For years I've been wanting to push boundaries and challenge the status quo, and that's exactly where we are with Skill Bursts; taking the gamification of learning apps like DuoLingo and applying it to employability skills and then, what's really exciting... rewarding players with opportunities into real-time future-focussed jobs and training.
Rewards are not your typical badges and high scores, but nudges like ‘hey you’re doing great, Bridgend College have a construction course, or NDEC are running a Cyber Camp or Newport Wafer Fab have an apprenticeship they want you to apply for’.
The more they play, the more skills are acquired, the more opportunity nudges they receive.
Unlike anything else in this space it provides a timely intervention in a bite-sized and gamified way. We can get these nudges into the hands of Generation Z and move the needle early enough to send them on a trajectory that will benefit them and the local skills economy.
Through gaming we can nudge school leavers into pathways leading to better jobs closer to home and in to the emerging, priority and growth sectors that have significant skill gaps.
A school leaver that does not go to university is less likely to leave their hometown, right?
That is the most critical time, if we can capture them at this point and nudge them towards local sectors, their careers trajectory changes and so does the quality of their future.
It also improves the skills in the local talent pool and economy by upskilling our own people. Lynette Thomas at the Open University claims that ‘employers in Wales are spending millions a year on the skills shortage, it is not sustainable, but a pipeline of young talent nudged early enough, is.
For me it is about being hyperlocal focussed and opening doors to emerging, growth and priority sectors that will have jobs over the next 10, 20 years.
There are local opportunities that can lead to a fulfilled and skilled future, but it needs to start with raising the awareness and showing Generation Z that they exist close to home.
Showcasing roles in London or Manchester to a 17yr old in Porth will not move the needle. It will not mean anything to a school leaver in Aberystwyth or a girl on a construction course in Bridgend.
There are some incredible apps in this space that have IBM, Vodaphone, HSBC etc as partners in big UK cities, which looks good for your brand right? But we are forgetting that 95% of businesses are Micro (0-9 employees) and these are the employers that are right in these young people’s communities, on their doorstep, that cannot compete with being seen against the ‘big guys’ or tend to rely on ‘who they already know’.
We are doing it differently, the opposite to what the big guys and platforms are doing and that is how we intend to make an impact, using intelligent gamified experience at hyperlocal level to move young people towards employment and training in every community, village, and town in the Wales and ultimately the UK and beyond.
There is no doubt that skills are the employee currency of the future and young people have an ability to accelerate their skill sets far faster than those that came before them.
This ‘bitesize’ generation is coming of age and the way skills are acquired will change everything that has come before.
67% of Generation Z are mobile gamers and training through gamification has a 184% higher completion rate than those that did not. It is at this intersection of gaming and learning that Skill Bursts can exist to feed into that desire for instant gratification and rewards that is synonymous with this on-demand digital-native generation.
We are reaching into their current digital behaviour to reinvent the way school leavers engage with opportunities- quite literally a game changer!
This has not been done before, it is a great project on co-creation listening and learning from employers, sector leaders and the young people themselves.
First, it is about launching a beta list at skills.mifuture.co.uk and gaining more feedback and involvement before launching.
We are thrilled to have Careers Wales as a sponsor of the initial Problem-Solving Skill Bursts and helping us reach school leavers across Wales. This will be crucial in tackling a gamified UX that inspires a digital native generation, and I am most excited about getting the volume of users for us to truly test, learn and improve on this.
Soon we'll be including more sectors at this early stage to work together to further challenge and reward Generation Z by unlocking right exciting career opportunities.
Early movers, lets go!
We are always keen on collaboration and working together. We want to work with education, industry, EdTech and policy influencers to make this happen and put us all out on the leading edge in the skills economy. So please make contact if you want to be involved.
Purpose fuels a crusade. Innovation never stops. Disruption is inevitable… So let’s fire it up! 🔥🔥
Gem Hallett, CEO.
May 7, 2021
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