As well as his current role as head of the School of Education, Volker is an honorary professor at the Centre for Researching Education and Labour, University of Witwatersrand. He is the convenor of the Nottingham UNESCO UNEVOC Centre.
Prior to joining the University of Nottingham he held positions at universities in South Africa, where he held various senior positions as head of school, deputy dean for continuing education, and research Chair in vocational education and pedagogy. He served on numerous national bodies, including three ministerial committees and advisory committees of the Council for Higher Education (CHE) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). He was a panel member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa reporting on the state of agricultural education and training in South Africa.
He has served in various editorial capacities, as editor in chief of the Journal of Education, as associate editor of International Journal of Training and Development and Pedagogy Culture Society, and as a member of the international editorial boards of four international journals.
His research has been funded by SAQA, Umalusi, DHET, HSRC, UNESCO, ESRC GCRF, and the British Academy amongst others. He has supervised 12 doctoral students to completion. He is the author of numerous research papers, journal articles and book chapters. His current research projects focus on TVET lecturer professional development, skills ecosystems and skills and TVET policy.