LifeSkills to Develop Futuristic Work Experience Pod, Giving School Children a Crash Course in the 21st Century Skills Needed in the Evolving World of Work

Primary tabs

LifeSkills to Develop Futuristic Work Experience Pod, Giving School Children a Crash Course in the 21st Century Skills Needed in the Evolving World of Work

tweet me:
.@YourLifeSkills develops pod to give young people #work experience & 21st century skills #Barclays


- Announcement comes as 68 per cent of young people agree that work experience provides the essential skills needed for the workplace - yet not enough opportunities are available in the UK -

Imagine this, it’s your ‘first day’ at work. You are in control of the experience – you approach the LifeSkills Pod and select the sector you want to work in, as well as an outfit you feel is most appropriate. You even time stamp your arrival. You’re ushered into the Pod, a futuristic space that features high-tech equipment and take your seat – you’re excited to begin. Your boss appears on the screen and briefs you on the first task of five – you roll up your sleeves, it’s time to get started!

  • The LifeSkills Pod, a futuristic work experience simulator, will mirror real-world work scenarios, from networking to problem solving
  • The LifeSkills Pod will be installed into an East London school this April to help provide hundreds of young people with some of the ‘21st Century Skills’ that employers are looking for in the evolving workplace
  • Seven in ten (68 per cent) young people say work experience is needed to help build the skills needed in the workplace but, worryingly, there are not enough opportunities to meet the demand - a separate study reveals only 30 per cent of employers actually offer it[i]
Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 1:05pm

CONTENT: Press Release

March 24, 2016 /3BL Media/ - LifeSkills created with Barclays, which has over 72 per cent of secondary schools registered across the country, today announces that it is developing the LifeSkills Pod, an immersive work experience simulator. The first of its kind, the LifeSkills Pod aims to give young people much needed exposure to the evolving workplace and a taste of some of the ‘21stCentury Skills’ needed to succeed in their future career.

The study by LifeSkills shows that the majority of young people understand the value of work experience; almost seven in ten (68 per cent) cite that engaging in some form of work experience helps develop the essential skills needed for the workplace. The majority (93 per cent) agreed that having work experience helps young people feel more confident to enter the world of work.

Despite its importance, worryingly, a recent study from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills highlighted that there may not be enough work experience opportunities being made available. The study found that whilst 66 per cent of employers believe work experience was valuable in recruiting young people, only 30 per cent actually offer it[ii].  In the face of this lack of work experience opportunities in the UK, LifeSkills claims more needs to be done to ensure that a range of different and innovative work experience interventions are provided to young people, actively helping them to understand and build the skills they need for their career.  Schools are looking for alternative and innovative ways to help students to gain the key skills businesses need.

The LifeSkills Pod has been developed to give young people the opportunity to gain work experience that focuses on some of the key skills that employers are looking for in the evolving workplace. The core set of ‘21st Century Skills’ identified by LifeSkills for the Pod are resilience, problem solving, communication, and networking.

As the world of work continues to evolve, as do the skills needed for the workplace. In fact, most young people (70 per cent) believe the skills they need in their career today differ greatly from those their parents needed in theirs.

  • 12 per cent of school leavers said that they left school without any of the defined ‘21st Century Skills’ that employers are looking for
  • A mere one in five (21 per cent) felt they were equipped with networking skills needed for the working world when they left education
  • Four in ten (42 per cent) cited that they thought communication the most important skill needed to land a job, with only five per cent ranking leadership in top place
  • Work experience is perceived by young people as being a vital chance to sample different career paths (72 per cent), and become more productive (37 per cent)

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills at Barclays, comments: “We can’t predict jobs of the future but we can predict the skills that young people will need. Our research reveals that we may be in the midst of a soft skills gap among young people, as a number leave education without a grasp of the ‘21stCentury Skills’ required in the modern workplace.

“Despite being an important way to help inspire young people on their next steps, the reality is that there is a shortfall of quality work experience placements available in the UK today. We want to ensure no one is left behind, so we are excited to be developing an interactive experience that mirrors real-life work scenarios and helps them to build some of the skills that employers are looking for. The LifeSkills Pod is a new way to help unlock the potential of young people and educate them on the core skills needed before they leave school and, more importantly, put them into practice.”

The full LifeSkills Pod experience will be revealed in April 2016. The core skills will be integrated across LifeSkills online content and resources from April 16th 2016. Head to to learn more.

– End –

[i] UK Commission for Employment and Skills (2015)

[ii] UK Commission for Employment and Skills (2015)

Notes to editors

  • If you’d like to attend the unveiling of the LifeSkills Pod on 19th April 2016, please contact the press office team (limited media spaces available).
  • Photography and video footage of the LifeSkills Pod will be made available from 20th April 2016.
  • Younger people defined as male and female adults aged 19-24 years old. A nationally representative survey carried out by Mortar London amongst 1000 people.
  • LifeSkills is part of Barclays’ ongoing contribution to digital education and supports its quest toleave no one behind.

About LifeSkills created with Barclays
LifeSkills created with Barclays aims to ensure no young person is left behind by equipping them with the key skills needed in the future, boosting our economy and supporting our society.

LifeSkills brings together educators, businesses, young people and parents to achieve this, as increasingly young people need to leave education not only with appropriate academic results but with the skills that we know businesses need now and in the future as technology reshapes our working world. LifeSkills provides educators with more than 55 hours of free curriculum linked employability resources, through videos, quick fire activities, interactive tools and full lesson plans to teach young people, as well as dozens of interactive tools for young people to learn in their own time or in conjunction with their parents through our dedicated parents section.  LifeSkills also helps to improve access to work experience opportunities, traineeships and apprenticeships to give them the key skills and experience through businesses across the UK.

For further information about LifeSkills visit / / @YourLifeSkills

About Barclays
Barclays is a transatlantic consumer, corporate and investment bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US.

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 130,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website

Keywords: Education | Barclays | LifeSkills | LifeSkills Pod | Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship | work experience

CONTENT: Press Release