Paul joined Keele Business School in May 2023 as Professor of Regional Economic Development and Policy. His research expertise includes local and regional economic development, local and regional labour markets, labour market change and skills policy. His research has evaluated sub-national approaches to economic development, industrial strategy and inclusive growth. His work on skills has extended understandings of skills mismatch, and the drivers of employer demand for skills, at the regional and local level. His recent research has provided novel insights into important contemporary labour market issues of in-work poverty and weak pay progression.

Paul was previously Professor of Work and Employment and Head of the Management Research Centre at the University of Wolverhampton. Prior to this, Paul held posts at Coventry University, The Work Foundation, the Institute for Employment Studies, and Dundee University.

Paul has published in a range of leading journals including Regional Studies, Urban Studies, Work, Employment and Society, Human Resource Management Journal, and Policy and Politics. He has authored more than 40 research papers and policy reports. Paul is an Editor at the journal of Work, Employment and Society. He has engaged with research and policy and practice development activities with Central Government departments, local and combined authorities, and Third Sector organisations.

Research and scholarship

Paul’s research interests include:
• Regional economic development
• Employment change
• Health and work
• Local and regional labour markets
• Wage progression
• Skills policy
• Unemployment and economic inactivity
• Inclusive growth
• The creative industries


Selected publications

  • Sissons, P. (2021) ‘The local low skills equilibrium: Moving from concept to policy utility’. Urban Studies. 58 (8):  1543–1560.

  • Green, A., Sissons, P., Broughton, K. and Qamar, A. (2021) ‘Public policy for addressing the low-skills low-wage trap: insights from business case studies in the Birmingham city-region, UK’. Regional Studies 55 (2): 333-344, 

  • Velthuis, S., Sissons, P. and Berkeley, N. (2019) “Do low-paid workers benefit from the urban escalator? Evidence from British cities” Urban Studies, 56 (8): 1664–1680

  • Sissons, P., Green, A. and Broughton, K. (2018) “Inclusive growth in English cities: mainstreamed or sidelined?” Regional Studies, 53 (3): 435-446

  • Sissons, P., Green, A. and Lee, N. (2017) “Linking the sectoral employment structure and household poverty in the United Kingdom” Work, Employment and Society. 32 (6): 1078-1098

  • Lee, N., Green, A. and Sissons, P. (2017) “Low-pay sectors, earnings mobility and economic policy in the UK” Policy & Politics. 46 (3): 347-369  

  • Sissons, P. and Green, A. (2017) “More than a match? Assessing the HRM challenge of engaging employers to support retention and progression” Human Resource Management Journal, 27(4): 565–580.

Collaborations and grants awards

Selected current and recent projects:
• Inclusive growth in the creative industries. The Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre
• Creative freelance business models. The Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre
• Fair Work in the Foundational Economy. The Bevan Foundation
• Midlands Engine mental health and productivity pilot. The Midlands Engine.
• Do low-paid workers gain when firm productivity increases? Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
• Inclusive growth in cities. Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
• What works in tackling poverty: Harnessing growth sectors for poverty reduction. Economic
and Social Research Council.
• Jobs and skills in Leeds City Region. Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
• Linking jobs and poverty in cities. Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

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