The Work Foundation has appointed Ben Harrison as its new Director.
Ben joins the organisation from The National Lottery Community Fund. He will lead its push to shape local and national policy, transform people’s experience of work and improve the future shape of the workplace.
“I am hugely excited to have the opportunity to lead the Work Foundation – an organisation with a fantastic record in helping to shape national and local policy, as well as in supporting businesses to find practical ways to improve the quality of working life for people all across the country,” said Ben.
“The future of work is one of the defining policy issues of the early 21st Century. Responding to the pace of change we now see in the global and national economies, as well as the development of new technologies and shifts in social attitudes relating to work, requires not only a sense of how their most challenging impacts can be mitigated, but also how each can be harnessed to create a better world of work in the future.
“This world should be one where more people occupy higher quality, better paid jobs; where flexibility in the labour market allows for more people to enjoy richer, more varied careers and lives; and one where our welfare and support systems are fit for purpose to protect citizens in a more competitive and dynamic economy.”
The Work Foundation, established as the Industrial Society in 1918, campaigns to improve the quality of working life through advocacy, research and practical interventions and to champion Good Work for All. It has been allied with Lancaster University since 2010 and works with partners from across business, Government, trade unions and the third sector.
“By working closely with colleagues in Lancaster University Management School, the Work Foundation is uniquely placed to help policymakers, practitioners and businesses support more people to access high quality work into the future.”
Ben has been the Director of Engagement at the National Lottery Community Fund since 2016. A member of the Fund’s senior management team, he oversaw a full-scale rebrand of the organisation, while also reshaping the Fund’s strategic communications, policy and public affairs work.
Ben has spent much of his career working on economic development, housing and localism in a range of research, consultancy and communications roles. Between 2012 and 2016, he was Director of Communications and Development at national think tank the Centre for Cities, where he played an important role in helping shape the devolution agenda.
He previously established and led Future of London, a not-for-profit policy network focused on cultivating the next generation of housing and regeneration leaders in London, and spent three years at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He began his career at the Institute for Public Policy Research after graduating in Social and Political Sciences from King’s College, Cambridge, in 2006.
Ben takes over in the role from Lesley Giles, who stood down as Work Foundation Director earlier this year, but remains as an Associate.
He joins the Work Foundation at an exciting time. At its centenary event in May, the organisation called for a step change in how we manage people to turn around the UK’s productivity and achieve national success.
The policy and research team are delivering a busy work programme to support improvements in policy and practice to realise this ambition. This includes research into health and wellbeing at work, a national evaluation of the Productivity through People programme, and its ongoing leadership of the skills, talent and diversity work strand of the Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre, among other work.
Lancaster University Management School Dean, Professor Angus Laing, said:
“We are pleased to welcome Ben as the new Work Foundation Director, and I look forward to working with him as he pursues the important agenda that has driven the organisation for the past century.
“Ben’s enthusiasm for the work done by the Work Foundation is obvious, and his experience of working with policy-makers and across community and economic sectors will be invaluable moving forward.”