Creating economic opportunities by enabling lower income earners to share time with existing commitments, build skills and increase earnings
Pitch us on your solution
Our vision is to reshape the world of work in favour of the worker. We know by enabling earners to share their time we are able to bring millions of hours onto the labour market which, through collectivising access we can increase the rates business pay (as we control the supply).
We plan to expand our platform to create a one stop shop for low skilled people where they can:
Train and upskill
Share their time with business
Gain permanent opportunities (if desired)
State benefit advice
Through online training and work experience we can open up industries and opportunities to people who have previously been excluded due to lack of qualifications thereby increasing their potential income.
Our model will unsure that in the future people will not apply for work, but work will come too and fit around them!
What is the problem you are solving?
Many earners are excluded from working sufficient hours due to their commitments such as children, caring arrangements, or an existing job reducing their ability to earn an acceptable income.
This lack of opportunity is caused as the entire recruitment industry try to match people with jobs, this outdated model usually leaves the underemployed earners and those seeking irregular work excluded and sidelined.
We enable people to share their free time with local businesses. Through our platform, people can list times they are free for the coming week; business can then tap into their availability.
Having automated the entire process, we have removed the excessive cost of the recruitment industry which we then channel back to our earners in the form of increased hourly rates.
Simply put we enable people to share their time with businesses, on a an hour-by-hour basis to increase their income when convenient to them, creating job opportunities for people previously excluded by a traditional rigid employment market.
As with all great ideas there is potential for significant social harm which is why our platform was designed with and endorsed by a leading trade union and incorporates significant safeguards for workers.
Who are you serving?
The earner pool that we engage with are those with limited availability to work such as the under-employed, parents and carers all of whom have the potential to encounter barriers to increase their income growth.
We enable this cohort to register for work when it is convenient for them on a day-by-day and hour-by-hour basis; their availability can be amended at any time whether they want.
The ONS survey stated that the average person on a zero hours contract in mid-2018 usually worked about 25 hours per week, compared to an average of 36 hours for everyone in employment and 186,000 people wanted additional hours.
There are approximately 3.5 million parents who cannot find work to fit around childcare.
In 2016/17, 8 per cent (5.4 million) of people were informal carers (source family-resources-survey 2016-17)
Traditional agencies do not want to accept people with irregular working patterns as they are hard to place; their model means that management of these earners incur a high cost. Because we automate our processes, we do not encounter the same issues
What is your solution?
The business strategy is threefold
- Endorsement received from Charities and Trade union to ensure that the "Win-Win" vision of a remains at the core of our activities
Attract & retain earners
- Recruitment campaign to attract as many earners as possible designated rollout areas; we have already attracted national attention in the media and have been able to successfully sign up both earners and businesses.
- Have an attractive offer to earners, including attractive hourly rate
- Ensure that the sign-up process is easy
- Regular contact with earners that have signed up
- Encourage moves into permanent work
- Create an auto CV for the earner to access
Attract & retain businesses
- Attract SMEs and Large business to sign up
- Design pathways in conjunction with businesses and industries
- Ensure that the sign-up process is easy
- Regular contact with earners that have signed up
We are currently in several regions of the UK and am looking to expand into all regions of the UK within 12-months
Select only the most relevant.
Where is your solution team headquartered?London, UK
Our solution's stage of development:Pilot
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
The Labour xchange platform is a tool that enables people to find work that fits around their commitments and business can get the staff the need. Earners take home at least the living wage and have three-months of free Trade Union membership
Recent media reports suggest that Uber are developing an app for flexible short-term however, our platform will challenge this model as a successful incumbent that has set the bar so high on worker welfare Uber will either have to match the new high standard or struggle to get any traction.
By using technology and a fully automated platform Labour xchange have managed to create a service where people are paid more but businesses actually pay less, it's a "win win" solution
The Labour xchange is a demonstration of real optimism for the future of work
Describe the core technology that your solution utilizes.
One of the biggest barriers of people and businesses connecting are the manual processes that have been embedded into the job market. Even online platforms have a significant manual process which all adds cost and barriers when connecting people and businesses.
We have used technology to full automate our process from the initial individuals sign up to the business searching for the hours they need covering and the booking itself. This has enabled us to remove costs from the process passing on the extra money to the earner.
Furthermore, as our processes are automated, it is the quickest way for people businesses to find staff.
Through use of technology, we have completely disproved all industry norms in recruitment, we have prove that business and earners will happily connect independently without screening, if given the means without outside influence.
Our technology matches individuals and businesses on an hour by hour basis which truly enables people to share they free time and work when they want.
The next step on our technological development plan is:
To create additional online pathways/training where people can further up-skill themselves
Create an auto CV generator that combines all the work on the platform with an individuals main CV increasing their experience and future job prospects
Become a one-stop-shop for all low skilled workers where they can share their time but receive all the support they need in their working lives
How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?
Thus far we have over:
10k individuals signed up
Increased the income of our members by ¬£100k
Helped 40 people into permenant employment
We know that the individuals, who have gained income through our platform, would not have been able to obtain it any other way so we can confidentley say the ¬£100k increased income is directly attributed to Labour xchange. A quote from one of our members is below
"I have been able to pay my rent this week, thanks so much"
In relation to job creation we have enabled small business to take on additional orders as they can be confident that they have staff available to cover the extra work.
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
We will increase peoples income through access to work that fits them by ~£112 million per annum
We will help 5900 people into permanent employment per annum
We will have set the standard by which all other platforms must meet
Our automated system has the ability to record earnings on several level:
Further metrics include:
Records of training offered by Labour xchange
Record of employment
What are the barriers that currently exist for you to accomplish your goals for the next year and for the next five years?
Every day someone and their dog is starting a work platform, however, they all approach it from the same agency model of trying to fill roles instead of allowing people to share their time with businesses.
Potentially our biggest threat is a very well funded competitor might adopt our model and ethics and use their financial leverage to wipe us out.
How are you planning to overcome these barriers?
Our approach is to not manage this risk but encourage it, we know we help people with their lives and if other companies want to follow out ethical and radical approach we would welcome it as more earners would be helped.
How many people work on your solution team?
Jonathan key - Gained lived experience of people destitute due to underemployment but at the same time understood businesses are not causing the issue, they are both victims of a broken system.
Jonathan's experience and desire for a better world led him to design a concept where people can get work that genuinely fits them and businesses get the staff they need, a scenario where everyone wins.
Paul Spillman - Has been involved in many tech projects around the world, principally in travel where connecting services, people and policies were the main drivers.
Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?
Based in Southend on Sea in Essex; Labour xchange has a simple yet important mission; we connect individuals with spare time who want to earn extra cash with businesses who every now and then need additional staff.
The nature of the platform means that we connect people and are currently concentrating on specific geographical areas. Our platform is designed to be autonomous but depending on the specific pathway (if required) we will assist in setting up the processes for businesses and does not impact on our organisation. By fulfilling our mission, we can help earners increase their income whilst helping businesses grow and prosper. Everything we do is driven by our core belief that everyone should benefit in the employment market, a "win-win" scenario with no losers.
What is your business model?
We generate revenue through three avenues:
- A per booking admin fee to SMEs. Whether the SME books someone for one hour or ten they pay the admin fee. This is to create transparency and to encourage longer bookings
- A license fee for government or corporate customers, where they pay an annual fee to access an infinite number of people
- A permanent contract fee. If a business wants to take one of the workers on to a permanent contract (in fact we encourage this) we charge an admin fee. We have purposely set this low to encourage permanent recruitment.
Our charging mechanisms although set low are enough to generate significant revenue for the business to grow.
Why are you applying to Solve?
We are trying to create transformational change in the world of work, where work can be decent, well paid and rewarding whilst business gain by accessing the staff they need when they need.
Our core principle is that you can create a "win win" situation for the worker and the business by changing the way in which they connect. Our message is powerful but opinions can be entrenched and it has sometimes been difficult to persuade that a change in practice can lead to better outcomes for all.
Above all, being selected as a Solver would bolster our message "work, can work for everyone".