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Growth of crowdsourcing leading to boost in employability

Study findings to be presented at special event on history and future of work in the UK

Sally Anne BarnesThe rapid growth of online crowdsourcing is creating more opportunities for people to get into work and increasing levels of employability, according to new research from the University of Warwick.

Researchers from the Institute for Employment Research (IER) have been studying the practice, which essentially involves the outsourcing of labour to a crowd of people via the web.

They found that the development of new technologies, coupled with changes in approaches to work, have driven a move to this new form of internet-enabled labour exchange.

Dr Sally-Anne Barnes will be presenting the findings at a special public event on Friday 8 May organised by the Connecting Research on Employment and Work (CREW) network as part of the university’s Festival of Social Sciences.

Looking Back, Looking Forward: What’s Happened to Work and Employment? is a session – open to everyone – looking at how people’s working lives in the UK have changed over the last 50 years.

Dr Barnes said: “Crowdsourcing is a dynamic and growing activity which our recent research suggests can offer new pathways to practising skills and enhancing employability for some workers.

“It’s a form of work which has been found to enable people to ‘test out’ work in a particular job, gain necessary work experience and skills, and gain career variety.”

Carol WolkowitzOther presentations and discussions at the event include how home-based work has been changing over the past 30 years – led by Dr Carol Wolkowitz, including a historical study that was conducted in Coventry in the 1990s.

She will compare four studies tracing the shift from manufacturing homeworking to self-employment, the impact of enterprise culture, the changing importance of childcare as an impetus to working at home and men’s involvement in home-based work.

Speaking about the event, Dr Wolkowitz said: “Over the last 50 years people's working lives in the UK have been changing enormously with new methods of management in the workplace, an increase in unemployment, and with communities and neighbourhoods affected. The rise of the internet also affects the kinds of jobs available.

“With these presentations we are seeking to go behind the headlines, to pinpoint the key changes and how people experience them. We also want to stimulate discussion during the day about how we understand the world of work now.”

Click here for further information about the programme of events and details on how to register your attendance for Looking Back, Looking Forward: What’s Happened to Work and Employment?

A full programme of Festival of Social Sciences activities is available here and you can find out more about each event by emailing bfss at warwick dot ac dot uk.

You can also join the conversation on Twitter at: #warwickfss.

Notes to Editors:

Issued by Lee Page, Communications Manager, Press and Policy Office, The University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255, Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email: l dot page at warwick dot ac dot uk.

Connecting Research on Work and Employment (CREW) CREW is a network of scholars on work and employment established by the Industrial Relations Research Unit (IRRU) in Warwick Business School, the Institute for Employment Research (IER), the Sociology Department, the Law School and the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender (CSWG). The network welcomes external researchers and practitioners, as well as members of the University of Warwick.

PR 86 30 April 2015


Lee Page, Communications Manager

+44 (0)2476 574 255

+44 (0)7920 531 221

l dot page at warwick dot ac dot uk