Skills Development Scotland has won the UK Career Development Award for Best Use of Technology in Career Development.
The win was for Virtual Reality Careers in Construction, developed through SDS’s My World of Work Live! programme with partners the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), Heriot-Watt University and Animmersion UK Ltd.
The three mini games use Virtual Reality to highlight career opportunities within the construction sector.
The programme has also launched a free app on the Google Play Store called Virtual Project Manager. It takes young people inside an animated 3D world where they are in charge of building new homes.
My World of Work Live! is a set of interactive exhibits and activities designed to inspire young people’s interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
The awards are run by the Career Development Institute and aim to promote excellence in career development, as well as celebrating successes in the profession and were handed out at a ceremony in Leeds last night.
My World of Work Live! work at the Digital Studio and Careers Lab in SDS’s careers centre in Inverness was also nominated in the Best Use of Technology category.
Louise Chisholm, My World of Work Live! Senior Programme Manager said: “Every free, fun My World of Work Live! experience is about hands-on learning – building, making, designing – and makes the best use of the latest technology to engage and inspire.
“To see the programme nominated twice this year is a testament to the innovative work of the SDS team and our partners to inspire young people’s interest in STEM careers.”
John Keenan, CITB Scotland’s Partnerships Manger said: “What a fantastic achievement to have the app recognised in this way. Well done to everyone involved in making it possible.
“We hope that it will enable young people to experience construction and inspire them to get involved in the development of Scotland’s built environment in the future.”
Dr Frédéric Bosché, Associate Professor, Heriot-Watt University said: “Getting young people excited about STEM careers requires us to better communicate the range of careers on offer, using the tools and technologies they consider exciting.
“We believe that the VR games developed through this collaborative project successfully achieve both. The games develop a practical understanding of what different construction disciplines are actually about; this should help young people make better-informed decisions about their learning and training, and ultimately their selection of professional careers.”
Sam Harrison, Director of Animmersion UK Ltd said: “Working on this project with the three partners was a very rewarding experience. We were able to develop innovative new ways of bringing educational messages and content to a young audience and the results are truly remarkable. The use of virtual reality as a means of educational and training engagement offers boundless possibilities.”
SDS’s Developing Pathways for Young Talent in CIAG programme picked up a nomination in the Investing in Continuing Professional Development (Large Company) category.
Roseann Ellison, SDS Young Talent Programme Manager said: “As Scotland’s national skills agency we have a crucial role to play in ensuring we have enough skilled and qualified career professionals to support our customers.
“A key part of the SDS Young Talent Programme is supporting trainee Careers Advisers to develop their knowledge and skills while undertaking practical on-the-job training and professional development.
“To have that work recognised by the UK Career Development Awards is a huge honour.”
Danny Logue, SDS Operations Director said: “SDS is passionate about skills development and its contribution to a modern, innovative and prosperous Scottish economy.
“I want to thank the Career Development Institute for recognising our hard work at these awards.”