19 Oct 2023

Action needed to ensure all young people can access emerging work opportunities in the Metaverse

EY Foundation have published a report calling for action to ensure that all young people can thrive in a virtual world.

The findings of a project run by social mobility charity the EY Foundation has identified the action needed to ensure new technology, including immersive technology, is inclusive of young people from low-income backgrounds.

Working with young people across Greater Manchester, the ‘Social mobility in the Metaverse’ report uncovered the need to demonstrate that new technologies provide opportunities for ‘people like them’ and their community. Creating an internal desire to engage, referred to as intrinsic motivation, must be unlocked by policymakers and organisations.

Indeed, as these immersive technologies develop alongside other technologies like AI, changing the way we interact in society and at work, taking steps to enable everyone to benefit regardless of their background will be critical.

In their report, EY Foundation identify 4 areas of action to build social inclusion in a virtual world: 

Awareness: Build understanding about how the Metaverse will influence the future of work and why young people from a low-income background should engage in new technology. This includes using immersive technologies to transform work experience by extending the range of work placements available to young people.

Accessibility: Ensure universal access to immersive experiences in the Metaverse. This will mean establishing a minimum standard for all Metaverse environments that ensures they are accessible via a mobile phone.

Skills: The Metaverse will be a constantly evolving environment, so young people should be given the training needed to be better prepared for an unpredictable future. This can be done through government action to ensure Metaverse-focused skills training is included in regional Local Skills Improvement Plans. 

Networks: Provide opportunities to build work-related virtual connections and networks. One way this can be implemented is by local careers hubs. They should support the creation of a network of Metaverse career ‘influencers’, who reach out to excluded communities to introduce how to work in an immersive 3D world.

Future of Work

The future of work is changing. Technology is powering a growth in flexible work across the economy, whilst emerging technologies such as robotics and AI are set to become common place. techUK believes the UK must consider the implications of digital transformation in the world of work now, equipping people and businesses across the country with the skills and conditions needed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the 4IR.

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Jake Wall

Jake Wall

Policy Manager, Skills and Future of Work, techUK

Nimmi Patel

Nimmi Patel

Head of Skills, Talent and Diversity, techUK

Laura Foster

Laura Foster

Head of Technology and Innovation, techUK