Workertech newsletter: October 2021

The latest update from Resolution Ventures


This week’s Budget and next week’s COP26 have led to a growing conversation around skills, wages and the green economy.

Yet there is still a big shift needed to answer key questions and turn policy into practice. How do we define a green job or skill? How can we use data and technology to support green jobs? What does a green job transition look like for a low-paid or precarious worker?

In this edition we put a green lens on Workertech to answer these questions and find the gaps where ventures can play a part in the solution.

As always, if you have any suggestions for our newsletter or want to know more about any of the content, please get in touch via

Ventures Manager
Resolution Ventures

Workertech and the green economy

To date we’ve seen a wealth of rhetoric on jobs and skills for a green economy – January’s white paper on Skills for Jobs, the Government’s Green Jobs Taskforce, and the International Labour Organisation’s forecasting on green jobs. But we’re still lacking practical solutions that can actually support people to transition into jobs in the green economy, or even simply identify what is a green job or skill.

In terms of venture investment, the climate tech market is booming. But there’s much room for innovation to support low-paid and precarious workers to identify and transition to green jobs. Here are some existing initiatives on this issue that we hope will be a catalyst for future venture activity:

  • Nesta’s Open Jobs Observatory has created a method for identifying jobs in green industries from skills-based labour market data. While still in early stages of development, this application of data science could support green career transitions and skills matching in the future.
  • Manchester based People Power Retrofit is an initiative supporting residents to make their homes more efficient through tackling barriers to commissioning work such as local skills deficits and concerns around quality of work. They recently featured on popular podcast, Reasons to be cheerful.
  • Riders at green courier service, Xeroe, contribute to the green economy through delivering exclusively on bikes, electric vans and electric mopeds. The B Corp is currently up and running in Bristol and London and are supported by Design Council and Impact on Urban Health.
  • The Sustainability Academy provides training to businesses seeking to integrate SDGs into their purpose and operations, ensuring executive teams and individual employees are aware of the impact of their work on the environment.
  • Design Council is convening industry experts on green design at their Design for Planet Festival later this month providing a great sandbox for ideas around the green economy. Workshop topics include behaviour change, strengthening communities and the circular economy

Latest insights from the Resolution Foundation

  • Home is where the heat (pump) is – a spotlight on the government’s recent Heat and Buildings Strategy in relation to those in social and low-income housing, calling for more detailed policy to ensure that the benefits of low-carbon homes are available to all.
  • The carbon crunch – a report on how net zero can be placed at the centre of the UK’s economic strategy and the importance of the next decade in getting back on track to our climate targets, but doing so in a way that shares the costs and benefits of the transition fairly.
  • An intergenerational audit for the UK – an in-depth analysis of economic living standards across generations in Britain looking at: jobs, skills and pay; housing costs and security; taxes benefits and household incomes; and wealth and assets.

Workertech stories

  • Prospect Magazine and Joseph Rowntree Foundation published Making Jobs Work, a compilation of articles on insecure work in Britain. Particularly illuminating is the piece on care work which explore the effects of low pay, long hours and lack of control on workers, and calls for better industry regulation.
  • Harvard University published research on career progression for service sector workers in the US, highlighting the great variation in working conditions and opportunities even within sub-sectors, which translates into starkly different levels of job satisfaction.
  • Related to last month’s newsletter on diversity and inclusion, Deal Room has mapped out the start-ups working on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The spectrum of intervention points is broad – ventures range from tackling hiring processes, improving employee benefits to diversity measurement.

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.
  • Join the Workertech meetup group, a network of people working in the sector. In the autumn we’ll be hosting a series of events for this group investigating technology and a fairer world of work.
  • Register for Ufi’s Week of VocTech 15 – 19 November. Our Director of Ventures, Louise Marston, will be speaking on panel session Financing the VocTech solutions of the future on Thursday 18 November.
  • Bethnal Green Ventures will be opening a Call for Ideas for their Tech for Good Programme next month. Resolution Ventures backs a number of Workertech ventures each programme cycle. Check their website for updates.
  • Portfolio venture, UpSkill Me, is hiring a Chief Commercial Officer to lead on business operations. UpSkill Me is a platform that enables young people to understand their skills and connect with employers for a successful future of work.