The UK adult social care sector faces significant challenges recruiting and retaining its workforce. Skills for Care estimate 11% of jobs remain unfilled and staff turnover stands at 36%. They also found that staff retention can be significantly improved via training. Practical, hands-on learning is also highly valued by the sector. Both the Department of Health and Social Care and Care England emphasise its importance in their guidance.
However, care workers face significant barriers to learning. They are often time-poor, struggling to keep up with the cost of living in a low-paying industry, and unable to take time off work for classroom-based training. This is particularly acute for those in remote and rural areas where the additional cost and time of travel adds another barrier.
This project will build a ‘digital twin’ of a care setting to create realistic, immersive learning environments accessible via a VR headset or a desktop. Learning will be repeatable, allowing learners to practice challenging and potentially harmful situations with freedom to learn and make mistakes. Assessment and evaluation will inform analytics and provide learners with feedback and data on their performance, allowing for a personalised learning experience and continuous development. An AI avatar will act as a guide for learners on the platform, giving instructions that can be seen and heard. The avatar instructions can be rendered in 20 + languages, allowing for international scaling and accessibility to those for whom English is not a first language.