Launching a new fund to help people navigate the changing labour market

Nesta is partnering with the Department for Education (DfE) to launch a new fund that will support the development of innovative services to help people navigate the changing labour market and learn the skills they need to find stable and rewarding work.

Almost half of all employees in the European Union experienced a change in their working practices as a result of technology in the five years prior to 2017. The accelerating development of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, is expected have a more dramatic impact on people’s jobs in almost every sector. But technological progress is not the only driver that is shaping the future world of work. Nesta’s collaboration with Oxford University and Pearson revealed six more trends, among them globalisation, urbanisation and demographic change, that will influence the demand for different types of skills in the coming decade.

How these trends will interact to produce effects on the ground is difficult to predict. There will be job losses, but there will also be many opportunities for satisfying work in roles that require new combinations of skills and abilities. A recent study by Nesta illustrates this fact: by analysing millions of job adverts, it was found that digital capabilities are likely to be more valuable when they are coupled with creativity and problem-solving skills.

In this complex picture, two things are clear: people need to be prepared to learn new skills throughout their careers, and they must be given accurate and impartial guidance that helps them to find good work. Dr Philip Augar’s recent ‘Review of Post-18 Education and Funding’ for the UK government demonstrates that such guidance can have a dramatic impact employment and job satisfaction.

That is why Nesta is excited to work with DfE to encourage the application of new technologies and methods that improve the accuracy, effectiveness and reach of careers guidance and enhance the impact of training. The £5.75 million partnership, known as the Adult Learning Technology Innovation Fund (ALTIF), will focus on stimulating innovation in two areas: information, advice and guidance (IAG), and online learning provision.

In addition to mobilising our experience in fund management, the programme draws on the expertise that Nesta has developed in predicting skills demand using novel data sources, and our work supporting governments to design more inclusive skills policies.

If you’re interested in being kept up to date with this project, please contact [email protected].


Jack Orlik

Jack Orlik

Jack Orlik

Programme Manager - Open Jobs, Data Analytics Practice

Jack was a Programme Manager for Open Jobs.

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