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Community Update: Autumn 2021

Gem Hallett

November 1, 2021

Hey miFuture Community

It's time to accelerate our Skill Bursts innovation.

In Skill Bursts™ we have an exciting opportunity to nudge young people onto pathways to better jobs closer to home – in their local priority sectors with significant skill needs for growth.

Since 2015 miFuture has iterated from an online platform to an award-winning app, on a journey driven by 2500 young people in South Wales. As you know we have never stopped iterating and this is our biggest one yet...

We now shift gear for a significant innovation leap in the form of Skill Bursts™. This first of its kind 'play games - match with jobs' experience, co-created with our audience, is now ready to take to hyperlocal pilot and validate the future of gamification in the careers process.

In 2018 we begun exploring gamification, instant gratification, and reward systems as a way of unlocking and nudging young people towards employment and training in local priority sectors. Learning from our digital-native mobile-first audience we conceptualised an innovation that would merge the world of mobile gaming, EdTech and labour market information, to allow school leavers to hone the skills needed by key sectors, increase their awareness and confidence, and have fun as they navigate towards an exciting future-fit world of work.

Last year this concept was a finalist for Nesta and Department of Education ‘Career Tech Challenge’. We explored how technology can be harnessed to ensure future workers can navigate an ever-changing labour market over the coming decades. We shared in a £1.2 million programme for innovators to ‘develop data-driven solutions which help people understand the labour market and unlock employment opportunities of the future’. We were able to dedicate significant research and development time to building a Skill Bursts™ prototype.

In December 2020, Careers Wales approached us to collaborate and joined our effort by sponsoring our first Problem Solving skill game, which provided invaluable insight and feedback. The next agreed step is to participate in a controlled hyperlocal pilot to use Skill Bursts™ with young Careers Wales service users.

 🚀 Here we go

We are now at that stage, and miFuture's core product will continue to tick over but on a scaled back level as focus shifts to this pilot, and integration of both platforms will begin in late 2022.

In preparation for a hyperlocal pilot we have built relationships with stakeholders in the Cardiff Capital Region, Valleys Taskforce, Tech Valleys, education and key sectors. Based on the appetite from stakeholders I am thrilled to pilot and measure impact right here in a local authority in the south wales valleys.

We'll validate our assumptions that:

                       A) We can raise awareness of viable career options in hyperlocal priority sectors through the gamification of employability skills

                        B) Provide a skills marketplace for local priority sectors to tap into a Generation Z audience and talent pipeline.

Such an innovation is timely given the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on young people’s prospects globally. In a world where skills needs are constantly changing, there is a clear requirement to connect young people with real-time local employment, vocation, and apprenticeship pathways: Skill Bursts™ is the innovation to break new ground for an afflicted digitally native generation and help achieve that.

There are many exciting challenges ahead, and over the next eight months we'll be working hard to lay foundation for our ambitious vision...

🤩 Thinking Big

Skills are the currency of the future; globally we are seeing a rapid shift from the traditional education economy to a skills economy, and we've been positioning ourselves on the leading edge of the skills agenda to put Generation Z on the forefront of their local skills economy. Our geolocation focus allows us to think global but act hyperlocal, because it's valued employment and training in their communities and regions where real impact and upward mobility occurs.

To compete effectively in today’s global economy, confidence in a highly skilled, adaptable, and dependable workforce is essential. Supply of local skills is one of the key considerations for any business deciding where to locate its operations, a pipeline of informed future-fit young talent is of huge importance to how the local economic region and growth sectors perform... again stressing the importance of hyperlocal solutions.

This pilot will lay the foundations to support a generation of young people towards employability and prosperity. It is my ambition to start by supporting a prosperous Wales that provides opportunity for all, and a vibrant young workforce is a clear and tangible link to the growth of priority sectors and national economy. Beyond that, well, we'll fire it up to tackle a global youth underemployment and economic skill need, and having some fun in doing it!

Purpose fuels a crusade.  Innovation never stops. Disruption is inevitable… So let’s fire it up! 🔥🔥

Gem Hallett, CEO.

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