About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

An exploration of how to overcome the challenges of upskilling and reskilling in a post-pandemic world.

For decades, technology has been disrupting the workforce at scale, with around 400,000 jobs lost to automation in EU factories between 2000 and 2016. Workers that can’t or don’t reskill risk losing their jobs to robots and AI. Studies show that the pandemic has brought digital adoption forward by five years. This will prompt many people to change their jobs. However, moving into a completely different line of work requires extensive reskilling and upskilling.

How can we empower workers with the skills they need for tomorrow?

This half-day interactive event addressed the challenges of upskilling and reskilling in a turbulent labour market. The event showcased the results of FutureFit, a major training and research programme, led by Nesta and supported by Google.org focused on creating an effective adult learning system to help tackle inequality and social exclusion. In partnership with Europe’s largest unions, leading researchers, employers and adult learning experts, FutureFit is upskilling 1,000 workers whose jobs have or will radically change.

Watch the recording to hear from organisations including: Hyper Island, Demos Helsinki, Enrol Yourself, Get My First Job, University of Gothenburg, Utrecht University's Future of Work Hub, The Federation of Dutch Trade Unions, Workers' Educational Association Finland (TSL), IVEAKST, SBI Formaat, Harvard, Mtech+, Nordic Council and Friends of the Earth

Stages and session overview

Stage one

09:15 - 10:10 Motivation to learn

  • How should learning be designed to help people to overcome the barriers such as time, cost, quality and access?
  • How do we motivate hard to reach workers and learners?
  • How do we maintain learner motivation and resilience in a post-pandemic world?

Speakers include:

10:15 - 10:30 Changing Course: Adult learning and where innovation is needed most

Glenda Quintini, Senior Economist at OECD, France

10:30 - 11:25 Learning remotely during COVID-19

  • What are the barriers and opportunities to online learning?
  • How can we deliver inclusive adult learning during the pandemic?
  • What will learning look like in a post-pandemic world?

Speakers include:

11.30 - 11.45 Do people want green jobs?

Sam Alvis, Head of Green Renewal, Green Alliance, UK

11:45-12:40 Reaching net-zero and the future of green skills and jobs

  • How does industry need to adapt to meet the UK's net-zero target?
  • How do training programmes need to change to upskill people for green jobs?
  • How can we define green jobs? Are new qualification models needed and if so, how can we incentivise workers to update their credentials?
  • What lessons can be learned from automation and the future of work that can be applied to the green transition?

Speakers include :

Stage 2

10:30 - 11:25 Innovations supporting young people into jobs

  • How can we lift young people out of the impact of covid-19, unemployment and climate change?
  • How can technology help young people back into work?
  • How can the transition to net-zero create new opportunities for young people and what is needed to accelerate the creation of green jobs and apprenticeships?

Speakers include:

11:45-12:40 Communities of practice, peer learning and future skills

  • What is the future of skills?
  • How is the pandemic going to change the way we learn?
  • What is the role of peer learning and communities in fostering new skills and creating new jobs opportunities?

Speakers include: