Dr Phillip Toner

H04 - Merewether Building
The University of Sydney


Biographical details

Prior to commencing an academic career Phillip worked in labour market and economic research for the federal government including an agency of Federal Treasury. He gained his PhD in Political Economy at the University of Sydney in 1997. The thesis was on the role of manufacturing industry in economic development and was awarded the 1999 History of Economic Thought Society of Australia Prize for the best Australian PhD on a history of economic thought subject. The thesis was published unchanged in 1999 asMain Currents in Cumulative Causation: The Dynamics of Growth and Development, Macmillan Press Ltd, U.K. and St Martin’s Press New York. After working for four years in economic consulting he was appointed a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Industry and Innovation Studies, University of Western Sydney in 2002. He was responsible, singly or jointly with other researchers at the Centre, for winning and completing $2.068m in competitive research grants. In 2012 he moved to the University of Sydney as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Political Economy. His research interests include industrial structure analysis and industry policy; the economics of technical change; national vocational skills formation systems and labour market analysis.

He has made significant contributions to scholarship in political economy and public policy in several fields. First, integrating the innovation studies discipline with national vocational skills formation systems, culminating in a comprehensive and influential study into the role of workforce skills and innovation for the OECD in2011. This research was influential in subsequently prompting the Department of Innovation to include studies of the role and function of vocational education and vocationally (VET) trained workers in its annual reports on theAustralian National Innovation Systemsince 2011. It also led to a major programme of work on this topic funded by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) involving many scholars and public policy experts. Second, applying a political economy perspective to the Australian apprenticeship system has provided novel insights and influenced government research and apprenticeship policy. This perspective revealed the economic and industrial structure factors behind thesustained declinein apprentice training from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. The structural analysis also led government to significantly increase financial support for the apprentice system. Third, the methodology for constructing long-run training rates for major trade occupations developed in this study was subsequently adopted by theNCVERstatistical reports on the performance of the Australian training system. Fourth, his work on the links between training, work organisation and workplace innovation culminated in being a co-author on the ground-breaking study by Professor Roy Green (2009)Management Matters in Australia. Finally, a2014economic analysis of the causes of poor quality training in contracting out publicly funded VET has been influential in subsequent improvements in the distribution of public funding for VET.

His research has been undertaken for organisations including the OECD; International Labour Organisation; World Bank; European Union (Eurofound); APEC; Industry Canada;South African Human Sciences Research Council;Australian Research Council; National Centre for Vocational Education Research; NSW Board of Vocational Education and Training; NSW TAFE Commission; Department of Innovation, Science and Research; Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations;Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency;Australian Industry Group; Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Master Builders Association; BIS-Shrapnel; Dusseldorp Skills Forum; Construction Training Australia; Group Training Australia and the ACTU, RTBU, AMWU and CFMEU. He has also prepared submissions to, and appeared before, several state and Commonwealth government inquiries on industry policy and vocational training. In 2011 he completed a paper for the OECD on workforce skills and innovation and presented the results to the Organisation in Paris. In 2013 he wasGastwissenschaftliche(Visiting Researcher)at the Institut fur Technik und Bildung, Universität Bremen.

He has published extensively in Australian and overseas journals including theCambridge Journal of Economics;British Journal of Industrial Relations;Review of Political Economy; Construction Management and Economics;Science and Public Policy; International Journal of Operations and Production Management;Education + Training; Education Economics;

Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation;Journal of Contemporary Asia;Issues & Studies: A Quarterly Journal on China, Taiwan and East Asia;Journal of Industrial Relations;The Economic and Labour Relations Review;Economic Analysis and Policy; AustralianBulletin of LabourandLabour & Industry.

Current research students

Project title Research student
Evaluate the contribution of competency based training development to rail safety in NSW 2000 - present. Peter SHINNICK

Academic Reviewer

British Journal of Industrial Relations

Cambridge Journal of Economics

Review of Political Economy

Construction Management and Economics

Science and Public Policy

International Journal of Operations and Production Management

Education + Training

Education Economics

The Journal of Industrial Relations

The Economic and Labour Relations Review

Journal of Australian Political Economy

Labour & Industry

Transactions of Multi-Disciplinary Engineering(Institution of Engineers, Australia)

Australian Journal of Adult Learning

Australia Journal of Management

Selected grants

2015

  • Industrial policies in the era of globalisation and financialisation; Chester L, Toner P, Stilwell F; Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia/Workshop Grant.

Selected publications & creative works

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • Toner, P. (1999). Main Currents in Cumulative Causation: The Dynamics of Growth and Development. UK: Macmillan Press.

Edited Books

  • Cahill, D., Toner, P. (2018). Wrong Way: How Privatisation and Economic Reform Backfired. Carlton: La Trobe University Press in conjunction with Black Inc.

Book Chapters

  • Toner, P. (2018). A Tale of Mandarins and Lemons: Creating the Market for Vocational Education and Training. In D. Cahill, P. Toner (Eds.), Wrong Way: How Privatisation and Economic Reform Backfired, (pp. 59-84). Carlton: La Trobe University Press in conjunction with Black Inc.
  • Cahill, D., Toner, P. (2018). Introduction: Situating Privatisation and Economic Reform. In D. Cahill, P. Toner (Eds.), Wrong Way: How Privatisation and Economic Reform Backfired, (pp. 1-18). Carlton: La Trobe University Press in conjunction with Black Inc.
  • Turpin, T., Tan, H., Toner, P., Garrett-Jones, S. (2012). Investigating the Lateral Migration of Technology in a Resource-Based Economy: Conceptual and Methodological Issues from a Study of the Australian Mining Sector. In David B. Audretsch, Erik E. Lehmann, Albert N. Link, and Alexander Starnecker (Eds.), Technology Transfer in a Global Economy, (pp. 335-349). US: Springer.
  • Toner, P. (2011). Tradespeople and technicians in innovation. In Penelope Curtin, John Stanwick and Francesca Beddie (Eds.), Fostering enterprise: the innovation and skills nexus �research readings, (pp. 127-143). Adelaide: National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
  • Toner, P., Dalitz, R. (2011). VET and the Diffusion and Implementation of Innovation in the Mining, Solar Energy and Computer Games Sectors. In Penelope Curtin, John Stanwick and Francesca Beddie (Eds.), Fostering enterprise: the innovation and skills nexus �research readings, (pp. 144-157). Adelaide: National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
  • Toner, P., Butler, G. (2009). Cumulative causation and Northeast Asian post-war industry policy. In Sebastian Berger (Eds.), The Foundations of Non-Equilibrium Economics: The principle of circular and cumulative causation, (pp. 43-64). New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis. [More Information]

Journals

  • Rafferty, M., Toner, P. (2019). Thinking like Capital Markets - Financialisation of the Australian Construction Industry. Construction Management and Economics, 37(3), 156-168. [More Information]
  • Bryan, R., Rafferty, M., Toner, P., Wright, S. (2017). Financialisation and labour in the Australian commercial construction industry. Economic and Labour Relations Review, 28(4), 500-518. [More Information]
  • Toner, P., Woolley, R. (2016). Perspectives and Debates on Vocational Education and Training, Skills and the Prospects for Innovation. Revista Espanola de Sociologia, 25(3), 319-342.
  • Dalitz, R., Toner, P. (2016). Systems failure, market failure, or something else? The case of skills development in Australian innovation policy. Innovation and Development, 6(1), 51-66. [More Information]
  • Toner, P. (2014). Contracting out publicly funded vocational education: A transaction cost critique. Economic and Labour Relations Review, 25(2), 222-239. [More Information]
  • Navin Doloswala, K., Thompson, D., Toner, P. (2013). Digital based media design: the innovative contribution of design graduates from vocational and higher education sectors. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 23(2), 409-423. [More Information]
  • Toner, P., Dalitz, R. (2012). Vocational education and training: the terra incognita of innovation policy. Prometheus (Abingdon), 30(4), 411-426. [More Information]
  • Toner, P. (2001). Notes and Comments: History versus Equilibrium and the theory of economic growth by M. Setterfield: a comment. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 25, 97-102.

Conferences

  • McGrath-Champ, S., Rosewarne, S., Toner, P. (2006). 'Skills infrastructure and structural transformation of the building and construction industry'. Social Actors, Work Organization and New Technologies in the 21st Century. IIRA 14th World Congress, N/A: International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA).
  • Rosewarne, S., Shin, J., McGrath-Champ, S., Toner, P. (2006). The globalisation of the construction work force: the impact on the Australian building and construction industry. 4th Asia-Pacific Building Unions Seminar, N/A.
  • Rosewarne, S., McGrath-Champ, S., Toner, P., Morgan, C. (2004). Labour Force Challenges in the Australian Building and Construction Industry: Skills Infrastructure and Migrant Workers. Labour Force Challenges in the Australian Building and Construction Industry: Skills Infrastructure and Migrant Workers, Sydney University.

Report

  • Toner, P., Marceau, J., Hall, R., Considine, G. (2004). Innovation agents: Vocational education and training skills and innovation in Australian industries and firms.
  • Toner, P., Marceau, J., Hall, R., Considine, G. (2004). Innovation Agents: Vocational Education And Training Skills In The Present And Future Australian Innovation System.

Research Reports

  • Oliver, D., Toner, P. (2019). Future of manufacturing Australia: Policy developments on apprenticeship, Afghanistan: European Commission. [More Information]
  • Toner, P. (2015). Western Australian Prison Officers' Union Submission to the Economic Regulation Authority Inquiry into the Efficiency and Performance of Western Australian Prisons, Western Australia, Australia: Economic Regulation Authority.
  • Iredale, R., Toner, P., Turpin, T., Fern�ndez-Esquinas, M. (2014). A Report on the APEC Region Labour Market: Evidence of skills shortages and general trends in employment and the value of better labour market information systems, Australia: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.
  • Toner, P. (2013). The Role of Wages and Other Factors in Apprentice Commencements and Completions. A Selected Review of the Literature in Australia, Afghanistan: Australian Council of Trade Unions.
  • Green, R., Toner, P., Agarwal, R. (2013). Understanding Productivity Australia's Choice, Afghanistan: University of Technology Sydney.
  • Toner, P., Lloyd, C. (2012). A Study Into Pre-Apprenticeship Delivery Models and Their Labour Market Outcomes, Sydney, Australia: Group Training Australia.
  • Toner, P. (2012). Establishing a Foundation for Labour Market Information Systems in South Africa, Afghanistan: South African Human Sciences Research Council.
  • Eddington, N., Toner, P. (2012). Skills Formation Strategies in Queensland: A Skills Shortage?, Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
  • Toner, P., Turpin, T., Woolley, R., Lloyd, C. (2011). The Role and Contribution of Tradespeople and Technicians in Australian Research & Development: An Exploratory Study, Sydney, Australia: University of Western Sydney.
  • Toner, P. (2011). Workforce Skills and Innovation: An Overview of Major Themes in the Literature, Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

2019

  • Oliver, D., Toner, P. (2019). Future of manufacturing Australia: Policy developments on apprenticeship, Afghanistan: European Commission. [More Information]
  • Rafferty, M., Toner, P. (2019). Thinking like Capital Markets - Financialisation of the Australian Construction Industry. Construction Management and Economics, 37(3), 156-168. [More Information]

2018

  • Toner, P. (2018). A Tale of Mandarins and Lemons: Creating the Market for Vocational Education and Training. In D. Cahill, P. Toner (Eds.), Wrong Way: How Privatisation and Economic Reform Backfired, (pp. 59-84). Carlton: La Trobe University Press in conjunction with Black Inc.
  • Cahill, D., Toner, P. (2018). Introduction: Situating Privatisation and Economic Reform. In D. Cahill, P. Toner (Eds.), Wrong Way: How Privatisation and Economic Reform Backfired, (pp. 1-18). Carlton: La Trobe University Press in conjunction with Black Inc.
  • Cahill, D., Toner, P. (2018). Wrong Way: How Privatisation and Economic Reform Backfired. Carlton: La Trobe University Press in conjunction with Black Inc.

2017

  • Bryan, R., Rafferty, M., Toner, P., Wright, S. (2017). Financialisation and labour in the Australian commercial construction industry. Economic and Labour Relations Review, 28(4), 500-518. [More Information]

2016

  • Toner, P., Woolley, R. (2016). Perspectives and Debates on Vocational Education and Training, Skills and the Prospects for Innovation. Revista Espanola de Sociologia, 25(3), 319-342.
  • Dalitz, R., Toner, P. (2016). Systems failure, market failure, or something else? The case of skills development in Australian innovation policy. Innovation and Development, 6(1), 51-66. [More Information]

2015

  • Toner, P. (2015). Western Australian Prison Officers' Union Submission to the Economic Regulation Authority Inquiry into the Efficiency and Performance of Western Australian Prisons, Western Australia, Australia: Economic Regulation Authority.

2014

  • Iredale, R., Toner, P., Turpin, T., Fern�ndez-Esquinas, M. (2014). A Report on the APEC Region Labour Market: Evidence of skills shortages and general trends in employment and the value of better labour market information systems, Australia: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.
  • Toner, P. (2014). Contracting out publicly funded vocational education: A transaction cost critique. Economic and Labour Relations Review, 25(2), 222-239. [More Information]

2013

  • Navin Doloswala, K., Thompson, D., Toner, P. (2013). Digital based media design: the innovative contribution of design graduates from vocational and higher education sectors. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 23(2), 409-423. [More Information]
  • Toner, P. (2013). The Role of Wages and Other Factors in Apprentice Commencements and Completions. A Selected Review of the Literature in Australia, Afghanistan: Australian Council of Trade Unions.
  • Green, R., Toner, P., Agarwal, R. (2013). Understanding Productivity Australia's Choice, Afghanistan: University of Technology Sydney.

2012

  • Toner, P., Lloyd, C. (2012). A Study Into Pre-Apprenticeship Delivery Models and Their Labour Market Outcomes, Sydney, Australia: Group Training Australia.
  • Toner, P. (2012). Establishing a Foundation for Labour Market Information Systems in South Africa, Afghanistan: South African Human Sciences Research Council.
  • Turpin, T., Tan, H., Toner, P., Garrett-Jones, S. (2012). Investigating the Lateral Migration of Technology in a Resource-Based Economy: Conceptual and Methodological Issues from a Study of the Australian Mining Sector. In David B. Audretsch, Erik E. Lehmann, Albert N. Link, and Alexander Starnecker (Eds.), Technology Transfer in a Global Economy, (pp. 335-349). US: Springer.
  • Eddington, N., Toner, P. (2012). Skills Formation Strategies in Queensland: A Skills Shortage?, Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
  • Toner, P., Dalitz, R. (2012). Vocational education and training: the terra incognita of innovation policy. Prometheus (Abingdon), 30(4), 411-426. [More Information]

2011

  • Toner, P., Turpin, T., Woolley, R., Lloyd, C. (2011). The Role and Contribution of Tradespeople and Technicians in Australian Research & Development: An Exploratory Study, Sydney, Australia: University of Western Sydney.
  • Toner, P. (2011). Tradespeople and technicians in innovation. In Penelope Curtin, John Stanwick and Francesca Beddie (Eds.), Fostering enterprise: the innovation and skills nexus �research readings, (pp. 127-143). Adelaide: National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
  • Toner, P., Dalitz, R. (2011). VET and the Diffusion and Implementation of Innovation in the Mining, Solar Energy and Computer Games Sectors. In Penelope Curtin, John Stanwick and Francesca Beddie (Eds.), Fostering enterprise: the innovation and skills nexus �research readings, (pp. 144-157). Adelaide: National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
  • Toner, P. (2011). Workforce Skills and Innovation: An Overview of Major Themes in the Literature, Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

2009

  • Toner, P., Butler, G. (2009). Cumulative causation and Northeast Asian post-war industry policy. In Sebastian Berger (Eds.), The Foundations of Non-Equilibrium Economics: The principle of circular and cumulative causation, (pp. 43-64). New York: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis. [More Information]

2006

  • McGrath-Champ, S., Rosewarne, S., Toner, P. (2006). 'Skills infrastructure and structural transformation of the building and construction industry'. Social Actors, Work Organization and New Technologies in the 21st Century. IIRA 14th World Congress, N/A: International Industrial Relations Association (IIRA).
  • Rosewarne, S., Shin, J., McGrath-Champ, S., Toner, P. (2006). The globalisation of the construction work force: the impact on the Australian building and construction industry. 4th Asia-Pacific Building Unions Seminar, N/A.

2004

  • Toner, P., Marceau, J., Hall, R., Considine, G. (2004). Innovation agents: Vocational education and training skills and innovation in Australian industries and firms.
  • Toner, P., Marceau, J., Hall, R., Considine, G. (2004). Innovation Agents: Vocational Education And Training Skills In The Present And Future Australian Innovation System.
  • Rosewarne, S., McGrath-Champ, S., Toner, P., Morgan, C. (2004). Labour Force Challenges in the Australian Building and Construction Industry: Skills Infrastructure and Migrant Workers. Labour Force Challenges in the Australian Building and Construction Industry: Skills Infrastructure and Migrant Workers, Sydney University.

2001

  • Toner, P. (2001). Notes and Comments: History versus Equilibrium and the theory of economic growth by M. Setterfield: a comment. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 25, 97-102.

1999

  • Toner, P. (1999). Main Currents in Cumulative Causation: The Dynamics of Growth and Development. UK: Macmillan Press.

For support on your academic profile contact .