From education to employment

Ufi announces funding for eight new projects to scale up vocational learning

Ufi today announced the eight projects funded as part of VocTech Impact 2017, a fund focused on projects showcasing digital solutions for real workplace skills challenges. As part of its wider aim to improve the skills of the UK workforce, Ufi has offered £2.1 million in funding for projects which use digital technology to change how vocational learning is developed and delivered; and to ‘scale up’ this impact.

The innovative projects, which include app-based training, micro-learning approaches and VR training simulations, will help widen access to vocational learning and bring more learning, to more people, in more places, more of the time.

The innovative projects receiving funding include:

  • Sara Dunn Associates: Micro-learning for care workers
  • National Numeracy: Digital solutions to improve numeracy in the workplace
  • The Open University: An open-access online platform that helps learners develop network engineering skills
  • Sussex Downs College: Online learning platform that awards digital badges as learners develop new vocational skills
  • National Skills Academy for Rail: Mobile, video and app-led learning for rail roles requiring digital skills
  • Kinderly: Personalised bite-sized training matched to the individual’s professional development needs
  • Bridgwater and Taunton College: Real-world and virtual reality workplace simulations providing experiential training for the nuclear sector
  • WhiteHat: Machine learning to support employee-apprentice matching and reduce apprentice drop-out rates

According to PwC’s 2018 CEO Survey, 35% of UK business leaders listed ‘availability of key skills’ as a threat to their organisations’ growth prospects, and as the Brexit process continues, businesses are less able to rely on recruiting overseas workers to plug their skills gap.

Ufi’s VocTech Impact Fund supports projects which take a creative approach to learning tools or delivery models, allowing employers to deliver vocational training without compromising productivity by supporting employees to train in the workplace.

Rebecca Garrod-Waters, Ufi CEO, commented:

“We are delighted to be launching a group of projects which are maximising the opportunity provided by digital tech to really change how vocational learning is developed and delivered. We believe that these new and novel approaches to workplace learning have the potential to raise skills levels for large numbers of learners – either in the workplace or by helping adults into work through gaining job specific skills. The scalability of the tech will ensure that the tools developed by the VocTech Impact projects will not just benefit those trialling the training, but will demonstrate the value of digital solutions to a much wider audience.” More information about each of the projects can be found here.


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