Simulated Virtual Internships
Developed at The University of Cambridge
Many young people looking for their first job are challenged by lack of work experience. This challenge will only grow as automation continues to make jobs obsolete.
In the UK alone, around 20% of all workers are considered at high risk of being replaced by machines.
COVID has only accelerated the trend towards new employment possibilities, new categories of jobs being created and the redefinition of many existing roles.
ScenariosPlus is a new approach to education, showing young people a pathway to future skills and the jobs of the future.
A proven template for talent development
ScenariosPlus offers simulated internship experiences that help individuals thrive jobs marketplace of the future. We are actively seeking support from industry partners as we develop the next phase of our proven, evidence-based program.
Your support will allow us to scale up to 100-200 schools and approx. 10,000 students within two years, initially in the UK and then internationally.
“..the topics we were allowed to pick from were…issues that do need to be tackled, and I feel that there’s a lot of people in this school that do have a massive creativity (who realised) ‘oh, I really want to do this’ or ‘I really enjoy it.’
I think the opportunity might lead quite a few people to doing something they never thought they’d be able to do when they’re older because of the experience.”
Making a difference for young people
ScenariosPlus will prepare young people for the uncertain, unpredictable and ever-changing outlook for the world of work with a programme that:
- Provides students with skills and experience to enter the workforce
- Simulates workplace contexts within the school setting
- Engages younger students from all backgrounds – reaching a wider audience than traditional internships
- Expands students’ minds through exposure to a wider possibility of career options
Guidance and scripts to facilitate context and challenge setting, plus staff videos on how to solve problems and develop new products.
Adaptable lesson plans covering the research and teamwork needed to create solutions to real world challenges
Building an online platform to host resources and support interaction and sharing amongst students and schools – incorporating personalised, adaptive feedback and group communication streams
Building an online professional development course for practitioners interested in using simulated virtual internships
Creating an interactive repository of practitioner advice and reflections
Creating a ‘Great Ideas’ online space for students to share their ideas and solutions
Linking education and enterprise
ScenariosPlus builds on a proven classroom-based virtual programme that operated from 2019-2021 with the support of British Telecom and Huawei, with a focus on schools in areas of low social mobility.
As a continuing sponsor of ScenariosPlus, your organisation will directly support:
- Enhanced interactive and video resources
- Increased engagement opportunities for students who might access such learning outside a ‘traditional’ school environment.
- Online CPD and repository of practitioner examples
- Teacher training
As in phase one of the program, we will work directly with sponsoring organisations to create the real-world workplace challenges that students will encounter in ScenariosPlus.
With an enhanced level of support, we can undertake development of extended reality modules, using technologies such as virtual or augmented reality.
ScenariosPlus will deliver substantial returns for your organisation, along with benefits for students, teachers, and society.
As a supporter, your organisation helps to develop its talent pipeline, nurtured through links between education and enterprise.
The Challenge-Based Learning activities in ScenariosPlus give younger students a taste of different workplace contexts and practices before they make or rule out career choices.
Schools will be able to offer workplace experiences to vast numbers of students, regardless of geographical location or physical access, enabling something they cannot currently do.
Educators will also be provided a research-informed professional development course, plus access to networking and resources.
By the time somebody aged 11 today is 21, it is conservatively estimated around 400 million people globally will have lost their jobs due to technological advances such as automation.
ScenariosPlus will reduce the risk of mass unemployment, providing students leaving education with skills and experiences they can directly translate into employability.
With a track record of delivering impactful research and development outcomes concerned with the educational use of various technologies, the Hughes Hall Cambridge University team driving this work represent safe and credible hands to make this initiative successful.
Dr Louis Major
Co-investigator and project manager
Prof. Rupert Wegerif
Dr Alison Twiner