After working in higher education institutions in France and the United Kingdom for fifteen years, Dr Bridgford became the founding Director of the European Trade Union College (ETUCO), the education and training wing of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and in addition the Director of the Association pour la formation européenne des travailleurs aux technologies (AFETT) five years later.
ETUCO and AFETT created and developed a community of trade union educators throughout Europe, set up a European methodology for trade union education and delivered hundreds of European education activities for the training of trade union officers and representatives.
In 2008 he became Special Adviser to John Monks, the then ETUC General Secretary, taking on responsibilities for policy-making in the area of education and training, and consequently representing the ETUC on a series of EU consultative bodies, notably the Advisory Group of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). More recently Dr Bridgford has been an Apprenticeships and Work-Based Learning Specialist in the Skills and Employability Branch of the International Labour Organization.
Dr Bridgford's initial research centred on the politics of industrial relations in Europe and led to the publication of The Politics of French Trade Unions, and also Employee Relations in Europe (with Stirling, J).
His attention has subsequently turned towards social partner involvement in vocational education and training, with the publication of A European Quality Framework for Apprenticeships – A European Trade Union Proposal.