The post-pandemic labour market

How do we create more and better jobs?

4 May 2021
Zoom and live stream

Watch the full video on Youtube or listen to the podcast below.

The labour market that emerges from the crisis will be very different from before the pandemic struck. The high street has been gutted by successive lockdowns and the acceleration of online retail sales. Other consumer behaviours and preferences may well be changed permanently as people have grown used to doing without their daily barista coffee or salon haircut, or – more importantly – as households feel the pinch of lower wages, shorter hours or redundancy and can no longer afford to do so. The government has done its best to incentivise job retention over the last twelve months, but a real risk remains of a spike in joblessness once furlough ends. The Office for Budget Responsibility anticipates unemployment could hit 6.5% this year and while a large economic bounce back is expected as the vaccines take hold, the economy is likely be scarred by the impact of coronavirus for years to come. This will intensify pre-existing regional inequalities, making the task of levelling up all the harder and all the more critical.

The government has remained outwardly committed to levelling up as the cornerstone of its domestic policy agenda. But the recent Budget was still largely focussed on emergency support to tie the UK economy and workforce into the autumn. Soon we will need a detailed and actionable plan for jobs which seeks to respond to the challenges and opportunities ahead, boost the demand for good jobs and increase the supply of qualified people through the skills system. All while work itself is changing, not least through an expected permanent increase in remote working and the impact this will have on the nature and distribution of jobs – both those that can be done at home, and those for whom an office, factory and other fixed work settings remain compulsory or essential.

The event will consider key questions including: How can we build on the government’s current Plan for Jobs and Plan for Growth to deliver the good jobs of the future? How should we prioritise different industries as the engines of job creation? To what extent will green growth or other emerging sectors offer opportunities in this context? How do we avoid the rise of insecure work and underemployment similar to that experienced after 2008? How can we revamp the skills system to support those who have been out of work and need reskilling into new good jobs? What can local government do to drive forward good jobs in their area?


  • Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge
  • Anna Thomas, co-founder and Director, Institute for the Future of Work
  • Martin Vander Weyer, Business Editor of the Spectator
  • Charlotte Alldritt, Director, Centre for Progressive Policy (Chair)

This event will take place as a Zoom webinar and via live streaming. Those joining via Zoom will be able to ask questions via the Q&A function. Those who aren't will be able to submit questions in advance via Facebook and Twitter using #CPPjobs.

Diane Coyle

Bennett Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge

Diane co-directs the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. She was previously Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester. She has held a number of public service roles including Vice Chair of the BBC Trust (2006-2014), member of the Competition Commission (2001-2009), the Migration Advisory Committee (2009-2014), and the Natural Capital Committee (2016-2019). She was awarded a CBE for her contribution to the public understanding of economics in the 2018 New Year Honours.

Anna Thomas

co-founder and Director, Institute for the Future of Work

Anna Thomas is the co-founder and Director of the Institute for the Future of Work. The Institute for the Future of Work is an independent research and development institute that explores the changing world of work and builds practical solutions to help people thrive. Formerly a barrister from Devereux Chambers, specialising in employment law and appointed a Counsel to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Prior to IFOW, Anna was Head of Policy for the Future of Work Commission and is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Research, RSA and IEO.

Martin Vander Weyer

Martin Vander Weyer, Business Editor of the Spectator

Martin Vander Weyer is the weekly ‘Any Other Business’ columnist and business editor of The Spectator. He is a long-time contributor to the Daily Telegraph, for which he has written more than 1,000 obituaries, and to other national publications. He is also an author, playwright, poet, public speaker, actor and charity trustee.His most recent book is Any Other Business: Life In and Out of the City, a semi-autobiographical collection of his journalism. He is the author of Fortune’s Spear, the biography of 1920s fraudster Gerard Lee Bevan (2011), and Falling Eagle: The Decline of Barclays Bank (2000). He was the principal author of Closing Balances: Business Obituaries from the Daily Telegraph (2006) and has edited several other books. He is currently researching and writing The Good, the Bad and the Greedy: Why We’ve Lost Faith in Capitalism, to be published by Biteback in late 2021.

Charlotte Alldritt (Chair)

Director, Centre for Progressive Policy

Charlotte is Director of the Centre for Progressive Policy. Previously Charlotte was Director of Public Services and Communities at the RSA, where she also ran the Inclusive Growth Commission – chaired by Stephanie Flanders – and City Growth Commission – chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill. Before joining the RSA, Charlotte was a Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, working on immigration, energy and housing. She is an advisor to Power to Change, New Philanthropy Capital, the Civic University Network and an external member of the APPG for Left Behind Neighbourhoods. Charlotte also advises the OECD on Inclusive Growth Financing, is a member of the SIPHER Inclusive Economy Advisory Group at the University of Sheffield and is a member of the Research in Practice Partnership Board.