VocTech Specialist - Case Studies Part 2 | Ufi Charitable Trust

VocTech Specialist - Case Studies Part 2

Thursday 7th March 2019

As the Discovery Phase is new for Ufi, the case studies below don't include that element but we hope they provide inspiration for you to come up with your own ideas to meet our criteria for funding. Read our earlier blog which explores some of the thinking behind the #VocTech Specialist call, along with a few examples, here.

Case Study 4: Better Skills, Better Jobs.

Learnium’s project Better Skills, Better Jobs is piloting a collaborative learning platform in the hospitality sector in Newport, Wales. Learnium observed that alongside the low wage/low skills environment in their local economy, companies were struggling to recruit into higher skill/higher wage roles. Their platform aims to triangulate learners looking to upskill, with employers who have a job opportunity AND the training needed to support learners to develop the skills they need to get the job. 

By working with employers who have actual vacancies, to define the skill sets required for the jobs available, this project helps meets Ufi’s ambition to see that skills learned are skills used. 

We are looking for projects which improve the opportunities available to individuals who are disproportionally impacted by the widening gap between the skills employers need and the skills individuals possess, and directly help those learners develop the skills they need to be successful in work. 

Not all learners are equipped to take advantage of training opportunities. Some lack the skills and/or confidence to access vocational learning content that is already available. The entry points for courses may be out of reach because they don’t have the skills, prior learning or language necessary to navigate a complex sign up process or learning pathway.

Case Study 5: Code Your Future

CYF is testing a new way to enable learners to access publicly available learning. Their tool will guide applicants to publicly available coding courses. Targeted at refugees, the project is developing bite-sized instructions to guide applicants through a series of learning cards. Simple algorithms and feedback forms will be used to alter the learning roadmaps of individual applicants to suit their progress and learning levels, along with integrated chat systems to connect applicants with other users in the CYF community.

Case Study 6: The Open Networking Lab

This project, from the Open University, aims to tackle the shortage of people with digital networking skills. In an ever more connected world, these skills are in demand.  But many people already at work have no access to the learning necessary to reskill them to take advantage of these new opportunities.  The Open Networking Lab provides an open platform where learners can develop introductory, practical networking skills through a web-based networks simulation package, developed in partnership with CISCO Systems. Available on a connected device, it can be used at any time, even by those who have no prior networking experience, to help them gain confidence to progress onto further qualifications or upskilling and build awareness of the skill set necessary to access a whole new set of work opportunities.

For the VocTech Specialist Call, projects could propose skills-based development such as this where there is a clear skills gap that identified employers are trying to fill.  the Discovery phase could be used to clarify employer needs and design something with users that could help them get into work. 

Case Study 7: Digital Retail Futures

The growth of online retailing and the decline in high street shopping is creating a structural change in the UK retail sector which impacts on its skills needs. This is impacting on both employers and employees in the sector.  The retailTRUST is testing the development of a digital learning platform which aims to address the skills gaps identified by retailers and targeting employees at risk of redundancy from traditional retail sector jobs.  It is supporting them to upskill and reskill, with an initial focus on digital marketing, digital customer service and warehouse operations. This will help to retain the transferable skills and knowledge of experienced retail staff, but add the new skills sets necessary for new working environments. The retailTRUST’s vision is of a retail sector that is future proofed with a skilled and adaptive workforce, pulling the best of the traditional knowledge and skills through to new digital roles and allowing the workforce to continue to access and progress their careers in retail.

There are other UK sectors, particularly in manufacturing and logistics, where similar skills gaps exist that projects could use the VocTech Specialist Call to explore.

We hope these case studies help you to better understand what we are looking for with VocTech Specialist and allow you to decide if you should apply - but most importantly we hope it gets you thinking about how technology can have a positive impact on both the employer, and the the employee.

In Thursday's blog we will be showcasing four more case studies of project that would have provided a good model for the requirements of VocTech Specialist.

Discover more about VocTech Specialist here, and please sign up to our newsletter for the latest news and updates.

To support our application process we will be hosting two workshops where you can learn more about the fund, meet the team, and have a one-to-one about your project.

Birmingham - Tuesday 12th March 1:30pm

London - 21st March 9:30am

Register to attend a workshop.