With support of the European Social Fund (ESF), the Flemish Government and the European Union, Vlerick Business School is conducting the Transnationality project Career Skills for Gig Workers: Towards a Sustainable Career.
The increasing economic uncertainty and turbulence demands an increasingly flexible labor market from organisations. Ordering a taxi via Uber, cleaning via Helpling and having a meal delivered via Deliveroo: today there is an Uber for every service. Easy for users, but what's it like to work in this emerging on-demand economy?
The gig economy, also referred to as "flex economy" or "people first economy", responds to employers' need to fill shortages in their workforce when and where they have a certain need. But for gig workers themselves, the gig economy also offers a number of advantages, such as greater flexibility and independence. Yet it turns out that the gig worker's life is definitely not a breeze and leads to much uncertainty about the future. For example, gig workers are worried about sufficient assignments for the future, they have difficulty balancing work and private life, they are concerned about their development opportunities and the relevance of their skills in the future.
These challenges create a world of work in which the individual must come firmly to the fore. Due to the lack of an organizational structure, in which the risks are mainly borne by the employer and the employer also provides the necessary psychological support and development opportunities, gig workers are on their own.
In the present project, we therefore want to develop a service whereby we can support them in these challenges. After all, the existing services are largely aimed at supporting gig workers at the "administrative level", such as their legal status, their social security, and financial planning. However, in contrast to other countries, there is less attention in Flanders for supporting gig workers in developing a sustainable career. We want to do this by lowering the barrier to participation in learning and development initiatives. By supporting gig workers in their development, we want to strengthen their psychological well-being, but also their broader employability in the flexible labor market.
This programme is co-financed by the European Social Fund, the Flemish Government and the European Union.