FabLab pilots innovative virtual reality programme.
Sandwell College students are on the right track for success in the workplace by harnessing the power of virtual reality to start their careers and uncover the secrets to making a positive impact with future employers.
The College’s Fab Lab has partnered up with Bodyswaps to help pilot their innovative new VR and AI software and develop their Career Mindset Development programme which provides simulated workplace experience through roleplay and improvisation.
During the trial, students will have the chance to master their job interview and professional communication skills by taking on a virtual personality and stepping into the shoes of an interviewee in safe and realistic scenarios. Meeting employers in a risk-free, safe setting allows learners to gain confidence, improve their employability skills and get valuable performance feedback before the ‘real’ interview with the newly launched Career App.
Sandwell College’s Fab Lab Manager, Anne Scrimshaw, says: “We are excited to be working with Bodyswaps to help them pilot their innovative new VR software. Through this partnership, students at Sandwell College will become some of the first in the country to trial a fun and engaging new tool to help them develop the soft skills they need for the workplace.”
Bodyswaps CEO, Christophe Mallet, adds: “In today’s climate, it can be especially daunting for anyone just starting out. Employers expect candidates to arrive in the workplace with ready-made soft skills. With Bodyswaps, students get the opportunity to practice and perfect those all-important soft skills in a psychologically safe environment.”
Louise Rowland, Deputy Chief Executive of Ufi VocTech Trust, says: “At Ufi VocTech Trust we know that getting cutting edge technology making a difference for learners requires strong partnerships between innovative ventures like Bodyswaps and educators in colleges and workplaces. This strong partnership with colleges will allow Bodyswaps to support learners to develop their soft and interpersonal skills using Bodyswaps’ distinctive VR-based learning model, bringing the benefits of high-end soft skills training to everybody.”
College staff are excited to implement this into their courses and lessons and said it would be hugely beneficial to learn through this immersive third-person perspective. Colette Sunner teaches several healthcare courses and found Bodyswaps inspiring.
She said: “This is a great resource – a world away from the dreaded ‘role play’. My students will be more engaged with this, and it will help relieve their anxieties as they move from their vocational specialism to careers. It is a safe way of having difficult conversations, especially about creating mentally healthy environments.”
To find out more about Fab Lab at Sandwell College, visit sandwell.ac.uk.