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Professor Rob Wilson

Research interests

A key focus of Rob's work has been the demand for labour by occupation and skill, including the analysis of productivity change. He has a strong interest in the labour markets for highly qualified persons, especially professional scientists and engineers: this includes the study of their roles within organisations as well as the education, training and employment situations affecting these occupations overall. A major area of work has been concerned with developing methods for anticipating future changes in the labour market. Another major area of his work has been concerned with evaluating the costs and benefits of investment in human capital. He has been responsible (in collaboration with colleagues at Cambridge) for developing the Local Economy Forecasting Model software package.

He has continued to develop and extend the IER's research programme on labour market assessment and projections. This has included developing and conducting a series of Pan-European projections, as part of a 4 year work programme being undertaken for Cedefop (the European Centre for vocational education and Training).He has also been involved in various projects which extend the most recent Working Futures projections undertaken for the UK, focussing on specific geographical areas within the UK, as well as particular sectors and occupational groups (including so called STEM (science, technology, mathematics and engineering disciplines)). The Cedefop work has involved research and other activities aimed at providing high level information and advice to policy makers at a European and UK level on related issues. This has included preparation of papers and presentations at various EU/EC events, including a US EC Roundtable event in Washington in 2008, as well as a number of other events in Brussels and Thessaloniki And many other parts of Europe. He has written and edited many articles in academic journals as well as numerous books including The National Health Service and the Labour Market; Employment Forecasting in the Construction Industry; Technical Change: The Role of Scientists and Engineers; Research and Development Statistics and Engineers in Top Management. Most recently he has authored or co-authored a number of major reports published by Cedefop, including Future skill supply in Europe, Medium-term forecast up to 2020: synthesis report and Skills supply and demand in Europe: medium-term forecast up to 2020.

Academic profile

Rob Wilson leads the Institute's labour assessment and market forecasting work. He has also researched and published on many other aspects of labour market behaviour, including the changing patterns of demand for and the supply of skills at national and international levels.Rob has played a leading role in developing quantitative approaches to anticipating changing skills needs at a national and international level. As well as producing Working Futures for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), he has led the Cedefop Skillsnet project on developing Medium-term forecasts of occupational skill needs in Europe and the analogous project on skills supply. This research has produced a consistent and comprehensive assessment of prospects for the demand for and supply of skills for the whole of Europe. He has undertaken contract research for a large range of sponsors, including all the major UK Departments of State. Other clients include (inter alia): UNESCO, the European Traing Foundation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; the Statistical Office of the European Communities; the Commission of the European Communities; the Construction Industry Training Board; the Engineering and Marine Transport Authority; the Economists Intelligence Unit; the Office of Fair Trading; the Advisory Council on Science and Technology; the Cabinet Office; the National Economic Development Office; the International Shipping Federation and various other private sector companies. Amongst his professional responsibilities, he has been a member of the UK Migration Advisory Committee set up to advise Home Office ministers about whether there are skill shortages that can be sensibly filled by the use of inward migrants to the UK and a member of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills Expert Panel.

Current projects

  • Production of Skills Supply and Demand Forecasts. Funded by CEDEFOP. Project Start Date: 01/07/2016 - Project End Date: 01/07/2020 [details]
  • Refreshment of Working Futures Labour Market Projections. With Nick Sofroniou, Anne Green, David Owen. Funded by UKCES. Project Start Date: 26/06/15 - Project End Date: 31/03/2017 [details]
  • LMI for All: Lot 3 Data Development services. With Nick Sofroniou, Jenny Bimrose, David Owen and Yuxin Li. Funded by UKCES. Project Start Date: 01/05/2015 - Project End Date: 30/04/16 [details]
  • LMI for All: Data services. With Nick Sofroniou, Jenny Bimrose, David Owen and Yuxin Li. Funded by UKCES. Project Start Date: 01/05/2015 - Project End Date: 30/04/16 [details]
  • Order form 5: Midterm skills supply and demand forecast. With Erez Yerushalmi. Funded by: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP). Project Start Date: 01/01/2015 - Project End Date: 30/04/2016
  • Provision of data analysis and intelligence on skills and labour markets. With Sally-Anne Barnes. Funded by CEDEFOP. Project start date: 22/12/2014 - Project end date: 21/12/2022 [details]
  • Mid-term skills supply and demand forecast, order form 2. Funded by CEDEFOP. Project start date: 01/01/2014 - Project end date: 30/06/2016
  • Order Form 2: Mid-Term skills supply and demand forecast, with others outside the Univaersity. Funded by: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP). Project Start Date: 01/01/2014 - Project End Date: 30/06/2016
  • Implementation of an employer survey on skill needs in Europe, with Terence Hogarth, Lynn Gambin. Funded by: Ipsos MORI UK. Project Start Date: 06/05/2013 - Project End Date: 28/04/2017
  • Mid-term skills supply and demand forecast. With Yuxin Li; Erez Yerushalmi. Funded by: CEDEFOP. Project Start Date: 01/01/2013 - Project End Date: 30/12/2016 [details}
  • Analysis of the Future Labour Supply and Demand in Germany. With Yuxin Li. Funded by: Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Project Start Date: 16/12/2011 - Project End Date: 30/12/2016

All projects

Selected publications

All publications

All conference presentations

Research Degrees Supervised

  • Nursing labour supply in Great Britain (Rebecca Wilde), Date of Completion: 2018

Other information




Institute for Employment Research
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

Tel: +44(0)24 76523530

R dot A dot Wilson at warwick dot ac dot uk