Annual Review of 2021

Celebrating vocational technology.
Looking to the future.

Our Annual Review looks back on our achievements across 2021: convening conversations and forming partnerships that have the power to change the role of technology in adult skills development; supporting projects that demonstrate its impact; and investing in companies who are changing the vocational technology market.

We hope this review will encourage you to find out more about our work, the organisations we have supported, and to be excited for the future of vocational technology and the growing positive impact it has on the lives of individuals, businesses and UK society.

Rebecca Garrod-Waters
CEO, Ufi VocTech Trust

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Click to view and share our full Annual Review of 2021 infographic.

Making change now

Our long-term goal is to support a portfolio of projects that deliver positive change for learners across a wide range of sectors, job roles, geographies and access points.

Watch the video to see how our funding is helping develop the AutonoMe app, supporting adults with learning disabilities to prepare for employment.

Explore our 2021 grant funded projects
  • To tackle specific vocational challenges we evolved our Challenge approach; aligning our funding, partnerships and advocacy around a single objective
  • We completed our VocTech Challenge: Using digital approaches to support the changing nature of work; having made grants of £1.15m to 10 projects focused on improving access to learning, routes to employment and progress at work in industries facing technological change

Change for a better future

As part of our commitment to supporting the best technologies for adult vocational skills we look to enable organisations to develop and adopt innovative tech.

We offer grant funding and investment at early stages, as well as developing Strategic Partnerships to maximise our impact and accelerate the pace of change.

Find out more about what we do
  • Continuing our focus on the development of new approaches to vocational technology, we offered £750k in grant funding to 15 projects as part of VocTech Seed grant fund
  • Through Ufi Ventures we made investments into two new companies, Springpod and CAPSLOCK, as well as follow-on investments into Sonic Jobs, Learnerbly and Learning Labs
  • To help maximise our impact and accelerate the pace of change we developed Strategic Partnerships with the RSA, iDEA, the Resolution Foundation and the Association for Learning Technology

Supporting the market

Ufi are committed to equipping Vocational Education and Training (VET) professionals with the skills and confidence they need to adopt ‘digital first’ into their practice.

Explore our work with the Association for Learning Technology to build #AmplifyFE - a supportive community of practice helping VET professionals to develop and deploy accessible, inclusive learning technology.

Explore #AmplifyFE
  • During 2021 engagement with the #AmplifyFE community of practice more than doubled to 1,100 professionals, well on the way to our goal of nurturing an active community of 2,500 professionals
  • We have continued our VocTeach programme in partnership with the Open University and Jisc; supporting the development of a peer-reviewed marketplace for online and blended learning materials for use in Further Education
  • We formalised our VocTech Ignite programme, supporting eight more organisations to develop their ideas into a strong proposal
  • Seven previous “Ignite” organisations went on to successfully apply for Ufi funding

Building the VocTech Community

We are catalysing change by reaching out, influencing, engaging and working with others who can help us achieve our vision of change at scale.

Our VocTech Podcast series has been listened to by over 7,000 people.

Explore the VocTech Podcast
  • Our 2021 Week of VocTech reached over 4,000 professionals across the learning and employment sectors with a programme of 10 live events with over 60 speakers
  • We helped broaden awareness of vocational technology with over 7,000 downloads of the VocTech Podcast
  • Our VocTech Futures series with FE News sparked debate around the future of VocTech in Further Education
  • We launched our public affairs work

What’s coming next?

We’ve already begun working on our 2022 programme

Highlights include:

  • Continued commitment to giving all the organisations we support, our grants and our Ufi Ventures, the best chance of success. Enriching our financial support with networking, connections and access to expertise;
  • A refreshed Theory of Change; reflecting how much has changed over the last few years;
  • The development of our next Strategy Evaluation. We look forward to sharing the findings in January 2023;
  • The announcement of our next VocTech Challenge; and
  • Our favourite celebration of the year, Week of VocTech 2022, 14- 18 November.
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