VocTech Seed Projects 2016

8 innovative demonstrator projects were chosen for funding through Voctech 2016. Each is piloting a new approach to the use of digital in vocational learning. For more information about each project, click on the title of the projects listed below:


Apprentice Collaboration Platform - Collab Group

Collab Group is a membership organisation, representing 32 Colleges and College Groups who collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders to develop sustainable professional and technical skills to support a transformation in the productive capacity of the UK economy. Supported by, Smashed Crab Studios, the project aims to develop an innovative online, collaborative platform to support high-quality, impactful apprenticeship provision. The platform will enable apprentices, studying at different colleges across the UK, to work together in collaborative projects designed by employers, which develop their digital and online collaboration skills. It will be developed with current apprentices, informed by employers’ views and feedback. As well as supporting the growth of high quality apprenticeships, the project will respond to employers’ concerns about the skills and competencies of new recruits. Digital skills increasingly form a critical part of ‘work-readiness’, with employers requiring and expecting more than just basic digital literacy skills.

Kate Green, Head of Business Development
07862 712283

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Skills Blockchain - Digital Access

Skills Blockchain aims to bring blockchain technology to the vocational skills market for the first time, providing a national ledger of achievement that can be mined, verified and distributed securely. Blockchain is technology built on principles drawn from cryptography, game theory and peer-to-peer networking. This ensures the integrity and security of data by making the ledger available to all participants in the network and by creating a process by which a consensus can be reached in changes to the ledger. Current provision is based around paper based certificates issued by learning providers and awarding organisations. This does not make it easy for employers to validate certification, or for informal learning to be recognised. Lack of a centralised database creates issues around prior learning. By solving these problems and more, Skills Blockchain aims to reduce friction in the labour market and better match employers demand for skills.

Karim Derrick, Chief Academic & Innovation Officer
(0) 20 3735 9125

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FrailtySIM - Fusion48

Fusion48 supports the improvement of care for people living with frailty and complex needs through workforce development, service evaluation and redesign. To increase the reach and impact of their work, they are developing an innovative Virtual Reality based learning product called FrailtySIM. This product is designed to allow staff working in social care services to increase their knowledge of Frailty, develop empathy, and sharpen observational skills in a realistic environment. The learnerled, immersive experience promotes person-centred care and can be carried out at a time and pace to suit the learner’s needs. Deployed for individual or group learning, this innovative application utilises ‘platform agnostic’ software and modern VR hardware, making it flexible and scalable. It opens the world of VR-based vocational learning to a workforce that is pressured for time and struggles to access relevant and effective learning.

Dr Sunil Angris, Co-Director
07813 192542

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Qualify for Success - Greater Manchester Community Chaplaincy

‘Qualify for Success’ uses a ground-breaking combination of ex-offender talent, client understanding, subject know-how, cutting edge technology and the powerful networking capability of open source e-learning to give ex-offenders access to qualifications which will help them into work. It will develop new mechanisms for using video, sound, text and interactive learning methodology to build a tailored learning and assessment environment which breaks down the barriers faced by exoffenders and provides links to wrap-around support to make learning possible.

James Cleary, Project Coordinator
0161 236 2462

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AR/VR Robotics Training Media - Jaguar Land Rover

The project intends to develop a new augmented/virtual reality learning environment that displays fully interactive 3D models of `real world` industrial robots on mobile tablets. The models will provide a realistic training experience as though the trainee was looking at the actual equipment directly in front of them. The learner will be able to view important functional components and interact with key features. This application will be trialled to support the training of the next generation of robot technicians and allows a kinaesthetic trial-and-error learning approach within a safe, cost-effective environment.

Alexander Slaney, Supplier Skills Coordinator
02476 303080

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Wordable - PlayLingo

Wordable Job Packs helps learners whose first language is not English pick up essential English vocabulary used in key work sectors. It’s a fun mobile app that keeps users motivated by blending speed learning techniques and social gaming. The app is produced in partnership with the language learning experts at Cambridge Dictionaries.

Ziad Dajani, Product Lead
07973 282384

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Construction Toolbox - Pontydysgu

The Construction Toolbox project aims to develop a fully scalable, mobile learning platform for students, apprentices and workers in the construction industry. This will capture and record formal and work-based learning in a variety of rich multimedia formats using contextually sensitive mini-apps (‘toolboxes’). These can be triggered contextually providing support at the point of learning. Toolboxes can be created and shared by learners and trainers using a built-in authoring tool based on ‘learning stacks’. The project links the different contexts in which learning takes place – linking formal training to informal learning on construction sites and improving the quality and effectiveness of apprenticeships – providing simple authoring tools for the creation of relevant multi-media learning materials. Construction Toolbox will allow apprentices to share learning, access just-in-time help when they need it and enable them to construct their own work based portfolio, with real time feedback through Learning Analytics. Finally, the project aims to improve the image of training in the construction industry.

Graham Attwell, Director
00 34717 772634

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Game of Zones - RBLI

RBLI provides support for those who have served in the armed forces, especially those with injury or disabilities, with a focus on skills and employment. It provides training and employment opportunities; and uses its experience and expertise beyond the military community to deliver back-to-work programmes across the UK. As part of this work RBLI has developed a prototype web app called Game of Zones which helps people undertake a vocational assessment in just 4 minutes. The product is aimed at those with low confidence and low motivation and has been tested with 450 users to date. Ufi is supporting a validation and development project to further test and refine of Game of Zones, targeting 1,000 unemployed users and directing them towards positive and sustainable vocational choices. In the long term, Game of Zones has the potential to drive thousands of unemployed people towards fulfilling vocational development.

Emma Nugent, Programme Lead
01622 795900

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