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Providing Proof to the Gig Economy


Providing Proof to the Gig Economy

With 1.7 million of Canadians already involved in the gig economy in 2016, and the unemployment rate rising since the start of COVID-19, the magnitude of this labour market is not to be dismissed. Professionals and millennials are looking to upgrade their skills as the speed of digitalizing nearly every industry, a Fourth Industrial Revolution, is coming to all industries. The pandemic sped up the transition of traditional learning to e-learning with estimates that between 2020-2024 the corporate e-learning market could increase to $38.09 billion.

What Does This Mean?

As individuals upskill and gain certificates from a variety of online training providers, it highlights the challenge companies experience being able to decipher the quality and validity of a skill or credential.

TerraHub was fortunate to talk with Dr. Stephen Murgatroyd, a long-standing, respected futurist advising diplomats and university boards on the way education is delivered. Dr. Murgatroyd has extensively researched this shift to micro-credentials, of which all demographics are seen adapting to find work through the gig economy.

A micro-credential represents a specific skill or competency that is verified by a reputable education or training provider. They accurately and easily match specific job requirements with skill sets.

One of the reasons this will disrupt the education industry is that a micro-credential is a flexible, sometimes more affordable way to achieve the skills required for work. It allows the learner to grab skills ala carte, stack them, and obtain a full degree or certification. Dr. Murgatroyd refers to this as Modular Stackable Learning, and educational institutions such as Athabasca University are embracing the shift with a new micro-credential format called PowerEd, or Bow Valley College’s Pivot-Ed, whereas other long-standing university providers may be fearful of shifting from the traditional long-form degree program their reputation was built on.

Great, right? A nimble educational solution that helps individuals gain education that is relevant to a job and addresses the common complaint that employers have for new university grads which is that they don’t have the practical tools for the workforce.

The combination of the rise of the gig economy and contract work, which COVID-19 has proven  can be fulfilled remotely, raises questions for employers who need to quickly verify that LinkedIn profile, online application, or certifications they receive at an industrial site, are indeed credible. At TerraHub we saw this gap occurring since our foundation in 2017 and decided to focus on credentials being mobile, verified, and assigned to a person.

47% of companies experienced fraud in the past 24 months 
                                 PWC 2020 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020

Digital Credential Verification

How it Works

  • A digital request is made from an employer to the training provider to confirm if a person’s credential, short-form such as a micro-credential or long-form such as a degree, is valid
  • The information is passed using private blockchain, a private key with permissions that enables only the training provider to confirm if the information is valid
  • The requesting employer then sees in their Compliance Dashboard if a candidate has verified credentials, eliminating timely phone calls, spreadsheets, and emails to education offices
  • The person can also view their own verified credentials in their own Digital Wallet, a real-time electronic version of their resume and skills located on their mobile device

This process is used to manage contractors as well. A Project for a worksite can be set up to ensure that all workers have a specific set of current, valid qualifications. For example, a Site Superintendent on a large construction site, may have a variety of project managers, safety personnel, and contractors coming. The Superintendent has pre-verified all of the workers’ skills using TerraHub’s Digital Credential Network so that when workers arrive on site, they can show their Digital Wallet instead of paper certificates, a wallet which matches with the Superintendent’s Project Compliance Dashboard.

As work continues to shift to more gig and contract-based jobs, the need for a real-time verification method that provides proof of skills gained from a variety of places becomes more relevant. The important thing to recognize is that the transfer of this personalized data is always secure, can be added to and removed from a hiring body completely, a critical asset as new legislation is introduced such as Bill C-11. Based on new privacy regulations, a gig worker, employee, and customer, must remain in control of their information or companies may face fines of up to five percent of their global revenue. Private blockchain allows for this level of control and privacy, which is why we’re seeing the most discerning companies use TerraHub products.

To learn more about how digital credentials are making employing workers of all types easier, contact us at TerraHub.  We’re here to help.

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