A short history of IES

The Institute was formed in the late 1960s by a group of industrialists and individuals who saw the need for an independent, national centre of excellence to research and disseminate best practice in manpower planning, and labour market issues.

The group was led by Sir Peter Allen (then Deputy Chairman of ICI) and Lord (Willis) Jackson of Burnley under its original name, the Institute of Manpower Studies (IMS). Some 20 companies plus the then Civil Service Department underwrote the Institute’s existence for the first five years. Since then it has become self-funding, carrying out research and applied consultancy, and has an active publishing and dissemination programme.

From shortly after its inception, the Institute was located on the University of Sussex campus, which was developing a ‘science park’ environment for research institutes, though it has never been part of, or directly sponsored by, the University of Sussex. In 2008 we established a satellite office in London, and in August 2009, moved our Sussex offices into Brighton.

Its current Director, Tony Wilson, was appointed in 2018.

In 1994 the Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary and changed its name to the Institute for Employment Studies to better reflect the wider range of subject matter now addressed.