Turning the JobCentre into a Social Centre

“… (In future) job centres will not just be a place where you a see paid advisor, but somewhere to connect with local people with similar experience who’ve donated their time to help others back into work – people powered job centres if you will.” -Vicki Sellick, 14 predictions for 2014: the Future of Job Hunting

In Backr we know all the best stuff happens face-to-face. One lunch is worth a 1,000 ‘likes’. Continue reading Turning the JobCentre into a Social Centre

#HackTheJobCentre

We start with the premise (rightly or wrongly) that the JobCentre and job seeker allowance are a stop-gap measure, a safety net provide for by that state, helping you get by until you get back on your feet. Success is judged by whether you are back in employment, or perhaps more accurately, whether you are off benefits. If this is the case, is the job centre conceived in such a manner relevant to today’s climate slow growth, high youth unemployment (many of them highly qualified)? Continue reading #HackTheJobCentre

Grassroots initiatives need a gardener

We attended a report launch for the RSA’s “Beyond Nudge to Demand Management” yesterday, and we were pleased to see that everyone in the room seemed to be very much on the same page about preventative action, community engagement, place-based commissioning, co-production and all the other accepted best practice tropes. In fact, we couldn’t help but wonder if demand management isn’t in fact just more technocratic language for early intervention? Continue reading Grassroots initiatives need a gardener

How to survive in a relational economy: Find your true love

‘DWYL’ (do what you love) has been a bit of a talking point at Backr HQ lately. In brief, DWYL advises us to reflect on what it is we most enjoy doing and to turn that activity into something profitable. On the face of it, DWYL appears to be the mantra of the elite, something only the more advantaged of us can aspire towards, a farce that hides the fact that we need many people to do repetitive, boring jobs so that the minority can achieve DWYL. But look at it through the lens of the ‘new world of work’, where there isn’t such a clean line between ‘work’ and ‘non work’ and it starts to feel a bit different. Continue reading How to survive in a relational economy: Find your true love

How to survive in a relational economy: Jump on it

To build your career in a relational economy, you’ve got to make connections and build relationships. They can help you to see the opportunities that others might miss. Here’s a real-life example: Continue reading How to survive in a relational economy: Jump on it

The contributory principle- and why it needs re-imagining

Too often we see people’s contributions to public services as part of a straightforward transaction between the state and citizen, when it could be so much more. Hilary Cottom explores how we can create services that build relationships. 

This week in his Hugo Young lecture Ed Miliband talked about the importance of citizen’s “contribution” to public services. It’s a constant theme, the need for a contributory principle within our public services.

It’s a theme that makes me very uneasy. Continue reading The contributory principle- and why it needs re-imagining