Online social networks and collective action – Joanna Octavia presents her research in Hong Kong
IER's PhD student Joanna Octavia attended the HKU-WES International Symposium on Worlds of Work: Implications of Urbanisation, Technology and Sustainability, held at the University of Hong Kong and hosted by the institution’s Faculty of Social Sciences from September 9th-11st, 2019. The symposium brought together UK, Asia, and Australia-based social science scholars to discuss and reflect on the rapidly changing dynamics and impacts of urbanisation, climate change, technological change and mass migration in the context of work.
In her presentation Joanna talked about “Online Social Networks and Collective Action: Platform-based Motorcycle Taxi Drivers in Indonesia” and explored how platform-based informal workers are using internet communication tools for collective action. She presented evidence of debates on online social networks and how they are taking place within the informal sector of the developing world. She also discussed policy developments in Indonesia and whether these networks have been effective in impacting platform business decisions and regulatory change.
Initial findings suggested that following the rise of the platform business models, nascent forms of online social networks have emerged among some groups of informal workers in developing countries. Recent trends in platform-based informal work show that online social networks, such as social media platforms and instant messaging applications, enable workers to share worker-generated content via messages, images and videos, and that other workers are able to relate to those. There is also evidence that the networks are starting to be perceived as a legitimate form of worker representation by some stakeholders.
Joanna’s participation in the symposium was generously supported by the Early Career Researcher funding from the British Sociological Association and the Work, Employment and Society Journal.
Masterclass on innovation
In August, the Director of IER, Chris Warhurst, was invited to present at a Scottish Enterprise Masterclass in Aberdeen, organised by Workplace Innovation Europe.
The topic of the presentation was ‘Engaging Employees in Innovation’ and it was based on IER’s recently completed QuInnE Horizon 2020 project examining job quality, innovation and employment outcomes.
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) - new developments
IER staff, led by Peter Elias, are currently engaged in a project funded by the Office for National Statistics, to add more detail into the next revision of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC).
Having just completed work on the revision of SOC2010 to SOC2020, the new project will provide for a six-digit structure to the classification. The work involves a series of face-to-face meetings with interested parties, such as the NHS, Royal Society, Careers Wales, Skills Development Scotland and a wide range of government departments and agencies.
As part of this work, ONS and IER have teamed up to create an online survey available to anyone with an interest in this work. Details can be found here.
The future of 'digital skills'
A new report written by Erika Kispeter about the current and future demand for digital skills at the work has just been published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The report argues that digital skills should not be looked at in isolation from other skills, pointing to a need for ‘21st century skills’, especially interpersonal skills, cognitive competencies and learning strategies with creative use of digital skills becoming increasingly important.
Distance travelled and soft outcomes for long-term unemployed review
The feasibility of developing a methodology for measuring the distance travelled and soft outcomes for long-term unemployed people participating in Active Labour Market Programmes has just been published by the European Commission.
Sally-Anne Barnes and Sally Wright undertook the review as part of the ESF funded European Transnational Employment Platform Project led by AEIDL. The aim of the review was to establish the scope for application of 'Distance Travelled Models', which could be adapted by those supporting long-term employed integration.
Sally-Anne and Sally also delivered a half day workshop for the Slovenian public employment services to support the development of a distance travelled model for the labour market programmes.