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When we launched Renewal in the heatwave summer of 2013, our express goal was that the Conservative Party should be seen as the ‘workers’ party’, unapologetically being on the side of working people. And with policy moves like the Northern Powerhouse and the National Living Wage, the Party is going a long way to make that a reality.

Now, with Labour’s catastrophic doubling down into the obsessions of Islington and its election of Jeremy Corbyn, Conservatives can take this opportunity to win over what were once loyal Labour voters. Put simply, the votes of the patriotic working class, now disengaged from Labour, but still sceptical about some of the market liberal elements of Conservatism, are up for grabs and whichever party can show itself to be genuinely on the side of working people can reap a richdividend. If the Conservatives can do this, then they can win a far bigger majority at the next election.

A political party that shows it is on the side of workers will need to show how they can ensure that the next generation workplace is one in which workers feel engaged and empowered. An economy that is still too dominated by low pay and low skilled jobs should become an economy that is dominated by high paid and high skilled jobs. Equally, an economy where too many workers see their pay cheque disappearing in rent needs to be an economy where more people are on the housing ladder, rather than being stuck in poor quality private rented accommodation.

The most successful workplaces in the future will be those where workers feel empowered and engaged in the future direction of the company. The British workplace should be one that boasts high skilled, empowered workers, with both government and employers investing to make sure that workers are highly skilled in the skills needed in today’s workplace. The UK needs to be the world leader in engineering and technology, for example, rather than continuing to trail many of our major competitors.

The future British workplace should be one defined by what Zenyep Ton of MIT described as the “Good Jobs” strategy. Firms should realise that pruning margins and cutting costs isn’t a sustainable route to success in an economy where the highly skilled companies and countries will prosper. Instead, the most successful companies will be those who invest in training their staff and boosting their skills and regard a well-paid workforce as a more productive one that will be loyal to the company and its goals.

A successful political party in this new environment will also be one that is comfortable with the language of social justice and compassion – driven by a moral imperative that no individual and no part of the economy should be left behind. The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ should be expanded to help revive those towns and villages that have been struggling since deindustrialisation in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. And both government and employers should ensure that people don’t become stuck in low-paid work for a prolonged period of time.

Conservatives should think twice before endlessly complaining about ‘regulation’ in the workplace. Of course, some regulation is excessive, but some of the ‘regulation’ that is attacked is that which enables workers to spend more time with their families, to be treated fairly by their employers and to have a reasonable work-life balance.

Equally, Conservatives shouldn’t sound unremittingly hostile to the role of trade unions in the workplace. As Nissan in Sunderland, the most productive car plant in Europe, has shown, effective cooperation between unions and management means a workforce with higher morale and a more productive workplace. Politicians should be talking more about how unions can play a more constructive role in the workplace, ensuring that workers feel more engaged in how their companies are run. Such a shift would also help trade unions become more relevant in the private sector, where they have become an endangered species.

The future workplace presents fundamental challenges and opportunities for politicians and political parties. The most successful will be those who are seen as pro-business, pro-worker and pro-opportunity, combining economic competence with a compassionate belief in social justice. Conservatives should take advantage of the gap opened by the Corbyn fiasco to park themselves squarely in this space, showing that they can be the party of the factory worker just as much as they can be the party of the small business owner.

Conservatives should remember that there is no inevitability that Labour will perpetually lack economic credibility and be led with somebody who is universally regarded as unsuitable to lead the country. Tories should use the next few years to show that they can be the party fundamentally on the side of workers in the new workplace, just as Labour reheat outmoded platitudes from a bygone age.

David Skelton is the Director of Renewal. He originally wrote this piece for Bright Blue’s Centre Write magazine on the future of work.