Future of Fair Work Challenge: In search of new tech-led ideas that address inequality in the world of work

11th January 2018 Posted by: Jess Stacey 3 minutes

On February 23rd-25th Resolution Trust, techforgood.global and Bethnal Green Ventures are joining forces to bring you the Future of Fair Work Challenge - an intensive weekend support programme to help people develop and test new ideas for using technology to radically improve the future of work. 

Why are we doing this? 

On the surface, the UK labour market appears healthy – employment is near a record high. But, look a bit deeper and it’s clear that there are large and long-standing issues that need to be tackled. Low-pay is higher in the UK than in many other countries, with 6 million people earning less than the living wage. Insecurity at work has increased, with more people working as agency workers or on zero-hours contracts. And routes into higher wage jobs are limited, with just 1 in 6 of the low-paid in the mid-2000s moving onto into higher paid work over the past decade.

And as the world of work continues to change we can be sure that new challenges will emerge. Fears about robots and AI putting an end to all work as we know it are overstated, but it’s undoubtedly the case that technology will continue to change the way we work. Further upheaval in the types of jobs we do, and the sort of security they offer is inevitable. It’s a sure bet that employers will continue to use technology to shift risk onto workers. 

There aren’t – yet – many people thinking about how technology can be used to push back against these trends. But there should be – technology could be used to fix problems across our jobs market and to improve the position of insecure workers. For example, tech could be used to disrupt the employment agency industry with the gains diverted to workers’ pockets or to help workers find new ways to organise.

The opportunities for tech-led, pro-worker innovation are many but there are just too few people pursuing this agenda. That’s what we want to change.

Over one weekend, the Future of Fair Work Challenge will help people to rapidly test and prototype ideas and think about how to turn them into world changing products and services beyond the event. We’re looking for any tech idea that supports workers and improves their chances of getting a fair deal at work. 

Here are some of the opportunities we’ve identified: 

  • Better ways of organising workers, strengthening their bargaining power and ensuring their legal rights are respected.
  • New worker-friendly agency models that ensure ‘flexible work’ isn’t just about benefiting employers.
  • Easier ways for workers to acquire new skills, access training and learn about better job opportunities.

 

Get involved

We’re looking for people who have a great idea for using technology to improve the future of work and would benefit from a weekend of intensive support to help test and develop it. If you’ve already got a team then you should bring them along. 

We're also looking for volunteers with the skills and experience to help teams - from user design, prototyping, coding, product development and data science to marketing, communications and business development - a wide range of experience and backgrounds are welcome. 

More information about the Challenge and how to apply can be found on the event website

Quote

The opportunities for tech-led, pro-worker innovation are many but there are just too few people pursuing this agenda. That’s what we want to change.

Links

https://futureoffairwork.splashthat.com

http://resolutiontrust.org

https://bethnalgreenventures.com

 

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