Jobseekers should join ‘sharing economy’, government report recommends

Get JobCentre staff to encourage jobseekers to join ‘sharing’ websites, says report led by startup CEO

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The Independent Tech

An independent report commissioned by the British Government and led by a startup CEO has recommended that jobseekers should be encouraged to sign up to ‘sharing economy’ startups, among other measures to support the burgeoning industry in the UK.

New servicers like Airbnb and PeoplePerHour, which allow customers to sell goods and services, are creating a new generation of ‘microentrepeneurs’, and the Government should do what it can to encourage the industry, the report argues.

Sites and services in the ‘sharing economy’ allow users to rent their belongings, such as cars, and houses to other people on the internet. Other sites give them the opportunity to swap time with other users, allowing them to sell their trades and skills.

The report, commissioned by Matthew Hancock, the business minister, was led by Debbie Wosskow, CEO of sharing economy startup Love Home Swap.

The recommendations include encouraging JobCentre staff to promote “time banking and task-sharing platforms” — sites that allow people to trade and sell work. “They should actively point job-seekers towards these platforms as a way to build up their experience and earn money,” the report says.

It also recommends the creations of a startup incubator to encourage British firms in the field, and says that infrastructure should help those using it, such as carpooling lanes in high congestion areas to help car sharing companies.

The Government should also encourage older people to take part in the sharing economy, and tax authorities should make it more simple to work out how much tax people need to pay.

The Government should also establish new routes for representation, include a trade body to represent all companies working in the sector, and a kitemark to promote responsible sharing platforms, the report argues.

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