Introducing our latest VocTech Seed grant cohort

Organisations using technology to improve learning and help tackle the UK skills crisis receive a share of £500k in grant funding

We are proud to announce the inspiring cohort of organisations who have been offered a share of over £500k from our VocTech Seed grant fund, to support new approaches in using technology to help adults gain the skills they need for work and throughout their careers.

The cohort of 12 projects helps address many of the current and developing skill challenges faced by industry sectors across the UK, including the shortage of experienced new-starters, low staff retention and knowledge-loss. Each project is focused on improving skills acquisition for professions, industries and skill levels that are undervalued or under-supported and where technology can have the biggest potential impact.

Projects offered funding include:

  • Augmented and virtual reality-based training to support those looking to enter the theatre industry as stage crew. Traditional methods of learning based on hands-on experience has been impossible in recent times, leaving a huge shortfall of backstage staff in this sector. This project seeks to use technology to provide the experience people lack, helping rebuild a skill sector devastated by the pandemic.
  • A health and safety training app for land-based industries. Agriculture and other land-based industries have the highest rate of work-related fatalities in the UK. This project will equip new-starters with the skills they need to work safely in the sector and has the potential to save many lives.
  • Upskilling fire fighters to be able to safely deal with the increasing challenge of electric vehicle fires. Virtual Reality is supporting new skills to be taught in a safe environment and at scale.
  • An interactive app to tackle retention in social care by supporting works’ emotional resilience as well as their practical skills. The app will complement existing teaching methods while improving access and personalised learning support.
  • Using AR to prevent knowledge-loss in the rail sector. 15,000 workers in the rail sector are due to retire by 2025. This project will use Augmented Reality technology to provide access to the knowledge of experienced, retiring engineers, streamlining the process and making training resources more accessible.

The full list of organisations offered grants in the VocTech Seed 2022 cohort can be found at:

Paolo Fresia, Vice-Chair of Trustees at Ufi VocTech Trust, said:

“I am thrilled to see Ufi continuing to play a critical catalytic role in supporting early-stage innovation in vocational technology. This latest cohort of grantees is testament to Ufi’s desire to enable under-supported learners to access effective digital skill-building solutions. I view this as critical to the long-term development of a more just and prosperous society in the UK.”

VocTech Seed grants are designed to support the development of early-stage concepts and the exploration of new approaches to using technology to enable skills development.

Projects will last for up to 12 months and will each receive enrichment support from Ufi.