwp@ Special Issue 19: Retrieving and recontextualising VET theory

In the media

I write, and my work is referenced in news media for the field I research, using a range of media and social media. I am still (just!) on Twitter at @bill_esmond.

These videos are 'video abstracts' in which I discuss recent work with academics and practitioners:

Recent publications


Esmond, B., & Atkins, L. (2022). Education, Skills and Social Justice in a Polarising World: Between Technical Elites and Welfare Vocationalism. Routledge. OA chapters at

Peer-reviewed articles in international journals: 

Esmond, B. & Wedekind, V. (2023). Theorising VET without 'VET Theoory': Foundations and fragmentation of Anglophone VET research. In: bwp@ Spezial 19: Retrieving and recontextualising VET theory. Edited by Esmond, B./Ketschau, T. J./Schmees, J. K./Steib, C./Wedekind, V., 1-28. Online: (30.08.2023).

Avis, J., Atkins, L., Esmond, B. & McGrath, S. (2021). Re-conceptualising VET: responses to covid-19, Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 73:1, 1-23, DOI: 10.1080/13636820.2020.1861068

Full publication list available on Google Scholar at