Tony Wilson


staff photo

Institute Director

Tony has worked in employment policy and research for most of the last twenty years, in a range of roles spanning central government and independent institutes.  As Institute Director at IES, Tony leads a team of forty people delivering research, analysis and consultancy support on employment, skills, education and HR.  He has particular expertise in labour market policy and analysis;  the design, delivery and evaluation of employment and skills programmes; supporting organisations to understand and apply evidence of ‘what works’; devolution and local delivery; and leading complex programmes.

Prior to joining IES in October 2018, Tony was Director of Research and Development at the Learning and Work Institute, and before that a Director at the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion.  Between 2001 and 2011 he worked on employment, skills and welfare in the Department for Work and Pensions, Jobcentre Plus and latterly in HM Treasury. 

At DWP, this included responsibility for the design and implementation of a number of labour market programmes during the last recession, including the Future Jobs Fund, work experience programmes and integrated employment and skills support for young people.  Prior to this, he was an expert policy adviser to David Freud on his independent review of welfare to work, published in 2007, which led to the creation of the Flexible New Deal and extension of employment programmes to support lone parents and disabled people.  Before leaving government, Tony was Head of Employment Policy at HM Treasury, where he advised Treasury Ministers on labour market developments and policy responses to the recession, and oversaw government spending on employment and welfare.


2000 Selwyn College, University of Cambridge MA, History



Director, Institute for Employment Studies


Director of Policy and Research, Learning and Work Institute


Director of Policy and Research, Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion


Head of Employment Policy, HM Treasury


Head of Employment Projects, Department for Work and Pensions


Senior Adviser to Director of Welfare to Work, Department for Work and Pensions


Team Leader, Department for Work and Pensions


Department for Work and Pensions Fast Stream

Research publications

Articles and chapters