About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

CareerTech Challenge: Connectr

CareerTech Challenge is an ambitious innovation programme led by Nesta and Nesta Challenges in partnership with the Department for Education.

The programme focuses on stimulating new solutions for precarious workers, such as workers in low-paid, insecure work that's susceptible to change, to upskill and retrain online. It also focuses on improving access to accurate data-driven information, advice and guidance to help these people find work. In this project update, we hear from MyKindaFuture (MKF) one of the innovations shortlisted for the £5.75 million CareerTech Challenge.

MyKindaFuture (MKF) has built and developed Connectr, an employee experience platform that ensures everyone feels a sense of belonging at each stage of their professional journey: from career inspiration to first jobs and support once in a role. Through the platform, employees are matched with a peer mentor and provided with relevant learning content to help them progress. MyKindaFuture is seeking to test whether their combination of learning content and peer mentoring improves learner motivation and career adaptability.

This innovative solution will use machine learning and user testing cycles to improve peer mentoring matching systems, and the digital design of learning content for employer partners.

MKF has developed and tested a body of learning content which focuses on core business skills in practical settings. They have designed and tested an engaging and accessible UI, and continue to refine this part of the product. To complement this, their technology team has developed the initial baseline algorithm for mentor matching using National Retraining Scheme personas.

UI for connectr

“I felt really inspired by this section - especially the ‘how to use habits to reach your goals’ PDF"

Platform user

MKF has also developed a pipeline of diverse employers who have shown interest in the platform, including large retailers, consulting services and transport industry bodies. The first few employers have recently confirmed their participation and we will see the first cohorts of users on the site shortly.

Due to the pandemic, engaging employer partners has been difficult. Businesses have been preoccupied with dealing with consequences of the pandemic, administering the furlough scheme and considering redundancies and restructures. MKF has adapted to this by pivoting their strategy to recruit directly to users, as well as through employers.

They have also considered to pursue warm leads with employer partners who can use the platform for their employees whose employment status may be at risk due to covid, or who have been made redundant as a result.

Over the next six months MKF will continue to confirm employer partners and onboarding users onto the platform. They will also be working on refining the mentor matching algorithm as more users provide more data to improve the process.

For more information, please email [email protected].

Webiste: www.mykindafuture.com

Twitter: @MyKindaFuture

MyKindaFuture's other work in skill and employment:

As part of a different programme of work, MKF have partnered with JobCentre Plus (JCP) for the launch of a pilot to provide 18- to 24-year-olds with digital mentors to support them into work (including Kickstart) and help them succeed in employment.

The JCP Connectr is a platform created with the young job seeker (18-24) at the forefront. It is an online training experience focusing on skill development and sector specific learning. The job seeker will have access to various digital mentors from diverse backgrounds and expertise to support them from researching a career, application to day 1 and beyond.

To find out more please email: [email protected]

To access the Connectr or share with unemployed 18-24: https://bit.ly/2NiCW2a


Charlotte Dudley

Client Partnerships Team Lead, MyKindaFuture

Natasha Shaikh

Head of Experience Delivery, MyKindaFuture

Stephanie Warren

Head of Early Careers, MyKindaFuture

Emma Selinger

Emma Selinger

Emma Selinger

Assistant Programme Manager

Emma was an Assistant Programme Manager for the CareerTech Challenge.

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