WorkerTech newsletter: April 2022

The latest update from Resolution Ventures


The World Economic Forum predicts that 40% of new job opportunities will be created in the care sector by 2023. While this presents a significant opportunity for workers to transition from other shrinking sectors, we need to make sure that the jobs available are good ones with fair pay and conditions.

In this edition of the WorkerTech newsletter, we dive into the issues affecting workers in the care sector today, and find out how technology could be harnessed to improve both the experience of being a care worker, and also the quality of care provided. If you’re already working on an idea, please do get in touch.

And finally, riding on the tailwinds of last month’s newsletter on improving employment prospects for young people, we’re hosting a hybrid event on 18th May to explore innovation and investment in this area which you can register for below. We’d love to see you there!

Enjoy reading and as always, drop us an email if you’d like to know more about our work.

Emma Selinger
Ventures Manager
Resolution Ventures

From platforms to promotions: How technology can be used to boost young people’s career prospects

Wednesday 18th May 2022, 5.30-6.30pm, drinks from 5pm


Claudine Adeyemi, CEO of CareerEar
Gaia Fasso, CEO of Ikigai Data
Kathleen Henehan, Senior Research and Policy Analyst at the Resolution Foundation
Helen Gironi, Director of Ventures at Ufi VocTech Trust
Gavin Kelly, Chair of the Resolution Foundation (Chair)

The way young people enter the job market from education can have a marked effect on their future prospects. Economic crises are a particularly tough time to start your career, young people face huge challenges in terms of rising insecurity and finding a career path amid a very uncertain economic outlook.

What barriers do young people face in securing good work, and how do these affect different groups? What works to support young people, especially non-graduates, into better jobs and what are the challenges? How can technology play a role in scaling new solutions and where is more investment in innovation required?

The Resolution Foundation is hosting an in-person and interactive webinar to debate and answer these questions. We’ll hear from some social entrepreneurs we’ve supported on how tech and social investment can move the dial on supporting young people to transition into good jobs, as well as experts on the wider world of work.

The event will be open for people to physically attend, with refreshments and networking from 5–5.30pm. It will also be broadcast via YouTube and the Resolution Foundation website. Register here.

Care, work, innovation, technology

Care is becoming an increasingly integral part of public services as our life expectancies increase, and the pandemic only served to highlight the key role that carers play in society. The Future Care Workforce estimated that the adult social care sector in England alone will need to add approximately 1 million workers by 2025.

The care industry is in need of radical improvement to meet these growing demands. Primarily, we need more carers; there is currently a national vacancy rate of 9.5 per cent, increasing to 13 per cent in London. But with low wages – the average hourly pay in 2021 was £9.29 – and poor working conditions – unpredictable schedules and lack of progression – recruitment and retention is a tricky business. In 2020, some home care organisations experienced staff turnover of a staggering 50 per cent.

Without better pay and working conditions for carers we’re heading for a care crisis. Investment and innovation can help solve part of the puzzle, and the National Care Forum is hosting the Care Innovation Challenge on 2nd and 3rd July to do just this. The weekend-long hackathon to generate and prototype ideas to improve social will culminate in cash prizes and mentoring opportunities for the most promising ideas. Anyone can apply to attend – you just need to have an interest in improving the care sector.

In the meantime, there are already some brilliant organisations using technology to disrupt the world of social care for the better:

  • Equal Care – a multi-stakeholder co-operative delivering care through a digital platform giving voice and power to both workers and recipients of care.
  • BelleVie Zinc-backed new home care provider with self-managing teams, guaranteed hours, and annual salaries above the real living wage rather than shifts.
  • Birdie – a home care management platform that uses technology to connect carers with family members, provide smart scheduling, and generate transparent payslips.

And while not designed exclusively for care workers, there are a number of apps to help low-paid shift workers understand their hours and wages such as WeClock, Wagestream, WAC and Clarity.

If you’re working on a solution that tackles these issues, we’d love to hear from you too.

Latest insights from the Resolution Foundation

  • Labour Market Outlook Q1 2022 – a summary of the current state of the labour market. The labour market is continuing to experience falling unemployment, but accompanied by a rise in inactivity driven by people who are long-term sick. Rising inflation is also causing real wages to fall, despite nominal wage growth being strong – explained by comparisons to discounted furlough scheme pay rather than real pay rises for workers.
  • Happy new tax year? – what will the rise in National Insurance – together with freezes in the Income Tax personal allowance, the newly-announced National Insurance threshold rise due in July, and an Income Tax rate cut due in 2024-25 – mean for living standards?
  • Low energy – this spotlight explores the impact of the British Energy Security Strategy on the poorest households in the UK. While the current long term strategy to reduce reliance on imported hydrocarbons and instead focus on offshore and nuclear may reduce energy costs later this decade, it will do little to help the households facing staggering energy bills in the coming months and years.

Workertech stories

InsurTech venture, Collective Benefits, published the results of a survey asking over 1000 platform workers about their experience of the gig economy. It highlights a key tension in the gig economy: 90% workers value the flexibility afforded by platform work, but a similar proportion would also value better job security and income protection over a higher wage.

We often think about the experience of low-paid workers while they are doing their jobs, but what happens when we consider how a job affects workers while they’re not at work? This blog from Impact on Urban Health explores how night shifts can affect sleep patterns and well-being, and how a new initiative, Night Club, is bringing together sleep researchers, shift workers and employers in order to create a better working experience for night shift workers.

Last month’s newsletter explored how tech and investment can improve career prospects for young people. Since then, Youth Futures Foundation, in partnership with PwC, has released research estimating that the UK could benefit from a £38bn GDP boost through improving employment prospects for young people.

We’re delighted that Claudine Adeyemi, CEO of WorkerTech venture CareerEar, was named on the Social Entrepreneur Index 2022, a curated list of the UK’s most inspiring social entrepreneurs. If you want to hear more from Claudine, sign up to our event on supporting young people into employment.

Get involved

  • Apply for direct investment from Resolution Ventures. We accept applications from WorkerTech ventures on a rolling basis. Or you can book a slot in our office hours for an initial conversation.
  • Bethnal Green Ventures is hosting a series of Q&A sessions with members of their team and the wider world of impact investing. It’s a great opportunity to learn about fundraising for an impact start-up and what it’s like to be part of a BGV programme.
  • On 11th May Learning and Work Institute is convening a group of experts to host an event discussing social prescribing as a method to increase adult education and employment for people with mental health needs.