In August 2016, a grant from InvestNI and the European Commission (EC) was provided to develop the KareerHub platform, drawing on highly innovative developments in the fields of:
Kareerhub applies technological solutions to inform and support individuals with their career decision-making in fast changing and often-unpredictable education and labour markets. The use of reliable ‘real time data’ combined with innovative teaching and learner support materials helps brings alive options opportunities.
KareerHub has continued to be developed bringing together data from a range of sources and LMI for All. The Kareerhub website also has Careerometer embedded within it.
The design and development of unique KareerHub ‘Krawlers’, which can be pointed at appropriate education and training organisations across the UK has continued to be developed.
The aims of KareerHub are to address the following issues:
The project has proved that digital technology can ‘push’ up-to-date information towards the end-user on the basis of chosen searches and filters from across the UK, rather than a user having to search for and ‘pull’ information to themselves from a variety of sources.
Searching the web and storing information for later use and reference is time-consuming and comparing diffuse information across many differing formats is difficult.
Earlier phases of the KareerHub development found that a common issue for many educationalists and careers advisers is the challenge of keeping up-to-date with sector specific developments. Initially, a series of 6 lessons and webquests were developed and successfully tested in selected schools and colleges in Northern Ireland to offer classroom interactive opportunities. Building on this, KareerHub have recently teamed up with ‘Forum Talent-Potential’ to extend the range of classroom support materials helping schools and colleges address the eight Gatsby benchmarks which form the basis of the Department for Education’s Careers Strategy in England (2017).
With KareerHub offering an innovative labour market intelligence and information digital solution, supporting enhanced career learning and career decision making for young people, and Forum Talent-Potential supporting a six-step process that enables schools and colleges to embed meaningful encounters with employers within subject learning; each offers content rich curriculum materials designed to support both young people and teachers.
Each solution is complementary, addressing different Gatsby benchmarks. Crucially, they also enable schools and colleges to ensure that young people’s discussions with professionally trained careers advisers are productive and based on personal reflection and research.
In some cases, there is a shortage of training or continuous professional development to build confidence – particularly in STEM areas. KareerHub offers a unique opportunity to use online data to teach learners how to easily search and filter labour market information.
KareerHub enables learners to search for and personalise information, helping to cross socio-economic and gender barriers.
“LMI for All really helped us to engage with UK-wide data sources … It was the introduction to LMI for All which supported our vision for a KareerKontinuum.”
Whilst early thinking for KareerHub was centred on the Northern Ireland Skills Barometer, LMI for All offered potential to expand the KareerHub
database and thinking moved on. For the first phase of development, Careerometer was embedded in the KareerHub portal. The next phase involved the full integration of the LMI for All Application Programme Interface (API) into the KareerHub database.
The KareerKontinuum was developed and means that users have the ability to explore both education and technical routes to appropriate career paths, as well as to enquire about labour market information. It uniquely allows seamless movement from course search to labour market information and, importantly, back again. This provides an innovative and very intuitive method of exploring all forms of further education and ‘earn as you learn’ training and getting relevant answers to, inter alia, such questions as:
Will there be a job?
What would I get paid?
What qualifications will I get?
Where can I study?
The KareerHub team consider LMI for All as offering a unique way to access a number of official datasets. It was considered a high quality source.
The KareerHub team were initially unsure about UK LMI sources, their scope and reliability. However, LMI for All has addressed these uncertainties and the team believe they have a reliable platform as a result.
The KareerHub project team have a clear understanding of the everyday problems faced by teachers and careers advisers in accessing high quality LMI. Working with practitioners, the demand for LMI was clear and requirements were identified. LMI for All data helped meet these demands.
The KareerHub team designed a detailed development plan including timescales. Technologies that could be utilised for the platform were researched first. The team engaged with ElasticSearch, Apache Solr and other technologies.
The second development phase involved researching the relevant datasets available through LMI for All and looking at how others are using LMI for All, namely Skills Match and Plotr.
The KareerHub team have looked at a number of datasets from LMI for All including:
Working closely with Northern Ireland developers, Scaffolding Digital Ltd., KareerHub has developed significantly since its initial launch and formally came to market in November 2017.
Click here for an example of KareerHub in action.
The LMI for All data is a real value-added source of data in the KareerHub portal. So far, KareerHub is being used in a number of schools across Northern Ireland.
KareerHub integrates LMI for All into a simple-to-use careers information package which delivers real time data direct into the classroom, onto pupils’ and parents/carers’ tablets and smartphones, thus making LMI for All usable by all, rather than a few specialist users.