VocTech Seed 2019 Projects | Ufi VocTech Trust

VocTech Seed 2019 Projects

The following projects have been funded through the VocTech Seed 2019 fund.



Animal Care & Welfare Training For The Land-Based For The Land-Based Sector - Herefordshire, Ludlow & North Shropshire College

The college envisaged an opportunity to create, develop, deploy, test and share new Mixed Reality (MR) learning resources that overlay virtual objects onto the real-world environment, in a unique approach to the delivery of animal care & welfare education and training within a rural context. 

The project will develop the deployment of mobile digital technologies within a rural work and training environment, combining these with the creation of small and highly practical MR objects for learning and assessment.  This will facilitate an improvement in student understanding of animal care & welfare in the field and its practical applications. MR objects will be created and developed to meet the specific training needs of animal care & welfare practitioners within the land-based sector.

Contact Name - David Mills, Digital Learning Coordinator
Contact E-mail - millsd@hlcollege.ac.uk
Website - hlcollege.ac.uk


Better Skills, Better Jobs - Learnium

Learnium’s ambition is to develop a new approach to skills development that will engage more learners in upskilling to better paid jobs. The project will focus on hospitality recruitment and training provision. The approach will involve an end to end process of learner recruitment, employer engagement, training and job placement. The innovation is in building a collaborative platform that provides domain skills training, increases engagement, builds collaborative and peer working skills, and engages employers in this process. The platform will incorporate a collaborative pedagogy and machine learning to drive better outcomes. Learnium already supports collaborative learning in HE and will be developing a new product as part of this project suited to the needs of learners with different abilities.

Contact Name - Arun Wilson, Operations
Contact E-mail - arun@learnium.com
Website - learnium.com
LinkedIn - /Company/Learnium
Twitter - @Learnium


C.O.P.S - Virtual Reality Simulation Systems Ltd

The  C.O.P.S  product  was  designed  to  support  the  Police  with  a  new  form  of  vocational training, the Police were looking for a more interactive and engaging way to train new and current staff taking over from the current use of video in their Hydra system. As way to pilot a prototype platform VRSS partners with Gwent Police –here we combined our expertise in creating engaging 3D virtual learning tools with Gwent’s knowledge of the learning required for it’s force. We agreed to build an trial a virtual learning platform which delivered training in  a  CAVE  (Computer  Assisted  Virtual  Environment).  Users  were  dropped  into  various scenarios and were allowed to choose different paths as a way to address incidents as they occurred in the simulation. VR Simulation Systems use a combination of fixed and random scenarios to deliver specific learning objectives. Simulation has been demonstrated to develop situational awareness and decision making with increased knowledge retention, enabling behavioural change.  Our new development  product,  Computer  Operated  Police  Simulator  (C.O.P.S),  is  being  used    to augment technical and non-technical skills for the UK Police. Our simulations combine the use of  Caves  and  Virtual  Reality  headsets  to  ensure  that  users  become  fully  immersed  whilst undertaking specific activities.

Contact Name - Tim Luft
email - tim@vrsimulations.co.uk
Website - vrsimulationsystems.co.uk
LinkedIn -/company/vrsimulationsystems
Twitter -@VRSimSystems


Citizen Literacy App - City Of Glasgow College

Our project is based on the first UK phonics-based adult literacy course accredited by City and Guilds (Entry Level 1), developed and operated by City of Glasgow College (COGC), changing lives across the city and West of Scotland. We want to build upon this success and create a free smartphone app to deliver literacy training in a creative way with technology. The app will feature interactive multimedia gameplay, with handwriting and voice recognition to facilitate user data entry to complete exercises, containing links to local adult literacy training providers. 

The app can be used to support the delivery of F2F phonics-based literacy courses or be used in standalone mode to allow learners to develop at their own pace, overcoming the considerable social stigma that can be attached to low literacy levels. It will provide the foundation for further app development to support new revenue generating F2F literacy courses developed by the COGC and the consortium. 

The main technical component of Citizens Literacy will comprise the development of a smartphone app (iOS & Android) that can be used with or without a user account (to store progress and personalisation). User-generated data can be stored locally or in a cloud database associated with an account. App content data flow size will be small to keep user costs down.

Contact Name - John Casey, Project Manager
Contact E-mail - john.casey@cityofglasgowcollege.co.uk
Website - citizenliteracy.com
Twitter - @citizen-literacy


Developing Technical Skills For Manufacturing Through Digital Learning - Fashion Enter

A major skills gap has been identified for garment construction and the required technical skills to create garments to the correct client spec. The industry fails to attract newcomers and relies on imported labour mainly from the EU (Sector Skills Council). Since Brexit there has been a net decrease of workers into the UK of 70,000 people and this has had a damaging effect on the revival and growth of garment manufacturing in the UK.  

Fashion Flyers (interactive resource) within a blended learning programme will create a bridge for learning, that can be remotely accessed.  ABC Awards (now SEG) confirmed that their fastest growing qualification is the level 1 Award in Textiles (Stitching) which FEL wrote with ABC in 2010. Students will follow the standard curriculum for the Level 1 ABC award but parts of the complex technical units will be embedded through interactive videos. 

An interactive resource will be based on the learner understanding how to set up and use industrial sewing machines correctly and safely. The product FEL will produce will create a training environment that is deliberately contravening SMETA and Fast Forward audit rules. Using existing machinists the script will be developed to ensure that a wide cross section of mistakes will be videoed that will be identified by the  learner by either touching the app on mobile phones or dragging the mouse on PCs. Examples of mistakes will include incorrect lighting, incorrect machine threading, tight stitch tensions, incorrect machine oil levels, long hair not tied back, wearing jewellery, snips not attached to the machine, needle guard not in use, incorrect posture and chair, lose leads, old machines, excess use of lint on machines, untidy work area, machine draws open et al. In order to identify each mistake, the learner must touch the screen at the appropriate place to answer the question correctly.

Contact Name - Chantelle Raymond
Contact E-mail - chantelle@fashion-enter.com
Website - fashioncapital.co.uk
LinkedIn - /company/fashion-enter
Twitter - @FashionCapital


Gamification In Construction - The Manchester College

This gamification product aimed at construction learners will engross the most difficult to engage learners, developing their digital and transferable employability skills through tasks and activities set within a real world of work virtual environment.  

Getting access to a live, working construction site for a group of students can take considerable time and planning for construction departments. As a result, students can’t spend as much time experiencing the real world of construction as educators would like. This product software bridges the gap between education and the real world of construction, giving students the opportunity to fully explore the environment, tools, materials, machinery and building techniques of a virtual construction site.   

Through increasingly challenging tasks learners will build increasingly complex structures, from simple single storey buildings (a shed or a bungalow) to super structures. They will be able to realise their constructions through the effective application of skills, such as creative thinking and problem-solving.  

Through a range of platforms learners will be able to access the application at home, in college workshops, or at work through their own mobile devices and they will be able to share and develop their outcomes with their peers.  

Contact Name - Lauren Collins, Communications Manager
Contact E-mail - communications@ltegroup.co.uk
Website - tmc.ac.uk
LinkedIn - /company/the-manchester-college
Twitter - @TheMcrCollege


Infinity Generator - South Devon College

South Devon College has developed an interactive teaching and learning tool that hyper-contextualises maths problems related directly to vocational careers.

The next step is to expand this project to make it more accessible to more learners on a wide variety of courses.

The  App  will  be  developed  as a  cross platform mobile web app which will ensure maximum  accessibility  for  the  end  users, including offline functionality.

Contact Name - Karen Rudkin
Contact E-mail - karenrudkin@southdevon.ac.uk
Website - southdevon.ac.uk
LinkedIn - /company/south-devon-college
Twitter - @sdcollege


Mechanic Matchup - South West College

Beginner mechanics are tasked with learning procedures, they typically learn by using written material or by watching a mechanic show them the procedure. For many learners this is a less than ideal way to learn the sequences required before attempting the actual procedure. Research shows that VR is an effective tool for training. Currently VR is most suited to training cognitive skills related to remembering spatial and visual information and knowledge (Schöne, B., Wessels, M. & Gruber, T. Current Psychology 2017).  

Within the modern classrooms there are more distractions than ever, students routinely check their phones distracting them from the learning experience. VR training allows for isolation and freedom from distractions as the users are totally immersed inside the headset. The more engagement and interactivity the user experiences the less they feel the urge to procrastinate.

Mechanic Matchup is an immersive training system that trains players how to conduct motor vehicle maintenance procedures in a competitive virtual reality game. Using the latest VR technology we plan to use a game based teaching method to train naive and experienced mechanics how to conduct multiple procedures.    

[VR also has the advantage of teaching learners potentially dangerous tasks within a simulated environment. If a player becomes overwhelmed or makes too many mistakes, they can easily take off the headset and try again. This makes VR ideal for usage within pressurised environments such as a garage.]  

Contact Name - Clair McKenna, Marketing Manager
Contact E-mail - clair.mckenna@swc.ac.uk
Website - swc.ac.uk
LinkedIn - /school/south-west-college
Twitter - @swccollege


Spotless - Solutions 42

Infection outbreaks are like fires, they don’t happen frequently but when they do, the situation is an emergency. They require dealing with promptly and effectively, to prevent catastrophic outcomes of avoidable deaths. Emergencies like these, require practicing actions and developing the skills necessary for containment before the situation arises. This is what project ‘Spotless’ aims to do. ‘Spotless’ project intends to use scenario-based e-learning, contextualised to the learner’s environment (in this instance a care home) instead of just producing compliance e-learning. The learner will find themselves having to immediately decide how they are going to manage the hygienic care of a resident and the surrounding environment, when that resident just vomited in a communal dining area. Not only will this engage the learners mentally but also collaboratively, as they will begin to consider their local policies, systems and processes as well as the part they play in the outcome and within the team. The learner can choose as they are going through the scenes at what point they wish to access additional learning resources such as; video tutorials, job aids, reference links and other guides.

Contact Name - Becky Hill
Contact E-mail - rebecca@solutions-42.com
Website - solutions-42.co.uk
LinkedIn - /company/solutions-42-limited
Twitter - @Solutions_42


Tech For Textiles - Blackburn College

Blackburn College and employers will work in partnership to create and enhance current technology and approaches for training skills in the Textiles industry.  Through the use of cutting-edge technologies in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), this project looks to bring core training manuals to life, that illustrate working practice and enable learners to continue developing their skills in an interactive self-paced manner. 

Having identified three key areas where skill development in this sector need to be addressed, AR and VR have been proposed as possible solutions for developing an interactive learning package. These technologies have the potential to enable learners to remotely immerse themselves in the workplace, building their understanding and experience of their potential future job role. Furthermore, these technologies will also enhance in-classroom learning by providing support to teachers, allowing learners to engage in more self-driven learning sessions. Utilising a bespoke technical solution, especially technology accessible from learners own devices, will improve engagement, understanding and perception of the modern textile industry.

(awaiting contact details)


The NYA Learning Hub - The National Youth Agency

The NYA Learning Hub will provide a vocational learning platform and collaborative learning space for the UK Youth Work Sector. Workforce development within the Sector is limited and the number of qualified youth workers continues to fall while the need for the specialist skills they require increases at a significant rate. Added to this there is little opportunity for learning to underpin career progression or indeed to enable the many volunteers working with young people to gain the skills they need to access vacancies for paid employment within the Sector. Our project will combine NYA’s expertise in working with young people and understanding of their needs and the learning needs of those supporting them with the digital expertise of Agylia to develop the NYA Learning Hub and pilot this with 100 individuals working with young people from 4 specific sectors – Public Sector (e.g. local authorities); Third Sector (youth and community organisations) Uniformed Services (Police Cadets) and Sports Clubs (Premier League).

Contact Name - Lisa Putnam
Contact E-mail - lisap@nya.org.uk
Website - nya.org.uk
LinkedIn - /company/the-national-youth-agency/
Twitter - @natyouthagency


The Open Networking Lab Accessibility Project - The Open University

Nationally, there are over 2 million people with sight loss, with 360,000 registered as blind or partially sighted. Approximately 25% of those with partial sight loss are employed, but this decreases to 10% for those who are blind. There is an urgent need to enable blind and visually impaired people to gain better access to the job market.

This project will allow visually impaired learners to acquire basic computer networking skills through the use of accessible network simulation software. To achieve this we will build upon and extend an established network simulation tool to offer an accessible interface for conducting network simulations. We will collaborate with the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC), members of the vision impaired and broader disability community, and accessibility specialists at The Open University (OU) to identify user requirements and test the new developments. This project aligns with the UK Government Education Technology Strategy (03/04/19) to use ‘innovative tech to level the playing field for people with special educational needs and disabilities – identifying the technology that best suits individual needs’

Contact Name - Dr Karen Kear, Deputy Head, School of Computing & Communications
Contact E-mail - karen.kear@open.ac.uk
Website - open.ac.uk
LinkedIn - /School/theopenuniversity
Twitter - @OpenNetLab


Wildlife Skills Delivered By Remote Vocational Training - Ambios

WildSkills is a nature conservation training vocational skills training package, delivered remotely into a learner’s own environment. Through the loan of wildlife survey equipment, supported by access to enriched online training materials and live training broadcasts learners can take the time needed to gain competence in specialist professional skills. Learners can then demonstrate their new skills by contributing data to citizen science networks and uploading examples of their work to an online platform, leading them to quality assured recognition linked to endorsements from employers and professional bodies.


Contact Name - Simon Roper
Contact E-mail - simonroper@ambios.net
Website - ambios.net
Twitter - @AmbiosLtd