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Session 3: Speakers

Tony Meagher is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Policy Studies, Monash University. After a short career as a theoretical nuclear physicist, he turned to economics, completing his Ph.D. in 1979. Since then, he has held appointments in the United Kingdom (University of Sussex), the United States (United Nations Secretariat) and Australia (La Trobe University, University of Melbourne and Monash University). His primary field of research has been the application of applied general equilibrium modeling techniques to policy analysis and forecasting. In particular, he has been responsible for extending the capacity of the MONASH model of the Australian Economy to provide detailed employment forecasts by occupation, skill group and region. These forecasts are disseminated regularly throughout the Commonwealth and State government bureaucracies via a subscription service. His labour market research has also led to the development of a related class of economic models that trace the effects of policy changes and other changes in the economic environment on the distribution of income via their effects on employment opportunities.

Rob Wilson is a Professorial Fellow and Deputy Director of the Institute for Employment Research at Warwick University in the UK. He is an economist specialising in national economic and labour market assessment and forecasting. His research is focused on the drivers of changes in the patterns of demand for and the supply of skills at national and international levels. He has also researched and written on a much larger range of employment, skills and related issues, including links between technological change and the demand for skills, and the relationship between pay and qualifications.

He has played a leading role in developing quantitative approaches to anticipating changing skills needs at a national and international level. He has led the Institute’s work in this area since 1981, including the well-established Working Futures series of employment projections in the UK, which is currently in its fourth phase. Over the past 5 years his experience of national level labour market assessment and forecasting has been extended through a series of projects to develop Pan European labour market and skills forecasts, supported by Cedefop. Rob is currently leading a 4 year programme of work funded by CEDEFOP, which includes supply side as well as demand elements. For the first time, 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 acted as an advisor methods on for anticipating changing skill needs for the European Commission, South Africa, the Czech Republic and various others. Other key research activities in the area of skills needs assessment have included joint authorship of the UK Learning and Skills Council’s Skills in England publications, and more recently the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) Employment and Skills Almanac.

He has written extensively on these and related topics, including books on Employment Forecasting in the Construction Industry; The National Health Service and the Labour Market; Technical Change: The Role of Scientists and Engineers; and Research and Development Statistics. He has published over 70 journal articles and book chapters, over 100 substantial reports, monographs and miscellaneous articles, and presented papers at conferences and workshops in over a dozen different countries.

Rob has undertaken research on labour market and related issues for a large range of sponsors, including all the major UK Departments of State. Other clients include: the Office of Fair Trading; the Advisory Council on Science and Technology; the Cabinet Office; the National Economic Development Office; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; the Statistical Office of the European Communities; Cedefop; and the Commission of the European Communities. He has undertaken work on skills and related matters, including econometric analysis and model building, for many different sectors (including Construction, Engineering, Sea transport, Health and many more, including many projects for the Sector Skills Councils and the Skills for Business network. Since 2001, he has led bids and won project funding and awards valued at around £½ a million per annum.

Rob is currently a member of the Migration Advisory Committee advising on skill shortages in the UK and the use of migrant labour to address them. He has also served on various other Advisory Boards including the UKCES’s Expert panel.