#251 – Skills development in the gig economy, flexible, and freelance space.
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What’s in this episode?
Welcome back, listeners!
As we move towards ever more atomised modes of work, is there a risk we don’t develop our skills properly, just going from one gig to another?
If we are going to prevent that from happening, what do we need our freelance or gig economy platforms to look like and to build in? Is this ever likely? This week we’re back with our VocTech Podcast, exploring these questions with special guests.
I’m in conversation with:
- Sophie Smallwood, RoleShare – which helps people keep up with work and life healthily.
- Helen Gironi, Ufi Ventures – the UK’s specialist investor in EdTech for adults
- Christina Palmou, formerly of the Tony Blair Institute – which was set up to help make globalisation work for the many, not the few
We talk about:
- Is there a perceived difference between gig economy, freelance and contract work? How empowering is each and for whom? Choice vs. necessity?
- As we move towards greater gig or freelance work, is there a risk of skills attrition? What skills might be lost? Is this part of a bigger trend?
- Which startups or platforms are recognising this as part of their offer, with a view to developing freelancers as well as benefiting employers? What does the startup landscape look like in this space?
- What does the research show us in this area, about risks and opportunities for a shift towards gig / freelance work? Do young people worry about this?
- Resources, projects, people, startups, books, podcasts in this space which have excited you that you’d like to share.
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Record a quick free voicemail via speakpipe for inclusion in the next episode. Or you can post your thoughts or follow-on links via Twitter @podcastedtech or via The Edtech Podcast Facebook page or Instagram. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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Co-founder of Roleshare.com, previously Sophie was enterprise side at facebook and ebay. Roleshare’s mission is to enable a sustainable workforce where people get more from their roles, and where full-time balance at work and in life is possible – regardless of the reason. Roleshare.com helps people combine skills for fulfilling roles – they are the smart matching site for shared roles.
Helen serves as Director of Ventures at Ufi, working with early-stage technology companies focused on the future of work and skills and sits on the board of Learnerbly and Learning Labs. Helen has been investing in early-stage ventures since 2002 and early-stage impact ventures since 2016.
Helen was previously Investment Director at Nesta Impact Investments, where she led several investments in high-growth businesses (Applied, Third Space Learning and Oomph) and managed successful exits for the fund (Applied and Reconnections).
Christina Palmou, formerly, Work, Income and Inequality Analysis, of the Tony Blair Institute
Christina was formerly a Senior Economist at the Tony Blair Institute working on issues around the income inequality, representation and the future of work. Her recent work at the institute looks at how remote work can change the geography of jobs in the UK and what worker representation should look like in flexible labour markets. She was formerly a Senior Econometrician at Oxford Economics and holds an MPhil from the University of Oxford.
Sophie is the founder of the iTunes new and noteworthy, The Edtech Podcast. The mission of The Edtech Podcast is to improve the dialogue between ‘ed’ and ‘tech’ for better innovation, through storytelling. The podcast is downloaded from over 145 countries with the UK, US & Aus in the top 3. Sophie has spoken and moderated at a variety of events including SXSW EDU, Yidan Education Prize, ASU GSV Summit, and the Next Billion Edtech Summit. She is an industry mentor and advisor, a Reimagine Education, GESA Awards, Bett Awards and XPrize Adult Literacy judge, and previous Edtech50 and Edtech Digest winner.
Sophie is passionate about lifelong and everyday learning. If she’s not interviewing a University Vice-Chancellor, Edtech Investor, School Leader, or StartUp about education innovation, she’s engrossed in Teach Your Monster to Read or wrestling her lockdown baby. A keen cyclist, she has recently relocated to West Devon which she considers the English version of the Pyrenees. She is very lucky to work with a distributed team on The Edtech Podcast. She is now building WorkTripp.
Quotes from this episode
References from this week’s episode
- Ufi Ventures
- Tony Blair Institute
- EdTech Next – we are chairing an L&D panel with Continental, Siemens and others. Join us!
- The VocTech Podcast LIVE – with Mobilise, Multiverse and Game Academy, register here.
- Anywhere Jobs report: https://institute.global/policy/anywhere-jobs-reshaping-geography-work
- Worker representation report:https://institute.global/policy/fair-deal-all-delivering-flexibility-and-protections-modern-workforce
- Reports above are co-authored by Jeegar Kakkad, Christina Palmou, David Britto, James Browne.
- Job and Talent
- A TEAM
- Sarah O Conner – Future of Work (FT)
- Hilary Cottam – Peer relationships, Radical Help
- YearHere – Social Ventures, (just closed)
- Mckinsey Choice and Necessity in the Gig Economy
- WEF; what is the gig economy and what’s the deal for gig workers?
- A blueprint of good work, RSA
Thank you to the Ufi Voctech Trust
Our aim is to help improve vocational skills in the UK’s workforce by funding digital solutions for vocational learning. We only fund activity that is ‘scalable’ through technology, ie projects that use digital methods to widen access to vocational learning. While digital learning solutions are potentially open to all, we are especially keen to assist digital projects which involve post-school age vocational learners that have failed to be engaged by the education system.
Register now 👇
Tell us where you are listening in from
We’d love to hear about innovative technology or approaches you are developing or using in adult education. Leave your stories in the comments below. Alternately, record a quick free voicemail via speakpipe for inclusion in the next episode. Finally, you can post your thoughts or follow-on links via Twitter @podcastedtech or via The Edtech Podcast Facebook page.