New Work

Service design to support people at risk of redundancy into relevant employment and skills development.

New Work Cornwall


Supporting people at risk of redundancy.

Skills Funding Agency

Cornwall (Pop. 530,000) is the second most deprived County in the UK. Over 80,000 citizens are economically inactive and around 20,000 are unemployed. Over £1/2 billion pounds of European Union funding has been invested into the regions social and economic regeneration.

‘New Work’ was sponsored by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) in 2010, the government agency for making England better skilled and more competitive, and was part of the Design of the times (Dott) programme. The project was created to encourage and create new and better approaches to skills development, in a way that benefited local citizens and the Cornish economy.

Local people told us time and time again that they wanted to know exactly where and when employment opportunities are becoming available. Without sufficient information, they told us that they are unlikely to deviate from professions they are already skilled and experienced in. Information and service are key ingredients. We demonstrated the power of the Dott methodology in gaining new insights and original solutions to complex societal issues. We identified the emotional barriers that often prevented people from accessing the support available and delivered solutions to them; we got to the root of the problem.

Following our discovery and co-design process, we worked with stakeholders to generate ideas for new services. We prototyped a range of services:

  • Protect: A pre-buy flexible legal package which provided a range of legal support to employers and practical support to employees by way of helping them through the redundancy process.
  • Access: A service to help local people understand employment information for Cornwall and take advantage of new opportunities by accessing relevant skills and targeted support.
  • Match: A service to match local people with direct and imminent employment opportunities across the public and private sectors in Cornwall.
  • Exchange: A community platform for local people to exchange services, skills and advice by using a “credits for participation” reward system.
  • Reward: A national skills scheme, which allows people to collect points through their daily shopping activities which can be cashed in for skills, training and self-development.

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