Work and employment

The Resilient Economies programme is ambitious in its scope, encompassing the entirety of the UK economy: accordingly structural changes in the nature of work and their manifestations are highly relevant to our agenda.

However, as a relatively small funder we feel it is imperative that we focus our funding on areas that will add value, rather than fund areas where others are already supporting an agenda.

To that end we commissioned Professor Anne Green from the University of Birmingham to explore this policy area; how it fits with our priorities around the development of a fair, sustainable, resilient economy; and how we can best add value to existing activity in the area.  This paper can be found here.

The key conclusions drawn by Trustees were:

Areas we will not fund:

  • There are a number of funders operating in this area – it is important that we focus our funding on areas where we can add value
  • The Foundation aims to be an ‘upstream’ funder, tacking the causes rather than the symptoms of economic problems. We are interested in activities that challenge the structures and processes underpinning problems in the labour market not those that help ameliorate the worst impacts of it as it currently stands.
  • We do not generally support activity that directly benefits employers, industry or enterprises

Areas that we may be interested in funding:

  • Regulation –identifying mechanisms through which labour market (and other) institutions can impact on the nature of work and how this determines adaptive capacity and resilience performance.
  • Understanding the behaviour of institutions– including local authorities, employers, the third sector, education and training providers, etc.), and individuals – to gain insights into the structural barriers that they face in taking action to move towards a fair(er) economy.
  • Policy development – which might include enhancing the baseline level of understanding of specific issues pertinent to resilience (e.g. productivity, waste minimisation, etc.) so that institutions and actors might be ‘nudged’ or required to act differently.
  • Testing solutions through local scale projects to test particular solutions (e.g. demonstration projects)