Barclays and LifeSkills install ‘virtual reality work experience pod’ at East London school

Keen to replicate what a real live workspace is like, Barclays has launched a virtual reality ‘Lifeskills Pod’ at an East London school

With the focus on preparing students for the real world, Barclays has installed a virtual reality pod to raise awareness of the evolving workplace, providing a taste of some of the 21st century skills young people need to succeed in their future careers.

Barclays has said that this is the world’s first immersive work experience simulator – which will “give young people a taste of the ever-evolving workplace” without ever needing to set foot in an actual office building.

Young people will be able to select the field of work they are interested in, before completing a series of interactive tasks, focused on some of the core and transferable skills that employers are looking for now and in the future including:

  • Networking – Understanding the roles of people within a business and working with a team
  • Communication – Understanding tone and communicating with clients/customers
  • Resilience and problem solving – Being able to work a way around an issue if not successful in the first instance
  • Professionalism – Sharing information about the experience on social media

Research shows that real work placements are not easy to find for many London students so the bank decided to rectify this situation by creating the ‘Lifeskills Pod’.

Head of LifeSkills at Barclays, Kirstie Mackey, said: “LifeSkills believes that young people need to be given the opportunity to develop the core and transferable skills that employers are looking for now and in the future.

“Against the backdrop of a lack of work experience opportunities, we need to do even more to bridge the gap between education and work by providing a range of different experiences for young people such as the LifeSkills Pod.”

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