While the Taylor Review – on work and self-employment in the ‘gig’ economy – might not have floated everyone’s boat, there were a few exciting nuggets in there for anyone interested in self-organising and co-operation, which as you might expect is where we have a particular interest.
The Review picked up the theme of self-organising a few times, notably in relation to tech solutions. The ‘WorkerTech’ concept the Review highlights turns out to have a lot a co-operative and collaborative stuff behind it.
So, the following recommendation the Review makes to Government is particularly bold and forward-thinking:
“Government should work with partners to create a Catalyst to stimulate the development of a range of WorkerTech models and platforms in the UK. This would allow new and emerging solutions to develop and grow, in a “sandbox environment” with a view to better supporting self-employed people.”
Along with one or two others, such as the Co-operative College and potentially Federation, a hub of digital enterprises in Manchester, we are eager to champion this recommendation, plus one or two others, and work with anyone interested in making a impact. This means championing the recommendation in policy terms but also crucially in practical development, as per our National Co-operative Development Strategy.
My colleague James Wright has completed a short analysis here on this in the Review. Our next steps in relation to the Taylor Review are as follows:
- Add our voice to calls to create such a Catalyst to stimulate the development of a range of WorkerTech models and platforms in the UK
- Support the recommendation to develop advice and support for the self-employed, and push for it to include practical help to understand and adopt co-op options
- Restate the case that worker ownership is the best way to align profit, power and worker benefit in a business
- Ensure co-ops are well represented in the coalitions forming around all these agendas.
If you’re working along similar lines or would like to help us carve out a co-operative space, where workers have genuine agency, in whatever develops please do comment or get in touch.