Topic: Is Good Quality Work the Solution to the Cost of Living Crisis?

Following yesterday’s successful webinar event for GRN members, I thought I’d write up a summary of the main points we covered and share them with you after I chaired the debate with the following expert panel,

  • Dr Fiona Christie is a professional careers consultant, lecturer and education and employment researcher. Working in higher education, with additional experience in secondary and further education. Wide-ranging professional expertise having worked with individuals at all levels and subject disciplines as well as with employers from all sectors of the labour market.
  • Cristiana Orlando is a Research Fellow at IES for the Health Foundation’s Future Health Enquiry. As part of her role she leads the employment strand of the action phase of the Enquiry, focusing on young people’s employment as a social determinant of health. The aim of this three-year project is to achieve lasting systemic change and influence policy and practice around youth employment.
  • Charlotte Jeffreys is a Policy & Public Affairs Executive at The Princes Trust. She is experienced in research, policy, communications and fundraising strategy. She has worked in a diversity of environments, including for a tech company in the social housing sector, in the Charity Sector and first-hand in Services for under-served members of society


  1. The cost of living crisis is a small part of a bigger picture for youngsters. No-one knows for sure how long this episode will last but youngsters, especially those from marginalised backgrounds, have been held back by outdated attitudes, slow responding employers and a weak economy as they try to enter the jobs market. They are taking responsibility and are by no means “snowflakes” and in fact represent an untapped talent pool that some employers are now starting to realise. Action – seek out new talent pools among diverse, under-represented and disadvantaged student communities.
  2. What is the definition of good quality work? Work that provides autonomy, relatedness and allows for competency at the role. Especially for Gen Z, they are looking for representation and the ability to contribute. Action – go back to basics with your job role and see how you can create work that offers these elements above everything else.
  3. Is hybrid working having a negative or positive effect on good quality work? Managed well, hybrid working can create conditions to enable employees to feel valued and in more control. This has to be balanced so individuals do not feel isolated or at a disadvantage when it comes to career progression. Action – monitor employee well-being if you offer hybrid working.
  4. Continued attention. Employers who see the cost of living crisis as an opportunity window to adapt and attract new candidates will ultimately win in a tight labour market. Action – Take a plan to board level to engage senior leadership with clear objectives, timelines and financial returns of your recruitment plan.