In a bid to bridge the global skills gap and enable the youth of today to develop the career skills employers are asking for, Dev Clever, pioneers of VR careers platform LaunchYourCareer.com, announce their acquisition of UK education business The Inspirational Learning Group (TILG).
The expansion comes at a crucial time. As the world attempts to recover from the pandemic, young people need a chance to connect directly to potential future employers. TILG will not only enrich Dev Clever’s skills offering but complement its existing development platforms and partnerships.
Founded in 2016, TILG helps young people make decisions about their future by providing meaningful engagement with employers and programmes that build soft skills for the workplace. This includes The National Enterprise Challenge (TNEC), which is endorsed by ambassadors such as Theo Paphitis.
As the EdTech market grows, demand for a versatile careers platform ensures Dev Clever are primed to attract millions of users: schools, learners, employers. Combined with its notable partnerships with Lenovo, NISA, and Aldebaron, marketing at scale to a wider, global audience is a surefire deal.
Focus: Closing the Global Skills Gap
The skills gap is becoming a global crisis. It’s estimated 69% of employers have difficulty filling vacancies due to candidates lacking hard and soft skills for these roles. According to the World Economic Forum, closing the global skills gap could add US$11.5 trillion to global GDP by 2028.
Regarding young people, they need more opportunities to take part in real-life business activities to acquire these skills. Problem is that access to work experience is vanishing. A Prospects survey highlights this by revealing how only 17% of learners gained experience in the last 12 months.
To aggravate the issue, it’s predicted, in the UK alone, there will be a shortfall of 2.5 million skilled workers by 2030. What can be done? Career platforms must evolve with the shifting labour market, such as changes in technology, the workplace, or, recently, the landscape due to the pandemic.
With the widespread capabilities of TILG, and the recent procurement of Veative Labs, Dev Clever is evolving to meet these changes and help young people to attain the skills employers need, alongside their education, to bridge the growing global skills gap and aid economic recovery.
Creation of the Careers Challenge
Acquiring TILG will bring education and industry together. The company’s skills days have a 91% approval rating, and its flagship TNEC – a real-life business challenge – has facilitated over 300,000 students to develop key employability skills, such as teamwork, communication, and leadership.
From these foundations, Dev Clever will launch its National Careers Challenge (NCC), which aims to make careers discovery rewarding for Year 6 – Year 11 learners. It’s a potent move in the EdTech sector to merge TNEC with virtual work experiences and live assessments to bridge the skills gap.
The NCC will be a keystone of Dev Clever’s careers ecosystem – a network for employers, schools and learners. It’ll enable employers globally to market their business, demystify their sector, and connect to learners via virtual encounters. It’s a prime opportunity to address the skills pipeline.
The learner experience can be enhanced with social peer support, personality testing, and engagement tools, such as VR, to gamify their careers journey and ignite their passion in relatable ways. This unique style makes it easier to expand a learner’s skillset and connect them to suitable employers.
Learners can record their interactions, encounters, and any skills they’ve acquired on their online passports. It’s a safe space they can share with teachers and feedback can be sent to employers. It’ll also work nicely with NCC to so learners can swiftly present to employer their job-ready skills.
Creating work and skill-based opportunities worldwide
The NCC will be available to all young students in the UK by the end of Q4 2021. Once launched, learners will gain instant access to an extensive employer hub filled with valuable experiences, tours, webinars, and insightful video content to build skills and make decisions for their future.
Likewise, organisations will be able to deliver personalised talent assessment and virtual work experience programmes. Moreover, young people will be encouraged to engage in NCC for the chance to secure traineeships, apprenticeships, and scholarships with sponsoring businesses.
In the New Year, Dev Clever plans to release its NCC programme globally. Staring in India via its alliance with the National Independent School Alliance (NISA). The move could see 1.5 million schools and up to 280 million students taking part in the first Indian National Skills Challenge.
Working together with the newly acquired team at TILG, Dev Clever anticipates widespread rollout of its career challenge in the next three years. Swiftly integrating TILG’s operations and expertise can ensure emerging market territories gain access to an innovative careers and education content.
In addition, the experience Dev Clever has attained from creating hundreds of digital experiences for global brands and educators via its platform Engage can now, through the NCC competition, be used to produce engaging virtual work programmes for brands and employers onboarding globally.
Chris Jeffries, CEO Dev Clever, said:
“Adding the Career Challenge initiative with Dev Clever’s leading careers platform will further enhance our ecosystem. Our ability to connect employers with relevant pre-selected talent will be significant and should result in much reduced friction for students identifying, finding, and securing their first job. This is a substantial development, and we are very much looking forward to swiftly integrating TILG’s operations and bringing the Career Challenge in the first instance to the UK and India and thereafter to other large emerging market territories.”
Michael and Ben Dyer, co-founders, The Inspirational Learning Group, added:
“We are delighted to be joining Dev Clever which will supercharge the collective offering to young people and will be a great step towards bridging the skills gap. The work we have done at TILG over the past 5 years has seen us go from an innovative idea to the largest schools’ enterprise challenge in the UK. The work that Dev Clever is doing is revolutionary and bringing our expertise together in this marketplace will allow us to offer schools and employers all over the world an excellent offering in careers guidance and educational content.”