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Spotlight on Alan Felstead (Research Professor, Cardiff University)

Alan Felstead

ReWAGE is fortunate in having some of the UK’s foremost thinkers on its Expert Group, drawn from leading universities and research organisations from across the UK.

This week we are turning the spotlight onto ReWAGE expert Alan Felstead who is Research Professor at Cardiff University.


Alan has been studying employment-related issues for over 35 years. Since completing his PhD he has held positions at Nuffield College, University of Oxford and the University of Leicester. Since 2006 he has been Research Professor in the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University and has additionally been a co-Director of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data since 2022.

He has given written and oral evidence to inquiries on labour market issues carried out, for example, by the Department of Work and Pensions Select Committee, the House of Lords, the Cabinet Office, the Scottish Parliament and Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament. In 2018-2019 Alan sat on the Welsh Government's Fair Work Commission as the Independent Expert Advisor and during 2019-2020 he was on part-time secondment to Welsh Government.

Area of expertise:

Alan’s research focuses on the quality of work; training, skills and learning; non-standard employment; and the spaces and places of work.

Why Alan became a ReWAGE expert:

I was honoured to be invited to join such a group of esteemed experts who are passionate about ensuring that their research makes a difference to the real lives of working people and to those who employ them.

What achievement makes Alan most proud:

Establishing the Skills and Employment Survey as a central source of robust and reliable data on how paid work is changing based on data collected from workers themselves.

Current projects

Alan has a long-standing interest in the changing location of work which began well before the pandemic triggered an explosion of interest in various ways of detaching work from traditional places of work. He has recently developed online quizzes which engage the wider public in policy debates and produce new data on job quality. He is currently leading the Skills and Employment Survey 2023 which will paint a robust picture of how and why work is changing.

Other interests:

Alan has been Visiting Professor at the Centre for Learning and Life Chances (LLAKES), UCL Institute of Education, a Visiting Professor at Beijing Normal University and a Visiting Research Fellow at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. He was appointed a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences (FAcSS) in 2011 and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW) in 2013. He is also a Senior Member of the ESRC's Peer Review College.

Recent publications

· Is job quality better or worse? Insights from quiz data collected before and after the pandemic

· Working in schools: Job quality of educational professionals before and after the Pandemic

· Remote Working: A Research Overview

· A flash in the pan or a permanent change? The growth of homeworking during the pandemic and its effect on employee productivity in the UK

· Getting the measure of employee-driven innovation and its workplace correlates

· Unequal Britain at Work

ReWAGE’s Expert Group is uniquely placed to offer the government informed practical advice and policy recommendations to support its strategic response to the recovery and renewal of work and employment in the UK as it tackles the impact of Covid-19 and other challenges.