According to the Construction Leadership Council, to deliver the UK’s ambitions for retrofit to meet net zero carbon targets, half a million people are needed for green jobs by 2030. A key foundation for these retrofit roles is soft skills, “to be able to interact with customers”. This is supported by a Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) report which found that over half of construction employers identified communication skills as a key soft skill for jobs needed to help the UK achieve net zero, and that better training would address their skills gaps.
However, existing training routes don’t adequately cover these skills. Research by greenworkx showed that organisations find it consistently hard to source talent with the right customer service and communication skills.
Through this project, greenworkx will create a soft skills development product focused on customer service skills for people working in retrofit. It will allow learners to practice conversations with a virtual customer through a chat interface. This will take them through a Q&A about the retrofit process, whilst being given real-time feedback. The aim is to help learners gain the relevant soft skills needed to access employment in a work-realistic way. The initial focus will be on retrofit advisor and assessor roles where there is an estimated need for around 500,000 people.
The solution will use new, and highly scalable, break-out technologies including Large Language Model technology such as Open AI. The chat interface will be prototyped in WhatsApp, with the intention of eventually creating their own interface.