Skills Formation and Skills Matching in Online Platform Work

Laura Larke, Sian Brooke, Huw Davies, Anoush Margaryan, Vili Lehdonvirta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A growing proportion of the world’s population earn part or all of their income from work mediated through online platforms, in what is variously known as crowdwork, platform-based work, online gig work, and online freelancing. Emerging research suggests that such work is an increasingly important form of employment that allows skilled workers to access opportunities to earn income outside of their local labour market (Katz & Krueger 2016, Huws & Joyce 2016, Kässi & Lehdonvirta 2018). Work mediated by online platforms is a continuation of broader shifts in the global economy, representing a form of flexible, market-based, and oftentimes sporadic employment, where individual responsibility over career trajectory and skills development is emphasized by both workers and clients. The digital transformation of labour markets is demanding workers become responsible for their up-skilling or re-skilling in order to remain competitive. Against this backdrop, our study investigates: how individuals using digital platforms to access work have acquired and developed both their saleable and socio-professional skills; what learning activities and strategies they undertake to self-regulate their learning; how they match their skills to market demand; and how platform design and public policy influences their learning practices and skills matching. Utilising data from qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 80 EU-based crowdworkers who are currently using one of four large online freelancing platforms, this study fills a significant gap in the existing literature by addressing digital workplace learning practices. The results of this study have implications for how we understand new labour markets to function and how workers participating in these markets behave. We will examine how notions of power and responsibility present themselves in online platform-based work compared to more traditional ways of working, and look at how existing forms of capital (technical, economic, cultural, and social) impact online freelancers' ability to learn and develop professionally so that they may engage successfully with employers. This study also has implications for our understanding of workplace learning (Margaryan, 2018) and vocational training, and how those needs might be met in a shifting economic landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2019 : Abstracts by Session
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationDurham
PublisherBSA Publications Ltd
Publication date2019
Pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventBSA Annual Conference 2019: Challenging Social Hierarchies and Inequalities - Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Apr 201926 Apr 2019
https://www.britsoc.co.uk/events/annual-conference-archive/

Conference

ConferenceBSA Annual Conference 2019
LocationGlasgow Caledonian University
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGlasgow
Period24/04/201926/04/2019
Internet address

Cite this

Larke, L., Brooke, S., Davies, H., Margaryan, A., & Lehdonvirta, V. (2019). Skills Formation and Skills Matching in Online Platform Work. In Proceedings of the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2019: Abstracts by Session (pp. 25). Durham: BSA Publications Ltd.
Larke, Laura ; Brooke, Sian ; Davies, Huw ; Margaryan, Anoush ; Lehdonvirta, Vili. / Skills Formation and Skills Matching in Online Platform Work. Proceedings of the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2019: Abstracts by Session. Durham : BSA Publications Ltd, 2019. pp. 25
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Larke, L, Brooke, S, Davies, H, Margaryan, A & Lehdonvirta, V 2019, Skills Formation and Skills Matching in Online Platform Work. in Proceedings of the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2019: Abstracts by Session. BSA Publications Ltd, Durham, pp. 25, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 24/04/2019.

Skills Formation and Skills Matching in Online Platform Work. / Larke, Laura; Brooke, Sian; Davies, Huw; Margaryan, Anoush ; Lehdonvirta, Vili.

Proceedings of the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2019: Abstracts by Session. Durham : BSA Publications Ltd, 2019. p. 25.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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AB - A growing proportion of the world’s population earn part or all of their income from work mediated through online platforms, in what is variously known as crowdwork, platform-based work, online gig work, and online freelancing. Emerging research suggests that such work is an increasingly important form of employment that allows skilled workers to access opportunities to earn income outside of their local labour market (Katz & Krueger 2016, Huws & Joyce 2016, Kässi & Lehdonvirta 2018). Work mediated by online platforms is a continuation of broader shifts in the global economy, representing a form of flexible, market-based, and oftentimes sporadic employment, where individual responsibility over career trajectory and skills development is emphasized by both workers and clients. The digital transformation of labour markets is demanding workers become responsible for their up-skilling or re-skilling in order to remain competitive. Against this backdrop, our study investigates: how individuals using digital platforms to access work have acquired and developed both their saleable and socio-professional skills; what learning activities and strategies they undertake to self-regulate their learning; how they match their skills to market demand; and how platform design and public policy influences their learning practices and skills matching. Utilising data from qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 80 EU-based crowdworkers who are currently using one of four large online freelancing platforms, this study fills a significant gap in the existing literature by addressing digital workplace learning practices. The results of this study have implications for how we understand new labour markets to function and how workers participating in these markets behave. We will examine how notions of power and responsibility present themselves in online platform-based work compared to more traditional ways of working, and look at how existing forms of capital (technical, economic, cultural, and social) impact online freelancers' ability to learn and develop professionally so that they may engage successfully with employers. This study also has implications for our understanding of workplace learning (Margaryan, 2018) and vocational training, and how those needs might be met in a shifting economic landscape.

M3 - Conference abstract in proceedings

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BT - Proceedings of the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2019

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Larke L, Brooke S, Davies H, Margaryan A, Lehdonvirta V. Skills Formation and Skills Matching in Online Platform Work. In Proceedings of the British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2019: Abstracts by Session. Durham: BSA Publications Ltd. 2019. p. 25