Voctech Impact fund closing soon – we need your ideas for building the UK skills stock!

Early this year, Nesta’s website carried an article from their Chief Executive, Geoff Mulgan, where he emphasised the importance of thinking about the UK ‘stock of learners’ made up of adult skills and older workers, as well as the ‘flow of learners’ in the form of young people entering the system. 

This was part of wider thoughts on change in 2017 and beyond and the article talked of ‘the winds of automation will blow through our economies in the next decade or two’ and of differing estimates of potential impact on job losses. Geoff Mulgan’s view, like ours at Ufi, was that there is no doubt that we will see massive changes in how people work across all sectors, from manufacturing to services and the professions.  This is inevitable as digital technology becomes embedded throughout work processes, through what many are calling the new Industrial Revolution. Geoff Mulgan was optimistic that this might herald a new focus on adult education and retraining and a renewed recognition of how low adult skills reduce life chances for individuals and the economic productivity more widely. 

This resonated strongly here at Ufi – we know that digital technology is already generating significant changes in how we all work.  We believe that digital technology can also be part of the solution – that the power of digital technology can be harnessed to change how people learn and build the skills they need for work now and in the future – and on a large scale.

Our VocTech Impact 2017 fund offers a real opportunity to do just this – to bring forward projects that can make a real difference to the ways in which people learn and to the numbers of people gaining new skills, by using digital technology.

By demonstrating how digital technology can provide new, large scale solutions to vocational learning challenges, we hope that those who commission and purchase training; and who determine policy for adult skills will increasingly see digital tech as part of the answer, not as a problem.

Ufi’s Voctech Impact 2017 fund closes on 28 February.  If you have an idea for a project, register on our website, read the guidance and start filling in that form.  If you can see a way to start transforming vocational learning and building the UK stock of skills, we really want to know about it see it!