VocTech Seed Case Study: Engineering Apprentice's Mate | Ufi Charitable Trust

VocTech Seed Case Study: Engineering Apprentice's Mate

Blog by Stephen Hinde, Community Manager for Ufi VocTech Trust. Wednesday 8th January 2020.

Late 2019 was the announcement of our funding calls for 2020 with the first being VocTech Seed - a funding round that offers £15k to £50k in grant funding for early-stage ideas and proof of concepts that change how adults in the UK access and develop work related skills using technology in innovative ways.

While the funding call requirements and information on ufi.co.uk give insight in to what we are looking for, and who could apply, it is often only when we talk about specific examples of previously funded projects that it starts to have more context.

The video case study below of GTA England's project with Ufi is a great example of making learning more efficient as well as showing life after our VocTech Seed funding had ended.

The Problem

The problem was relatively simple to identify – training wasn’t as efficient as it could be due to the fact there was one trainer and up to 8 apprentices learning how machinery works. 

Teaching would typically be delivered on a one-to-one basis which meant the first person would learn first and then wait for the other 7 to have their one-to-one hands-on training, with those at the end having to wait for the instructor to teach the other apprentices first.

The Idea

When GTA England, working with PETA Training & Consultancy (Portsmouth), approached us for funding to develop a point-and-play augmented reality learning platform we thought it could vastly improve outcomes for both the tutor and the apprentice. 

GTA’s VocTech Seed project was to prove that learning in engineering could be better improved by ensuring that every apprentice had a tool in their hands to support their learning before, during, and after being taught how to operate the machinery. 

The app recognises which machine it is being pointed at and then overlays augmented learning materials in the form of readable media, images, and videos – without the need for QR codes or stickers.

The Future

Since proving the concept works, GTA England have now moved in to a second phase which will enable anybody to create and publish their own augmented reality learning - even without programming skills.

In this video you can hear from the applicants, the developers, the apprentices, and the tutors on what Engineering Apprentice's Mate does, how it helps, and what's next for the innovation.



To discover more about VocTech Seed please visit ufi.co.uk/seed where you can discover more about the fund, find out when our pre-funding webinars are, and when our pre-funding workshops are - which give you a chance to discuss your project one-to-one with a member of the Ufi team.

Connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up to date with funding rounds and more examaples of innovative uses of digital technology in vocational education.