Unlocking employment opportunities for the future

The CareerTech Challenge is calling for solutions to future-proof adults in job roles most likely to change. Solutions will be digitally driven, as digital technology is enabling greater personalisation of career support to meet people’s needs, presenting a major opportunity for people to thrive in a changing world of work.

CareerTech Challenge Prize

The CareerTech Challenge Prize will provide £1.2million and tailored packages of expert support for the development of digital solutions that improve career information, advice and guidance. Solutions will combine innovative uses and sources of labour market information with proactive outreach to make high-quality, localised advice and guidance more accessible.

Prize timeline

CareerTech Challenge Fund

The CareerTech Challenge Fund will provide a £2.8million funding pot and tailored support for innovative tech solutions that motivate adults and support them to learn new skills and retrain. Solutions will be delivered within online learning courses and use technology to enhance learner motivation and adaptability skills.

Fund timeline

Why is the CareerTech Challenge important?

Nesta’s research, in collaboration with Oxford University and Pearson, has revealed that the job market will change more rapidly over the coming decade, as trends such as technological development, globalisation and population ageing affect the types of skills that employers are looking for. New advances in robotics, for instance, have the potential to take over some routine and repetitive tasks currently done by people, meaning that the time and attention of many workers can be applied elsewhere. In some cases, workers in companies that are using robots will stay in the same role but their job will change. In others, they will have to look for an alternative job - and potentially train for a new occupation.

Beneficiaries of fund

Solutions will be designed for a specific target cohort.

This transition will not be easy for anyone but Nesta and DfE believe that technology has the potential to make it less difficult, to minimise uncertainty, and to open up positive new opportunities for career progression. For this reason, the CareerTech Challenge is looking for bold innovations which help people to envisage their future careers.

“Investing in cutting edge technologies demonstrates our ongoing commitment to adult education and we hope it will encourage more adults to retrain and upskill in future.”

Michelle Donelan, Education Minister

How might technology help prepare people for jobs of the future?

There are four ways that technology could be used to prepare people for a changing world of work:

  1. Expanding horizons: using information about jobs that are growing and the skills they require, to help people explore multiple career pathways and feel optimistic about their opportunities. This is the core focus of the CareerTech Challenge Prize.
  2. Extending access to career and learning services: widespread technologies such as smartphones have the potential to scale-up the provision of training and careers advice, and reach a broader range of people.
  3. Enhancing motivation to learn: using novel approaches to make online learning more motivating, engaging and effective. This is the focus of the Career Tech Challenge Fund.
  4. Increasing long-term adaptability: supporting people to develop career adaptability skills which build their confidence and help them to navigate the changing world of work.

How do I apply?

Submissions are open for both the CareerTech Challenge Fund and Prize, and more details about both opportunities are available.

Applications for the Fund will close 9 December 2019.

Entries for the Prize will close on 29 January 2020.

We will be running a webinar about the Fund on 7th and 28th November. Register your interest.

We will be running a workshop about the Fund on 19th November. Register your interest.


Jack Orlik

Jack Orlik

Jack Orlik

Programme Manager - Open Jobs, Data Analytics Practice

Jack was a Programme Manager for Open Jobs.

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Emma Selinger

Emma Selinger

Emma Selinger

Assistant Programme Manager

Emma was an Assistant Programme Manager for the CareerTech Challenge.

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