Research Fellow
University of Sussex Business School
+44 1273 876871

I am a Research Fellow at the Digit research centre and will be investigating how new digital technologies and AI are changing the world of work.

Prior to joining the centre I worked for a number of years at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and the Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) where my research focused on Higher Education, employment, the graduate labour market and, more recently, the impact of new technologies, digitalisation and AI on work.

My PhD research examined the role that graduate internships play as a mechanism of socio-economic reproduction. The research found that unpaid internships are not as instrumental as many believe, and while less privileged graduates are less likely to do internships, paid or unpaid, it is the more advantageous paid internships that they struggle to secure.

Research Interests
  • Employers’ use of AI and automation and the impact on work and workers
  • The use of AI and algorithms in recruitment and the implications for fairness and transparency
  • The implications of AI and new digital technologies for workers with different levels of skills and qualifications
  • The implications of the above for patterns of social class (dis)advantage

Recent publications

Digit working papers
Research articles

Other publications

Research articles

Hunt, W. & Scott, P. (2018). Paid and unpaid graduate internships: prevalence, quality and motivations at six months after graduation. Studies in Higher Education, [online] 


Hunt, W., & Scott, P. (2017). Participation in paid and unpaid internships among creative and communications graduates: does class advantage play a part? In R. Waller, N. Ingram & M. R. M. Ward (Eds.) Higher Education and Social Inequalities: University admissions, experiences and outcomes. London: BSA/Routledge.

Pollard, E., Connor, H., & Hunt, W. (2011). Mapping Provision and Participation in Postgraduate Creative Arts and Design. In D. Bhagat and P. O’Neill (Eds.), Inclusive Practices, Inclusive Pedagogies: Learning from widening participation research in art and design higher education. London: Council for Higher Education in Art and Design, University of the Arts London.

Working Papers

Warhurst, C. & Hunt, W. (2019). Digitalisation and the Future of Work. Prepared for: The European Council Joint Research Council.

Hunt W., Sarkar, S. & Warhurst, C. (2018). Innovation Regime and Vulnerable Workers’ Labour Market Inclusion and Job Quality. QuInnE Working Paper No. 13.

Policy Publications

Hunt, W., Sarkar, S. & Warhurst, C. (2019). People and Machines: From hype to reality (Technical Report). London: CIPD.

Wishart, R., Hunt, W., Rahim, N., Elias, P. & Grollman, C. (2019). Labour Market Enforcement Evaluation: Scoping Study. Prepared for: The Office for the Director of Labour Market Enforcement

Hunt, W. & Atfield, G. (2019). The Wider (non-market) Benefits of Post 18 Education for Individuals and Society. DfE Research Report. London: DfE.

Lyonette, C., Hunt, W., & Baldauf, B. (2017). Occupations and skills of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Graduates. London: British Academy.

Hunt, W. (2017). Internships and the Graduate Labour Market. Unpublished PhD Thesis submitted to the University of Portsmouth.

Pollard, E., Williams, M., Hunt, W., Hillage, J., Drever, E., Chanfreau, J., … Poole, E. (2014). Student Income and Expenditure Survey 2011/12: Welsh-domiciled Students. Cardiff: Welsh Government.

Pollard, E., Hunt, W., Hillage, J., Drever, E., Chanfreau, J., Coutinho, S., & Poole, E. (2013). Student Income and Expenditure Survey 2011/12: English-domiciled Students. (BIS Research Paper 115). London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Pollard, E., Bates, P., Coare, P., Hunt, W., & Miller, L. (2010). Assessing the Impact of the New Student Support Arrangements (NSSA) on Higher Education Institutions: Institutional case studies. (BIS Research Paper 12). London: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Hunt, W., Jagger, N., Metcalfe, J., & Pollard, E. (2010). What do researchers do? Doctoral graduate destinations and impact three years on, 2010. (Vitae Report). Cambridge: The Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd.

Hunt, W., Ball, L., & Pollard, E. (2010). Crafting Futures: A study of the early careers of crafts graduates from UK higher education institutions. London: Crafts Council.

Digit researchers present at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting

5 September 2022

They participated in a special session discussing ‘The Future of Retail Work: Power and Voice after the E-commerce Revolution and the Pandemic’.

Digit researchers at the SASE 2022 conference

26 July 2022

Digit researchers discussed their work at the SASE cofnerence, 9-11 July 2022 in Amsterdam.

Digit researchers present findings at CIPD conference

27 January 2022

Digit Research Fellow Dr Wil Hunt discussed research exploring the use of AI-assisted technology in the hiring system of a large retail firm.

Paid, unpaid and hidden internships: still a barrier to social mobility

19 May 2020

Wil Hunt discusses whether paid, unpaid and hidden internships are a barrier to social mobility.