The support available for WorkerTech ventures receives a boost today as Accenture joins the Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV) and Resolution Trust WorkerTech partnership, with the aim of funding and supporting more ventures that are using technology to create better work opportunities for people.
According to a recent IPPR report over three million people in the UK are now estimated to be in insecure work such as temporary work, low-paid self-employment or working on a zero-hours contract. While this has contributed to low unemployment, we still have six million people in the UK earning less than the living wage.
At the same time the nature of work is changing rapidly. The pace and scale of technological change, combined with the movement of different generations in and out of the workforce, is disrupting labour markets and fundamentally altering the future of work. A World Economic Forum report states 65% of children starting school today will hold jobs that don’t exist yet, with many workers already active in the job market needing to adapt to avoid displacement and to thrive in the rapidly changing workplace.
The WorkerTech partnership believes more innovation is needed in this area, and that technology could be used to improve access to skill development, career advice and the opportunities to progress at work, as well as increasing bargaining power and making flexibility beneficial for workers as well as employers.
Camilla Drejer, Director of Accenture Corporate Corporate Citizenship says: “Supporting workers’ transitions to new career pathways reduces the likelihood, duration and after-effects of job displacement, including lost wages, skill erosion, diminished productivity and use of public resources.
“Workers not only need to understand their options, they must also have the confidence to act. Through this partnership with BGV and Resolution Trust we hope to find innovative tech ideas that support workers though such transitions.”
The original WorkerTech partnership launched in November 2016 with the aim of supporting new ideas for using technology to improve work prospects for people on low incomes. Since then we’ve run the Future of Fair Work Challenge hackathon, and incubated three WorkerTech startups - Labour xchange, Organise and Workerbird - which together have had a combined positive impact on over 140,000 workers lives so far.
The extra support from Accenture will allow BGV and Resolution Trust to fund more WorkerTech ventures through the BGV accelerator programme, specifically focusing on equipping workers with in-demand skills, confidence and the right tools to ultimately help them gain or maintain a sustainable income.
Accenture are also sponsoring the WorkerTech event series we’re launching this Autumn. The three events take place in London, Bristol and Manchester over the coming months, with the purpose of building a community of people interested in exploring new approaches to use technology to improve the prospects and power of workers.
October 15th, London: Good work in the gig economy - how can flexible work benefit workers as well as employers
November 20th, Bristol: Worker voice and empowerment - unions and organising in the digital age
November 28th, Manchester: Skilling the future workforce - preparing workers for the jobs of the future
Jessica Stacey, partner at BGV says: “This is an exciting opportunity to build the WorkerTech community, and extend the support available for ventures that are transforming the world of work, for good.”
Join the WorkerTech meetup group to receive more information and sign up to our WorkerTech event series.
If you’re working on a tech product or service to create better work then you can contact BGV at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We hope to find innovative tech ideas that support workers."