See some notable updates from Skillhood below, and succinct versions on our Abstractly profile.
New Skin, Same DNA 🧬
June 9th, 2022
At the end of February, we sold tendo [dot] com (the domain), moving to tendo.id. With this financing, we’ll connect our frontline Skills Wallet to core business functions, transforming employee incentives for applying to good jobs, training on time and demonstrating loyalty.
For June, we’ve built a missing piece in the latest future of work chapter - an open and elastic skills library. This means frontline workers can buy into up- or re-skilling by playing an active role in shaping and gaining a firm understanding of what a specific skill means. A Coffee Skills Library is the pilot for this, built like Wikipedia so that anyone can introduce, edit and validate skills.
Think your Zero Inbox game is well defined? Or your Latte Art credible? Add or edit these skills in the Library before we attach it to the Skills Wallet in July. View Skills Library
Above: how skills and employee accounts feed into an employer’s dashboard
A Time to Skill
September 15th, 2020
The past five months have amplified the need for broader distribution of digital literacy in industry and society. At Tendo, we wrapped our heads around the digital skills agenda, curating a set of essential courses for frontline workers. All of them take place online and most allow candidates to self-enrol for free. Explore Courses
As for hard skills, the strong likelihood of there being high long-term unemployment in Hospitality and Travel will mean that millions of workers will need to shift sectors. In the UK alone there are 100,000 vacancies for social care workers, something that a new course from City & Guilds confronts. Meanwhile, co-ordination from the nascent US-based T3 Innovation Network prepares the way for skills interoperability across sectors - something we're completely behind.
That's all for now. If you're thinking of equipping your team with portable skills accounts to incentivise and reward learning and development, simply reply to this email.
Baristas Furloughed but not Forlorn
May 29th, 2020
By now most companies have provided a response to COVID-19. For Tendo, our evangelisation of on-floor, work-based learning was challenged - if employees couldn't get to work then a channel for training disappears. To confront this, we've been providing access to free online training for furloughed baristas.
Sign-ups from over 150 baristas have given us the user engagement we need to improve Tendo, and a footprint at over 20 coffee shops tees up trials for June. Baristas from a range of cities completed courses, including Birmingham, Boston, London and Leeds - the broad appeal of a career in specialty coffee is clear.
To learn more about how coffee provides a lens to view frontline work during COVID-19, head to tendo.id/coffee.
Closing the Decade
November 19th, 2019
Nobody seems to be talking much about it, but the decade is about to close. This second "bookend" digest looks back on latest product discovery and fundraising, and forwards to workforce trends that inform our outlook for 2020.
Over the summer I took a job waiting tables in Soho's most popular Vietnamese restaurant, Cây Tre. This served as a good opportunity to test the latest app, while gaining insight into how owning a record of skills and hours increases the prospects of a role which pays £8.21 per hour. 450 hours and one toppled Camden Pale Ale later, my Tendo record displays a range of verified skills including Serving Food, Taking Payments and Seating Customers.
Just as we rolled in Autumn, Tendo took its first outside investment and joined Bethnal Green Venture's "Tech for Good" incubator programme. BGV have been investing in impact-orientated companies for a decade now, jumping into the category well before it was cool.
Those plugged into the UK General Election might have noticed the Liberal Democrats insert "Skills Wallets" into their manifesto, mirroring what Kamala Harris has proposed across the pond - financial accounts to store pre-taxed savings to be spent on training. The living wage campaign is gaining momentum, with rates for 2019/20 lifted to £9.30 (national) and £10.75 (London) dictating minimum pay for 6,000 participating companies (210,000 employees). The repositioning of the employee as a vital stakeholder chimes with ESG topics, the post-war backstory to which is outlined in Rick Wartzman's The End of Loyalty.
Right now, we're running a pilot phase to step into Q2, 2020 with a billable product. If you know of companies looking to improve retention among their frontline workforce, please send them our way firstname.lastname@example.org. We've also opened a Pre-Seed Round with near-full SEIS/EIS allocation available, accessible to investors looking at worker tech.
This is the first Tendo Digest, a quarterly email to provide an abridged version of product, distribution and company topics, as well as interesting trends and case studies in frontline work. Digests will be formatted like this email - a couple of scrolls of text and a single image. Of course if these updates aren't for you, don't hesitate to unsubscribe via the link in the footer or find us on social media via @tendowork.
In this first update, it's worth outlining what Tendo does. Over the past year, we've set out to improve economic security for the skilled workforce, while meeting the changing needs of businesses that depend on reliable frontline operators. Our starting point is an app which works as a two-way exchange where employers and employees can mutually share a verified record of hours and skills on a weekly basis. This provides a place for managers and team members to have informed conversations about personalised career pathways, while also incentivising employees to improve data that they may end up porting elsewhere. Create your own personal or business account for free at app.tendo.com to start creating verified credentials.
Accounting for the motives of employers and frontline workers pinches together a number of fascinating, dimensioned worlds. In Brooklyn, New York catering company Emma's Torch train and hire refugees, an approach which is also taken on the West Coast by 1951 Coffee Company in Berkeley, California, and again in Munich by Über den Tellerrand. Over in Baltimore, Maryland the hiring of previously incarcerated citizens is the focus of salvage and materials restoration non-profit, Brick + Board, contributing to the broader "ban-the-box" campaign for returning citizens.
Housing security is being tackled by The Pret Foundation's Rising Stars, a programme that has trained and employed over 450 previously homeless in the UK. Meanwhile in Johannesburg, the ambitious redevelopment of an industrial site has reinvigorated a dwindling downtown neighbourhood. See our "The future of work is happening now" post for more on these case studies and other insights that inform what we do at Tendo.
Tshepo, a jean maker in JohannesburgIn the coming three months, we're working with a handful of hospitality businesses and accrediting agencies to inform our next product development and localisation requirements. Please get in touch to find out if Tendo can help your organisation improve retention by providing firmer foundations for employee engagement. And if you're ever in London, I waiter at a Vietnamese restaurant in Soho and have vegetable spring rolls to share.