Are you looking for a job? This virtual reality mobile app will help you!
28th July 2021
A European consortium including six institutions from five countries is designing a mobile application to help citizens - namely the youngest - looking for jobs. Through gamification techniques, this virtual reality application will be able to identify the attributes and skills of unemployed young people, and combine them with the specifications of a given profession, guiding them to jobs that meet their profile. The Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC) represents Portugal in the consortium.
The idea behind the Life Skills VR project - Life Skills for Employment in COVID-19 Era through VR Innovation, appeared during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a consequence of the increase in the unemployment rate across Europe - currently at 8% (according to Eurostat data). This application is an alternative to vocational tests, combining gamification techniques and Holland's model (or RIASEC), which defines six types of personalities/environments: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional.
“Vocational tests have been used for a long time; however, they are not sufficiently comprehensive and their results do not go beyond the presentation of interest areas”, stated the Center for Factories of the Future (C4FF) to the Erasmus UK National Agengy. The proposed solution also seeks to fill the gaps in the current models of vocational tests, offering a tool that is sufficiently engaging and appealing to younger generations. “By creating a virtual atmosphere and asking the target-audience to test the RIASEC code in this environment, we have the opportunity to apply the experience and knowledge gained in the real world, and create a variety of situations in the virtual world”, said Demetrius Lacet, researcher at INESC TEC's hub at Universidade Aberta.
This application will be able to identify the users' skills and vocation, guiding them while they search for jobs, simultaneously promoting the acquisition of new skills. “Moreover, this tool is expected to help the users develop some soft skills, namely teamwork, time management, problem-solving or dealing with errors”, added António Coelho, head of the project at INESC TEC and professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP).
INESC TEC is the entity responsible for testing the application in the national territory. The Portuguese version of the app should be tested in 2023 by employment agencies, career guidance centres, non-governmental organisations, universities and other institutions that provide training. Italy, Greece and the United Kingdom will also carry out pilot tests.
In addition to INESC TEC, the project includes the following partners: Center for Factories of the Future (UK) (project leader), IDEC (AINTEK A.E.) (GR), Fondazione Polo Universitario Grossetano and ARTES 4.0 - Advanced Robotics and Enabling Digital Technologies & Systems (IT) and Mediterranean Maritime Research and Training Center (MLT). The project received approximately €300K of funding through the ERASMUS+ programme.
About Erasmus +
Erasmus+ is the European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020. It aims to modernise education, training and youth work across Europe. The programme is managed in the UK by the Erasmus+ UK National Agency, which is a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.
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Porto - July 28, 2021