The Trajectory Trends Breakfast 26.02.15 – Understanding Work in 21st Century Britain

29th Jan, 2015

The Trajectory Trends Breakfast

Understanding Work in 21st Century Britain – Trends, Drivers and Implications

Thursday 26th February 2015 – 08.30 – 09.30

Happenstance, 1a Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7AA

The February 2015 Trajectory Trends Breakfast will explore the range of drivers impacting on the world of work. While employment has always been a subject of great interest and huge importance, in 2015 the future of work could be said to be a central, if not always explicit, theme of the UK General Election.

In tackling this complex issue we will start by tracking key changes in the world of work and employment between 1945 and the present. We will then focus on near term prospects through the next parliament (to 2020) before extending the discussion into future technological developments and challenges.

Those of us brought up in the 1980s can readily recall the dizzy promises following the first waves of computerisation, with the challenge of the future being how to profitably occupy the vast amount of leisure time we could reasonably expect – a sentiment shared by Keynes back in 1930.

Today debate rages about the economic impact of the internet and related technologies – and how it should be compared with the industrial revolution/s and subsequent transformations in productivity. Are we on the cusp of a new technological paradigm with all of the rich potential that would suggest, or are we simply exhausting the limited potential of the computerisation paradigm?

That is perhaps the central question for the medium and long term future but in the near term we need to understand what we might expect in work and employment terms in the next five years (2015-2020). What do we know of the attitudes of young people today that might inform our thinking in this context? How has the recession impacted on these attitudes? What are the new roles of today and what are the skills required?

In thinking about today’s labour market and the prospects for the future it is instructive to track back and look at the changes we have experienced over the last 70 years – the rise and fall of public sector enterprises, the decline of traditional industries, the growth in privatised public services, the expansion of financial services, the emergence of the consumer society, and the over-arching shift to a service based economy.

What about the challenges of demographic change – including an ageing society and the implications for the dependency ratio, but also female participation in the labour market and increased economic migration? What about educational standards and skills training? What does the polarisation of income and wealth mean for business and employment opportunities?

It’s a fascinating subject to explore and we very much hope that you will join us for what is sure to be a stimulating hour of discussion.

To book your place simply mail Michael Brennan @