The aim of the Flexible Working theme is to look at the latest projects that use ICT to help get people find employment - for example “Homeshoring”.
One of the key aspects of the Digital Challenge bid was to bring the economically inactive into work. ‘Homeshoring’ is a system already achieving much in the United States, whereby call or contact centre staff can work from home using VoIP and broadband. The successfully completed pilot partnered with Cisco, UK Virtual Call Centres and a local community centre to pilot a Homeshoring scheme with Boots. The project was particularly suited to people whose lifestyles tended to be more home-based, including the over 50s, women returners and people on incapacity benefit. It also aimed to solve many of the problems experienced by traditional call centers such as high turnover of employees, recruitment costs and health problems associated with high density office environments.
Targeting hard to reach communities including council estates, inner cities and rural villages (rural inequalities are magnified in Nottinghamshire due to the number of ex-mining areas) where often people want to work but do not.
Broad objectives are to:
- create sustainable, flexible employment
- build sustainable communities
- To reduce the environmental impact of travelling to work by creating jobs within the home or within walking distance of it