Workertech newsletter: June 2021

The latest update from Resolution Ventures



Hello and welcome to June’s Workertech newsletter from Resolution Ventures, covering how technology is improving the world of low-paid and precarious work.

This month we’ve put a spotlight on American Workertech, and some of the great organisations in the US. Also make sure to catch up on the video of our June event – an essential discussion of what workertech means, and what it will take to make an impact with a funder, start-up founder and a union representative.

We would love to hear your feedback on the newsletter, and any ideas on things you would like to see included – please get in touch with us:

Louise Marston,
Director of Ventures

Spotlight: Workertech in the US 

This month we’re highlighting activity from Workertech communities in the US. US workers face similar issues to those in the UK: precarious work, lack of worker power, exploitative use of technology for surveillance, inaccessible training and fragmented careers information. We continue to be inspired by the work being done by many organisations to improve the future of work for all.

Here are some of the key players disrupting the world of work across the pond:

  • JFF (Jobs for the Future) – a large non-profit foundation creating change in the education and workforce systems. They have supported important initiatives including the Employment Technology Fund, a foundation-backed social investment fund, and Turning Basin Labs (see below).
  • Turning Basin Labs – working with worker-researchers, they are supporting workers and contractors in California, providing training and placing workers into good quality jobs.
  • New Jersey Future of Work Accelerator – a recently announced nine-month programme to support innovations that advance New Jersey’s workers’ health and safety, improve access to benefits, strengthen training opportunities, and bolster worker voice. This project is in partnership with the RSA’s Future of Work programme, and The Workers Lab.
  • WorkRise – a funding and research body for policies, programs, and practices that have the potential to accelerate economic security and mobility for low-wage workers across the US.
  • Rework America Alliance – a nationwide initiative to enable unemployed and low wage workers to recover from the crisis through worker training aligned to jobs that employers will need to fill.
  • Drivers Cooperative – a driver-owned ride-hailing app challenging the exploitative conditions in the for-hire vehicle industry through system change.
  • Unit – a New York based venture giving workers practical steps to help them unionise and take collective action against unfair employment practices.

Technology and low pay event

Did you miss it? Our Technology and Low Pay event earlier this month covered the potential of technology to increase the pay, progression and power of workers in the post-Covid jobs market. We heard from Anna Maybank, CEO of Breakroom, Stephen Muers, CEO of Big Society Capital, Andrew Pakes, Director of Communications and Research and Prospect Union, and Louise Marston, Director of Ventures at the Resolution Foundation.

Latest insights from the Resolution Foundation

Labour Market Outlook Q2 2021 – this latest outlook shows positive signs of recovery in the labour market, as furlough rates fall. It also looks at the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on women, to understand the smaller-than-expected labour impact relative to men in the last year.

Low Pay Britain 2021 – this year’s Low Pay Britain report looks at the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on those on low pay, and suggests that minimum wages plus reopening the economy will not be enough to achieve improvements in pay and job quality.

Four of a kind – there has been a small but steady increase in trade union membership in recent years. This analysis looks at these trends in light of the Covid-19 labour market shock and the future outlook for membership rates.

Workertech stories

The RSA and Autodesk Foundation published a market scan of over 200 good work innovations in Europe and Africa with the aim of providing policy makers and social investors with a framework for spotting new solutions.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation blogged about a new economy of purpose-led firms and the new ReGenerate report with practical ways for purpose-driven businesses to thrive.

The Institute for the Future of Work announced a new three-year programme into the Future of Work and Wellbeing. This will look at technological disruption in the workplace and identify ways to promote the health, well-being and capabilities of people at work by promoting the principles of good work. They are also hiring researchers.

Get involved

  • Apply for direct investment from Resolution Ventures. We accept applications from Workertech ventures on a rolling basis. You can book a slot in our open office hours for an informal conversation before applying.
  • Ufi VocTech Trust is launching its VocTech Challenge Grant Fund on 29 June. This Challenge is focused on ideas that support adults impacted by the digital divide to get the skills they need for work.
  • Skills matching tool Omnifolio is looking for users to test out its skills assessment. The tool uses profiling and job-matching to help people change careers more easily. It’s free to create a profile at or you can contact the team at Omnifolio if you would like a demo.
  • Workertech portfolio venture Organise is hiring for roles in product, campaigns and software development. Organise is a worker-driven network that helps anyone start a campaign for free.
  • The Institute for the Future of Work is looking to hire a Researcher and Head of Programmes. The institute is a research organisation that explores the changing world of work and builds practical solutions to help people thrive.