Creating jobs and tackling worklessness – who (and where) are the innovators?

Published on July 9, 2013 in Blog, Services
Guest post from Laura Gardiner, Policy Adviser – Innovation in Jobs, Nesta.

Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, has been exploring the ways in which organisations and individuals are innovating to create jobs and tackle worklessness. 

nestaWe began this process in our Making It Work report that was published last October, and we’ve now gathered all the examples we’ve come across together on our living map of jobs innovators. We hope will become a thriving picture of what’s happening and what works, and a useful resource full of practical ideas for those working to build a new type of local economy.


Making It Work assessed the current approach to tackling worklessness and made the case for more innovation in the jobs market and in local economies. In particular, it called for more experimentation around ideas, more of a focus on evidence of what works, and more debate around how new and successful ideas and approaches can be taken forward.

Therefore, we’re really pleased that since publication we’ve come across and been approached by numerous examples of private companies, government bodies, local authorities, charities, social enterprises, and individuals doing interesting things differently in the labour market. The examples in our report plus those we’ve come across since comprise a really great body of evidence and ideas that we wanted to share and develop, so we’ve created the living map of jobs innovators ( as a live resource to keep the debate we’ve started going.





We should say that this living map is not an original idea: we’ve borrowed heavily from the excellent living map of ageing innovators recently launched by our ageing team (indeed, you may spot one or two examples on both sites).
The living map of jobs innovators tells the story of the most exciting things happening in the world of job creation and tackling worklessness at the moment, and it allows you to search examples and ideas by theme, category, keyword, or where they are taking place, in order to hone in on the things you’re particularly interested in. For example, you can explore innovations that centre on creating and shaping new markets that have the potential to stimulate new local jobs – if you do, you may spot an entry on the great work that The REconomy project is doing!




Alternatively, you might want to explore those jobs innovations on the living map that make use of technology in the services they deliver. Or you can use the living map to browse innovations that have gathered a particular level of evidence of the benefits they bring. Or you can focus on innovations that have reached a certain stage of development – from those that are only ideas at the moment; to small, local initiatives that are developing and testing their approach; to innovations that are achieving international growth and scale.




We’ve added more than 100 of the good ideas we’ve come across already, but this is just the start. We want you to add more and to comment on those already on the site so that we can find and showcase the next wave of jobs innovators and continue to push the debate around creating jobs and tackling worklessness forward and the local and national levels.


Credits: All images courtesy of Nesta

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