The Education Metaverse to Play Crucial Role in Rishi Sunak’s £15bn UK Science Superpower
A British tech and science training firm that recently announced plans to innovate the education metaverse with its own virtual science and tech campus is to help spearhead the UK Government’s response to building a £15 billion UK Science Superpower, as outlined by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the autumn budget.
Manchester-headquartered Credersi, which has created the ‘Credersi World’ metaverse has passed the ESFA (Education and Skills Funding Agency) assessment and has been successful in their application to the RoATP (Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers) to deliver apprenticeships to train the lab technicians and scientists of the future. This will help bridge the huge skills shortage of lab technicians and scientists across the UK.
Currently, there is a desperate and immediate need for around 2,000 trained laboratory technicians to deal with the present levels of Covid testing, which is also set to increase significantly as the winter approaches and the flu virus arrives. The shortage of laboratory technicians across the UK is already causing delays to Covid testing and forcing some organisations to send results overseas for analysis, thus causing even more delays.
While Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has outlined his vision of what a global metaverse might look like, tech and science educators Credersi and 3D tech innovators PixelMax are at the forefront of developing and shaping what the education metaverse will actually look and feel like.
Credersi World is an immersive-mixed reality platform in which delegates and employers who want their workforces reskilled for careers of the future shape their learning both in real-world scenarios and on a virtual campus world. The campus incorporates augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). complete with shops, cinemas, art galleries, wellbeing rooms and food and coffee shops by using fusing and immersing mixed reality technologies.
The concept for the Credersi World education metaverse was the brainchild of co-founders Andy Lord and Darren Coomer. Tech training evangelist Andy Lord co-founded Manchester’s renowned Code Nation coding school, while Darren Coomer is the founder of the S&A Group (The Strategy & Architecture Group), a leading technology and change firm. Together, they wanted to create a virtual science and tech campus that could train and reskill workforces of the future in an immersive and engaging way. The Covid pandemic has resulted in more people than ever before taking up training and learning with a view to reskilling for a career of the future.
Research carried out by the Gatsby Foundation prior to Covid indicated that by 2030, the UK will require a further 700,000 lab technicians to support the British economy. The Covid-19 pandemic must also be factored in, having caused a significant additional requirement for laboratory technicians in the UK to deal with the testing requirements both directly and indirectly associated with the virus.
The Credersi World metaverse will deliver lab technician apprenticeships across its mixed reality platform, providing delegates with unique pathway access to science in an immersive environment that is equipped for the 21st century and beyond. The pathway into the education metaverse starts with an express course – an ‘Introduction To The Laboratory’ and an ‘Introduction To The Role Of Laboratory Manager’ – and a third pathway entitled ‘Excellence In Customer Service’. The pathways are conducted as a boot camp to give a valuable condensed learning model and taster of a full-blown apprenticeship.
The first two courses give delegates access to entry-level roles in a laboratory, but equally importantly, it enables the start of a learning journey that could involve gaining an apprenticeship. The express courses have created a foundation to access the world of science and the laboratory. The customer service pathway is designed to give delegates the ‘soft skills’ they will need within a laboratory environment working with colleagues, customers and the wider organisation they work for. Such skills are vital for continuous personal development.
Once a delegate has accessed and passed any one of the express courses of their choosing, they can then apply to start the Credersi apprenticeship. The 15-month apprenticeship starts with an 8-week boot camp, which accelerates the learning process, immersing delegates in a mixed reality learning platform that fuses augmented reality and real-life practical scenarios and demonstrations. Lab technicians are given Credersi-branded course boxes, which come complete with lab kits including items such as lab coats, pipettes, conical flasks, balance scales, volumetric flasks and many other items to conduct their practical experiments.
Credersi Operations Director, Rachael Burns, says: ‘The large increase in demand for laboratory technicians illustrates a huge gap within the life science sector for practical experience and laboratory-accredited courses. Many of the programmes that do exist are either degrees or are classroom-based and do not give appropriate routes for school leavers, parents returning to the workforce from career breaks and adults looking to enter a new sector.
‘Working with a technology focused training provider is crucial to the delivery of new cutting-edge technologies within the sector and additional appropriate digital skills training is essential to optimise advances in AI, modern-day data science. Laboratory technicians now require a level of software engineering skills to enable programming of equipment and analysing data. Credersi has designed a curriculum that fully supports this progression which is truly unique in this field.’
Credersi has consulted with a number of organisations to create the mixed-reality laboratory technician and science apprenticeship. Leading Covid testing provider DAM Health is one of the key testing laboratories to have supported the consultation process, endorsing, contributing to and helping to create something that gives delegates a real career pathway.
DAM Health CEO, Kevin Dryhurst, adds: ‘Not everybody knows that they want to work in science when they are taking their “choices” at school – and not everybody is privileged enough to be able to go to an amazing university to help them find their perfect career.
‘Working with Credersi, we are creating a unique pathway and access into the science and laboratory worlds. I am passionate about continuous learning and personal development – and these modern-day apprenticeships will provide an exciting future for the generations to come.
‘As Britain rebuilds itself following Brexit, we need to invest in our apprenticeships of the future. This means not only investing in the traditional apprenticeships of engineering and manufacturing, but also in a modern tech and science world. DAM Health is pleased to be leading this innovation and consultation process with Credersi.’