Blue-collar jobs are insecure, paying less and ripe for automation. A new model of irregular work is ready to fill the gap.
What is irregular work? Running errands, hiring out your possessions, working at a cafe for an occasional lunchtime rush, letting a tourist stay on your sofa, tutoring, being on call for checkout duty at local shops, unscheduled homecare visits, even lending a small amount of cash for a week. There are thousands of sectors.
These ad hoc bookings can offer significant opportunity to people who need it most; the young, partially employed or others struggling in the labor market. But bookings are largely informal: untaxed, unregulated and illegal. Transacting tends to be overhead-laden, risky and hard work.
That could unlock sizeable demand. It requires new technologies. Supportive city, regional or national governments could be the catalyst for launches.
We are the UK’s Beyond Jobs programme. We have core technology for a new generation of irregular work markets. It has been funded by government, but we are independent.