It has been organised by Dr David Wainwright from the University of Bath's School for Health using volunteers, and will look at what makes a good job, how technology has changed the workplace, and how to develop ways in which to promote well-being.

The project is being run as a two-day conference at Bailbrook House in Bath and is being funded by the Regional Development Agency.

The first day (Wednesday 27 January) will be attended by Dame Carol Black, a leading light in this area of research. The second meeting is on 10 February.

The aim is to develop collaborative partnerships between academics, businesses and health professionals across the South West to find practical ways of improving the health and well-being of workers in the region.

This will be achieved by developing a series of research proposals targeted at key funding agencies. The most promising outline proposals will receive up to £2,000 in funding in order to support the development of a full grant application.

Dr Wainwright said: "Work is a central part of most people's lives, providing income, social contact and a sense of purpose.

"However, in the past when we have thought about the relationship between work and health, we have tended to focus on negative aspects like industrial injuries and stress.

"Dame Carol Black's government review has radically changed our perspective on work and health, recognising that 'good jobs' not only enhance health and well-being, but also bring financial benefits for companies in terms of reduced sick leave and increased productivity.

"The question is, what counts as a 'good job' and what can employers do to promote health and well-being in the workplace?"

The meeting on Wednesday will bring together leading academics and employers from across the South-West region to try to answer these questions.

Dr Wainwright said: "The world of work is rapidly changing as a result of technological innovation and social change.

"It is important that we understand these changes and develop practical ways of ensuring that they promote health and well-being."

Places are limited. Anyone interested in taking part should email Dr Wainwright.