Jobless could find work through online auctions.
New Start magazine
The creation of a series of state-sponsored online auction websites could herald huge opportunities for micro enterprises and bring disadvantaged people back into the labour market.
The proposals were due to be announced this week by the Institute of Public Policy Research, based on a concept formulated by former TV presenter Wingham Rowan. They are already attracting attention from a range of regeneration organisations.
Discussions have taken place with organisations in east London that could help to pilot the scheme, offering flexible job opportunities to local people. Those seeking work in the construction industry, for example, could use the auction sites to market their services and availability to prospective employers.
Workers would advertise their availability and charges, while employers could select staff based on their racing by previous customers. IPPR said the auction sites, similar to those offered by eBay, offered a new form of technology that could be used to spread the benefits of the internet age across the population.
'We advocate a system of national e-marketplaces" (Nems) designed, funded and nm by the private sector that have been granted benefits by the state,' it argued
'They could enable uniquely efficient micro-businesses in sectors as diverse as services for tourists, security, storage, hotel services... financial services, transport and tuition.'
But without government intervention there was a risk that such technology would become the preserve of big business.
'Over the last 20 years, the industry has built an extraordinary new world for its corporate customer,' the report said. Economic inclusion, the think tank said, 'comes from the capacity to earn money, not new ways of spending it.'
Aaron Barbour, director of the social enterprise zone at Community ~, who has been in ~ about the project, said: 'This report presents a challenging approach, which has serious and significant implications of a fundamental change to the dynamics of the labour marker.
The technology now exists to give individuals flexibility and choice in deciding how to lead their working lives - one of the ladders needed to help people out of poverty.' Details of the report will be available at: www.ippr.org.uk
Source: New Start magazine
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