Steering Committee Member, CRSE
Nigel is a labour economist by training, and an established international expert on labour market and employment policy issues. He has worked at the Institute for Employment Studies since 1984, following posts at the Universities of Bath and Glasgow. He has been Director of the Institute since 2004. In 1990-91 he was a senior research fellow at the Social Science Research Centre (WZB) in Berlin.
He has a long and varied research track record covering the functioning of national, regional and local labour markets, unemployment, skill shortages, labour market flexibility, changing patterns of work and equal opportunity policies and practices. He has, since the late 1980s, had a particular interest in the role of self-employment and small businesses in the labour market.
A major strand of his recent work has focused on the evaluation of public training and employment programmes and active labour market measures, with a particular focus on the participation of disabled people and other disadvantaged groups in the labour market. He recently led the official evaluation of the UK government's Work Programme, for the Department of Work and Pensions. Much of his work has an international emphasis and he is especially interested in the comparison of labour market policies between European countries, and in the identification and transfer of good practice in policy development.
He has been a specialist advisor to various select committees of the British House of Commons: the Education and Employment Committee (in 1996-97, and 1998-99), the Trade and Industry Committee (2004-05) and the Work and Pensions Committee (2008-09). He has been the UK representative on the European Commission's Expert Group on the Employment of Disabled People and a member of the Employment and Training Committee of the Royal National Institute of Blind People. He has been a member of the Advisory Group on the Impact of Employment Regulation of the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the expert advisory panel of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). He has been chair of the Executive Committee of the UK Association of Research Centres in the Social Sciences (ARCISS).
He has been the UK expert on the European Commission's 'Employment Observatory' (1996-99 and 2003-04) and a Thematic Expert for the Observatory (2011-13). In partnership with ÖSB Consulting in Vienna he jointly led (2003-08) the Mutual Learning Programme of the European Employment Strategy, and (currently) the Peer Review and Assessment in Social Inclusion, both on behalf of the European Commission.