Ufi funding AI solution for ‘Just in Time’ training resources for apprentices

Ufi has just announced a further £100,000 of funding through its Manufacturing Skills Fund.  The ‘Making Apprenticeships Work’ project will deliver online training to apprentices in the workplace, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create, curate and consolidate learning content.  The project is led by Youthforce, an experienced provider of STEM apprenticeship training, based on England’s south coast, but with a national reach. Youthforce plans to use Wildfire™’s AI tool to greatly reduce the time and cost of developing learning resources for apprentices.  Together with the ability to reach large numbers through all types of devices, this technique can be delivered as a Just in Time, rapid rollout facility to ensure the learning delivered keeps pace with industry changes, as they occur.

Making Apprenticeships Work will partner with large and SME manufacturers to trial the technology and provide a practical demonstration of how AI can simplify and speed up the creation of digital learning content, bringing effective content creation within the reach of many more organisations.  The project will use this new AI tool to produce effective, personalised, digital vocational learning content from a wide range of training resources created by employers or training providers. Wildfire™ can generate e-learning content automatically from documents, PowerPoint presentations or videos within minutes.  It incorporates automatic links to Wikipedia pages and other external resources, such as YouTube, to adapt and enhance the learning journey based on the learner’s preferences. Using advanced scientific understanding of how learning happens through active learning, retention and recall, Wildfire™ builds content which is more easily retained by the learners, with instant follow up ‘fill in the blank’ activities to reinforce learning.

The training content produced will help apprentices meet the requirements of New Apprenticeship Standards, helping them learn and retain the knowledge and competences for the newly introduced end-point assessment and reducing the risks of drop-out and failure, which is costly for apprenticeship providers, employers and learners.

Commenting on the project, Rebecca Garrod-Waters, Ufi Executive of Ufi, said: “More than ever, employers need access to appropriate, cost-effective training to ensure their employees gain the knowledge and expertise they need to maximise the productivity of their organisations.  Availability of faster, better, cost effective training will be essential if the government target of three million apprentices by 2020 is to be met.

“Wildfire™ is unique in its application of AI in the training sector. We believe that AI has huge scope for widening access to, and improve delivery of, vocational learning. The tool will help reduce costs and lead times associated with developing e-learning resources allowing employers to deliver technical learning quickly, in an engaging way. We are delighted to support this project which will provide a practical example of how AI can support learning in a wide range of organisations and support delivery of cost effective learning to more people.”

Charlotte Blant, CEO at Youthforce, commented: ““Our ultimate goal is to use new technologies to provide the best learning experience for our apprentices and employers. This project enables us to develop and test Wildfire as a tool to making apprenticeships work even better. Our hope is that through working together with Ufi on this project we able to develop a long and sustainable relationship beyond the life of this particular project.”