A Vision of Smart Towns and Villages
We have a vision of Smart Towns and Villages. It’s not always the perfect village pictured above – which is Elton in Cambridgeshire. Lovely as the place is, that photo was chosen to get your attention.
Our vision is that we will begin to see remote working we have got used to due to Covid19 – embraced by a network of community-based working hubs in every town, urban space and village right across the UK – however pretty or not those places maybe!
These hubs would be work spaces within walking or cycling distance of homes and shared by public, private and voluntary bodies. They will enable collaboration, networking and respite when you’ve had a bit too much working at home.
The labour market is on the move
We’ve noticed some recent trends:
1. Indeed reports that London based workers, looking for jobs outside the capital as that economy stalls, is up by 30%. Is this the rise of the ‘reverse commuter’ wanting to work away from the city or is it people looking to move out of London?
2. Either way, organisations are exiting their City Offices in droves. Employers large & small have not only come to accept staff working from home – they’ve found it beneficial too.
But the experience of going to the office in say Winchester, Norwich, Bangor, Lancaster or Truro isn’t the same as going to the office in London or Birmingham. The decline of office space will affect small, medium & large cities differently.
3. This means the co-working workforce is set to skyrocket. People seem to want to work at home or walk or cycle to a local hub perhaps to to avoid public transport and Covid19.
Regeneration of the High Street
And more flexibility to work remotely and in local hubs will drive regeneration and economic activity in our communities across the UK. It also encourages better inclusion of those who can’t do the commute across our UK workforce.
After all there are millions of us. People with Disabilities, Carers, Parents or those who live in remote areas. These people want a job and a purpose too.
That’s why we’re supporting this new initiative to train up cohorts of smart workers who are fit for the future of work. But those who haven’t worked remotely before need a set of Smart Working Skills to be successful.
And it is starting in Cornwall. If you know one of the unfortunate people who has lost their job then you may be eligible for this free training scheme. It will help job seekers to find a smart working role because they immediately become more sought after and employable. Please encourage people to sign up here
We’re also encouraging other Regions and Employers to join the Smart Towns and Villages concept. We have set up a Peer to Peer Network to share best practice. If you’d like to join make contact here
We believe, there is a big part for Smart Towns and Villages to play in our future of UK Plc. It will be a chance to level the playing field in terms of opportunities for all and it will help reduce our carbon foot print for future generations. What’s not to like?