Astrid Allen

BA Hons, Assoc CIPD

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Senior Research Fellow

With 25 years’ experience of working on skills, economic and cultural development initiatives, Astrid has an extensive track record of delivering research, evaluation, project management and strategic leadership.

Astrid believes that working with best practice employing organisations is key to influencing policy development and facilitating change in wider employer practice. She is passionate about the ‘good work’ agenda, meeting the needs of businesses as well as the individuals working for them, and she has a particular interest in flexible and high-performance working practices.

Astrid graduated from the University of Plymouth in 1994, with a BA Honours Degree in English and Media. Following a foray in television production, she spent her early career working with UK sector skills bodies on the development of National Occupational Standards and Apprenticeships in customer service, international trade, procurement, sales and marketing. She went on to work for the Management Charter Initiative, establishing the first Apprenticeship and Graduate Apprenticeship in the discipline. A formative stage of her career was working for e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for IT, where her work included leading an industry wide initiative to promote workforce diversity.

In 2005, she established Astrid Flowers Ltd to provide specialist consultancy on sectoral and regional skills. Projects ranged from working on the establishment of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, leading on its skills and enterprise agenda, to reporting on global workforce learning and development trends. Over recent years she has worked extensively with the British Council, and its partners, on the evaluation of multi-agency cultural and skills initiatives in the UK and abroad (including projects in Albania, Armenia, Greece and Poland).

Following a temporary position at the Work Foundation, Astrid joined the Institute for Employment Studies in 2021 to focus on working with employers and policy makers on improving employment practice in the UK.


2015 Central Sussex College  CIPD Human Resources Post Graduate Certificate 

University of Plymouth 

BA English and Media


2024 Senior Research Fellow Institute for Employment Studies
2021 - 2024 Research Fellow Institute for Employment Studies
2019 - 2020 Policy Advisor The Work Foundation
2005 - 2020 Managing Director Astrid Flowers Ltd
2010 - 2012 Regional Director Energy and Utility Skills Sector Council
1999 - 2005 Project Manager e-Skills UK Sector Skills Council
1996 - 1999 Project Manager Management and Enterprise National Training Organisation
1995 - 1996 Project Manager Commercial Occupational Standards Council

Research publications

Articles and chapters