A 'game-changer’ towards greater engineering skills

'Britain’s leading engineering brains' at Enginuity, (formerly Semta), an employer-led manufacturing and engineering skills body, with the support of the The Prince’s Trust, are 'harnessing the power of gaming' to identify talent via a non-academic route that the proponents say can ‘power the nation’s economic recovery when the lockdown is lifted’.

The launch of Skills Miner, from Enginuity – which describes itself as ‘the new engineering skills organisation charged with creating skills solutions for individuals, educators, and employers to help close the skills gap’ – has been brought forward from the summer ‘to allow thousands of people in lockdown to have fun, and find out if they’ve got what it takes to transit from the virtual to the real world of engineering’.

Enginuity explains that ‘sophisticated gaming techniques and algorithms’ monitor players’ performance, ‘and assess their aptitude for a whole raft of engineering skills’ – from Observation and Assessment, Resilience, and Digital Competency, to Problem Solving and Critical Reasoning.

Players of the game – which is based on Minecraft, and aimed at all ages – will be guided to various levels, given assessments of their cerebral and dexterity strengths, and then ‘given a call to action to help them make an appropriate move through the gateway from the virtual to the real world of engineering and manufacturing’. Second and third phase plans include providing ‘other career-boosting rewards’ for those progressing to the top levels.

 “This is a game changer” says Enginuity CEO, Ann Watson. “We have, through our innovation lab, the opportunity to change perceptions of engineering, and the ability to help young people discover hidden talents through the strengths and thinking they show while playing the game. There is a rich seam of potential engineering talent which, until now, has never reached the surface – Skills Miner is an entertaining and effective way of addressing that.”

Free to access, and set to ‘go live’ on 28 April, the game is set in an electric car showroom and factory, and Enginuity says, ‘may have particular benefits for the 800,000 young people in the UK from disadvantaged backgrounds – who would not otherwise be assessed by anyone in education, training and employment’. It added: “Their talents often go unnoticed and unharnessed – and are of particular interest to game supporter, The Prince’s Trust.”