Helping employees to do constant upskilling to catch up with future changes in their profession
Innovation facility created by Telefonica
3 months (2018)
Areas of responsibility
Desk research & interviews, System analysis, Design strategy, UI design, Workshop facilitation, Prototyping
The goal of the project is to support and empower people to improve and balance the agency they have upon their lives so they can be healthier and happier. My team focused on the topic, unstable work. Automation and artificial intelligence have changed our capacity to meaningfully contribute to society. The way that people were previously useful will be no longer as valuable. My team was asked to empower people to find purpose, adapt and learn how to work in these uncertain and changing economies.
U-Path is a future-oriented learning platform to help employees build their career path and do constant upskilling in order to catch up with the changes in their profession in the future. Employees will have a stable career with less risk of getting replaced and the ability to grow within their company. Companies can have more efficient and motivated employees and save costs in training new employees. In the long run, the service could reduce the need for public-funded reskilling.
We explored the relationship between learning and work through in-depth desk research on effective learning methods, motivations, opportunities and barriers of learning at work. We realized that the budget and time that companies can offer for learning at work are positively related to the size of the companies. Hence, we also looked at the education policies in the UK to see how the government can help small and medium-sized enterprises to do upskilling in the companies.
We also interviewed around 30 employees regarding happiness at work and career development and motivations.
1. Around 40% of jobs are estimated to become replaced and over half of the population will have to learn how to work together with technology and AI.
2. Most of the employees are not aware of the future changes in their profession.
3. The main barriers of learning at work are time, budget and the fear of change and the unknown future.
4. The main motivations to learn are seeing daily progress and starting with easy steps.
5. The UK government established Apprenticeship levy to increase the vocational skills of employees but in general, adult education budget has been cut by more than 45%.
How might we help and support the current working population to start doing constant upskilling in order to stay relevant in their careers?
To address the above challenges, we assumed there is a need to start changing the perception of work behaviour towards the need for lifelong learning. U-Path is a future-oriented learning platform to help employees do constant upskilling in order to catch up with the changes in their profession in the future.
We guide employees to create awareness of future circumstances and find career interests and goals to build a career path. We create motivations to learn by letting employees understand clearly the goals they can achieve and small challenges- a system of baby steps. Throughout the learning journey, they will also get support from career counsellors and their own colleagues for emotional adaptation.
Working with the government can create opportunities for all employees, including those in small and medium-sized companies. To make our service viable, we propose a skill levy. It allows the government to tax only big companies. It provides education funds for all companies that can be used just for training.
The funds can be used only on certified learning platforms, like U-Path. As a government's service, U-Path is funded to do research and support services to help companies as a neutral platform in the competitive course market.
When the company starts using their funds, the employer and employees are offered awareness and help to plan their career goals. The employer will set a weekly amount of hours for employees to learn and plan their individual learning paths.
Data Flow & AI
By working with the government, we get access to their and OECD’s research data, that can be used to predict the future of different professions to create contents to arouse the awareness. Learning providers give us data about their courses to generate paths. We also work together with profession-specific experts, like ICEAW to develop new career paths. We provide data about the development of working populations in return to the UK government.
We discussed our prototypes with employees and employers from different industries. They liked how the service can tailor career paths for every employee in the company based on the company and individual's development goals. With clear instructions of managing their career paths and easy steps to learn new skills, they feel more confident to secure their job in the future. The support from the government is also very important for employees to trust our service.
Storytelling with persona as a powerful communication tool
Storytelling with persona is a compelling and clear way to illustrate the service proposition. In our service video, we used Elize's story to explain the challenges that most of the employees are facing, which made people easily relate themselves to the scenario. We also used Elize's profession as an example to build prototypes to make our service realistic and more convincing when we presented our ideas.