The Workertech Partnership run by Resolution Foundation is a three year programme of social investment, support and convening, backing a new wave of innovators to harness technology and data to improve the prospects, power and choices of workers on low-pay or in insecure employment.
The world of work was already changing rapidly before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, with technology at the heart of this - from solely app-based firms to the roll-out of remote workplaces during the crisis. The benefits of these new technologies can often pass low-earners by, or add to greater insecurity in their working lives.
However new technologies also have the potential to be deployed to improve working conditions, help workers organise and advocate for their rights. Whilst social investment has been active in the UK in a number of areas, workertech remains under-developed.
To develop and harness that potential, £1.3m has been invested into the Workertech Partnership run by Resolution Foundation and backed by Trust for London, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Friends Provident Foundation, Accenture, and Ufi VocTech Trust.
This programme looks to back workertech start-ups with a mission of tackling significant problems in the UK’s labour market through investment and connections to our networks. It aims to grow a supportive infrastructure of partners and collaborators, and mobilise energy from others who share a commitment to innovation and an inclusive labour market, including those who might adopt or replicate insights from workertech ventures.
Who can apply for funding?
The programme is backing social entrepreneurs who help advance its mission. It is open to applications for funding from companies, charities, CICs and cooperatives. Potential applicants do not need to be incorporated in the UK, but should have a significant focus on supporting workers in the UK.
The workers that the Workertech Partnership hopes to benefit from this are:
- Low-paid workers, or those with limited prospects
- Insecure workers: those on zero-hours contracts, temporary contracts, the self-employed, gig workers, workers in insecure conditions
- Workers lacking voice & representation and those at greater risk of discrimination
- Workers with lower-level qualifications, and/or limited access to training
In addition to funding ventures directly, the programme is working with Bethnal Green Ventures (BGV) to support some ventures through their Tech for Good Accelerator programme.
How do I apply?
You can also watch the launch event video below to hear from leading experts from the US and UK on how worker-focused innovation can improve workers’ lives as well as young social entrepreneurs who are already making waves in this new area of the labour market.