CAPE Policy Challenge: Scoping a New Deal for Workers in Islington
Summary | Context | The Policy Challenge | Evidence needs | Delivering the work | Application process | Eligibility | Timeline | About the Policy Challenge Fund | Islington New Deal for Workers
CAPE invites applications from staff at UCL and the University of Cambridge as part of the CAPE project to work with Islington Council to develop an evidence base which will underpin the development of a New Deal for Workers in Islington.
Funding of between £5k and £15k is available and it is anticipated the research will be carried out between 30 June and 28 October. Respondents to the call will be expected to work closely with the Council and other key stakeholders to deliver their proposed project.
Islington Council has been developing a ‘good work’ agenda to improve pay and conditions for workers in the borough, including through the London Living Wage Group, launching the “Join a Union” campaign with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and initiating an Islington Good Work charter. This has resulted in the development of a New Deal for Workers strategy in Islington.
This Policy Challenge call follows three roundtable discussions convened by CAPE and the London Borough of Islington which have explored how good work can be defined, what role Islington can play in supporting good work in the borough, and lessons from initiatives developed elsewhere in the UK and beyond.
The Policy Challenge
Islington Council want to explore how to build a community movement and alliances to drive improved pay and working conditions in the borough through an Islington New Deal for Workers.
This will require the development of a local evidence base, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative research, to understand the nature of precarious work in the borough, which will underpin and inform their policy responses.
Islington Council have identified three sectors which are particularly vulnerable to low pay and poor working conditions:
- the ‘gig economy’, particularly digital platforms and food delivery;
- facilities management (cleaners, security guards, etc)
Informed by the development of the ‘Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise’ campaign, Islington have identified the following evidence needs:
- Analysis and synthesis of official labour market data including, but not limited to NOMIS on:
- the sectoral composition and the geographical distribution of the local labour market and the proportion occupied by the three sectors Islington have identified for their initial focus
- the number and proportion of part-time working in these sectors
- pay rates for full and part time workers
- official datasets on levels of unionisation and wider terms and conditions.
- Analysis of additional data sources on pay and conditions, including minimum wage gender, disabilities, ethnicity, age, faith, sexual orientation, and parental status.
- Qualitative research with:
- workers in the relevant sectors to understand their working conditions and experiences.
- trades unions and community and third sector organisations to understand barriers to tackling low pay, poor working conditions, zero hours contracts, and precarious work.
- Mapping practice to promote good work and/or tackle precarious work elsewhere in order to identify potential practical interventions which could be made in Islington
Outputs should include
- Delivery of a non-technical evidence briefing summarising key findings and conclusions
- Summary of potential practical interventions
- Organising and facilitating a workshop/s between Councillors, council officials, unions and community organisations to explore findings and discuss practical interventions
Delivering the work
Applicants are invited to set out the research plan they consider can best deliver the policy challenge identified by Islington Council as part of their application (see process below). This should include:
- Identification of relevant datasets and information sources
- plans for analysis of the relevant sectors and datasets, and how this will inform approaches to the qualitative research
- plans for qualitative research
- any additional sources or research they might propose
Applicants will work closely with Islington Council’s dedicated liaison and Islington colleagues more broadly, as well as regular engagement with the CAPE project team. Applicants will also work with the CAPE team to ensure necessary monitoring and evaluation of the project.
To apply please provide a short (no more than1- 2 pages) letter outlining:
- Your motivations for wishing to respond to this policy challenge
- Your skills and expertise
- An overview of your research plan, including how it will help Islington to address their Policy Challenge (see ‘delivering the work’ section above).
- Any additional outputs proposed beyond those specified, or further impacts and outcomes envisaged
- A summary of how funding will be spent
All applications should be sent to [email protected]. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to present their proposal to a panel comprising representatives from Islington Council and CAPE.
UCL colleagues are invited to reach out with any questions to UCL CAPE coordinator Kayleigh Renberg-Fawcett ([email protected]), and University of Cambridge colleagues should reach out to Cambridge CAPE coordinator Milena Santos ([email protected]).
This opportunity is open to all staff at the universities of Cambridge and UCL. Applicants must be a member of academic / research / professional services staff at UCL and Cambridge with an employment contract in place at the point of application that covers the duration of the project.
We particularly encourage applicants from early and mid-career colleagues, and those who are underrepresented within academic-policy engagement. No previous policy engagement experience is required, and CAPE are happy to support interested applicants who would benefit from additional support in understanding academic-policy engagement. If you have any accessibility needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Multi-person / team applications will be considered.
6 May Deadline for applications
w/c 16 May Panel meeting with applicants and their proposals
23 May Award announced
30 June Indicative project start
28 October Indicative project end date (to discuss with successful applicant)
About the Policy Challenge Fund
Find out about the policy challenge process works, including presentation, panel and top tips.
Scoping out an Islington New Deal for Workers initiative
Read the supporting note on Islington’s New Deal for Workers.