Yuno is a data-driven platform that helps blue collar workers whose jobs are under threat from automation, find new, relevant opportunities.
This is a short explainer video that is aimed at the target user.
Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.
Initiative's representative name
Initiative's representative date of birth
Initiative’s representative gender
Which eligible market are you based in?
Where are you making a difference?
Website or social media url(s)
When was your organisation founded?
Reskilling and upskilling the workforce
Start-Up (first few activities have happened)
Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?
1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed
As a software engineer, I have always been fascinated by the fact that the clever use of computers and machines can reduce the scarcity of resources as well as eliminate tedious manual labour. However, the negative effect that creative destruction has on people's jobs and livelihoods as well as an increase in inequality has long been bothering me. When I saw mission 2 of the Zinc programme (www.zinc.vc/mission-2), I decided that I want to apply my skills in computer science and science to helping the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum adapt to the changes that technology brings and, through that, help reduce the economic inequality that technological advances seem to increase.
2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?
Yuno’s target audience are the 27 million EU blue collar workers whose jobs are under threat of automation by 2025 (“Will robots really steal our jobs?”, PwC, 2018).
Low-skilled workers are 1.5 times more likely to be affected by automation than medium/high-skilled workers (“Human Capital Why we need a new approach to tackle Britain's long tail of low skills”, 2019).
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
Workers play a simple card sorting game and Yuno translates this data input into an anonymous profile, which allows each user to receive personalised, locally relevant career advice. Yuno also works with employers and helps workers find traineeship and apprenticeship positions.
- By training its machine learning models on current teams of employers, and by allowing users to easily and anonymously see similarities between themselves and these workers, Yuno addresses “attitudinal and confidence” related challenges.
- Transforming labour market information into an accessible and understandable way, brings “awareness of opportunities” to those who need it most
- By matching psychometric profiles with labour market information, which will also include locally available employers, wage levels, training opportunities, and commute information, Yuno will provide the most “personally relevant career advice” on the market
- By working with employers interested in training people on the job, “time and funding” related problems will be addressed.
4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?
The Yuno app, fundamentally, is a playful interface to a series of psychometric tests. The user learns about his/her personality as well as work interests. Additionally, Yuno presents a personalised list of options that could be a good fit for the user, along with information about typical tasks and required training for each occupation.
Yuno provides users with a quick and accessible way to create a personal, yet anonymous psychometric profile and links relevant career options with information about locally available employers, local wage levels, training opportunities, financial support, commuter and housing information, as well as potential future pathways.
5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?
Yuno’s main aim is increase workers adaptability skills to support workers in adapting to changes in the economy:
By focusing on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum, in the beginning, Yuno is supporting workers who are most affected by automation. As a first step, Yuno is focusing on getting workers from low-skill work into positions where they can acquire a skill. For this, Yuno matches workers based on personality, interests, and values.
After establishing itself as the platform where workers can get inspiration, information, and guidance in all things upskilling, we aim to develop Yuno into a platform that will accompany workers through the process of constant adaptation to changes in the economy. For this, Yuno aims to develop or integrate ontologies on on vocational skills, to complement Yuno’s matching algorithms.
5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress
To help workers anticipate and prepare for the continued technological change, Yuno will develop a future-proof score (building on top of the data of the UK Office of National Statistics), to inform worker’s thinking. As predictions will never be 100% accurate, Yuno’s focus will remain on career adaptability skills of left-behind workers, however.
7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?
In contrast to competitors, Yuno focuses on what blue collar workers could do in the future instead of on what they have done done in the past.
Existing solutions, often, either target different age groups (often the young), or aim at only supporting workers who can progress into a white collar vocation. As workers are affected by automation in the middle of their careers, these solutions do not work.
Other market participants who focus on the same target group, mostly concentrate on existing skills, require qualifications, and do not offer up-skilling/re-skilling for adults.
8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
Up to now, Yuno has seen over 500 users complete the Yuno app and almost 90 users have registered with the Yuno service and asked us to connect them as soon as we have on-boarded a matching employer. We have recently started to make first introductions between employers and workers.
Next to these numerical successes, we have also had many user interviews with affected workers and we have received a lot of positive feedback and gratitude for our work. One worker told us: “I’m happy to be a guinea pig for your app - I really want to find a career that is good for me!”
9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?
We have raised venture capital from angel investors and won grants to develop the Yuno app and to run pilots with a few initial employers.
We are now in the process of scaling our outreach and are developing a business model that aims at charging employers for the the service of connecting them with able and willing trainees and apprentices who will not only fit their team, but who are also expected to have much lower withdrawal rates.
Full-time co-founder, technology/product: experienced software engineer (BigData PhD). Led technology teams at AI startup (CTO).
Part-time co-founder, business/strategy: experienced business leader in automotive, manufacturing, retail, and energy with business, strategic, and operational experience.
- web developer & designer (contractors)
- marketing/communications intern
- psychometrics PhD & startup & product expert (advisors)
Currently hiring a business developer.
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