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Bevan Foundation to explore fair work and pre-conditions for the foundational economy

October 28th 2019

The Bevan Foundation has received the green light for two projects on the everyday parts of the economy

Fair work

Fair work can help to achieve a stronger economy, reduce poverty and promote well-being. However, for many it is out of reach in some foundational economy sectors. On pay, job security, worker voice and  rights, there are sectors that are below average. For example, workers in accommodation and food on median weekly earnings are paid half the wage of the all-industry average, while trade union membership is just 2.9% of employees compared to 30% of employees nationally.

In partnership with the Wales TUC, the Bevan Foundation will bring together employers, employees and their representative bodies, along with economic agencies and academics to find workable models to grow fair work in:

  • Accommodation and food (including food manufacturing)
  • Social care
  • Retail
  • Arts and entertainment

Understanding the pre-conditions

Some places in the valleys are experiencing growth in the foundational economy, with new retailing, tourist businesses, cafes and hairdressers developing. However, some towns and villages are experiencing a contraction, with local banks, post offices, food shops, bus services, libraries, schools and community centres closing. These variations suggest that some communities may be better placed than others to grasp the potential. This project will surface the pre-conditions for growing the foundational economy in three communities in the local authority areas of:

  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf

For places that do not have the essential pre-conditions, identifying the interventions required and how to deliver them will help to make the most of the foundational economy in these areas.  Similarly, for places that do have the potential to maximise the opportunities of the foundational economy, they may require different types of intervention and support to make the most of the potential. Understanding these pre-conditions can help ensure that public policy and resources are effectively targeted and that the potential of the foundational economy is maximised.

If you would like to know more about this work please get in touch

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