SkillsVR, The Ministry of Social Development (MSD), and The Youth Group UK have partnered to create the Digital Embassy - where Kiwi rangatahi can access global mentors and skills, enabling them to thrive in today's world and become global citizens.
Discover how these partnerships came together to help create The Digital Embassy, and the exciting opportunities for Kiwi youth ahead!
You might be wondering: what is The Youth Group? Who are they and what do they do?
The Youth Group is a "youth first business", providing young people with tools to help them get ahead and grow their careers. More than a business, it's a global movement that seeks to support millions of young people across the world into meaningful employment opportunities, helping them gain new skills and providing real, relatable mentorship.
The movement was founded and is spear-headed by Jack Parsons, an award-winning young entrepreneur, public speaker and subject expert on youth. He is best known as the UK's Chief Youth Officer.
Alongside running The Youth Group and leading on youth empowerment, employment and digital skills, Jack is a global ambassador for mental health awareness in the workplace and education.
In 2020, Jack visited Aotearoa to launch the Youth Ready Employer programme co-sponsored by the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland Business Chamber. The programme and its resources were especially designed to improve the attraction, engagement and retention of young people in the New Zealand workplace. This partnership with MSD has only grown since.
Jack's idea to create the Digital Embassy involves connecting our Kiwi youth to global mentors from renowned companies like Microsoft, Instagram, Warner Brothers, and more!
The Ministry of Social Development has long been involved with engaging local rangatahi and providing guidance and resources to help kickstart their career, with a specific Youth Service created for young people who are NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training).
MSD also has a specific ministry within MSD for youth called the Ministry of Youth Development (Te Manatū Whakahiato Taiohi), which partners with others to enable, fund and promote youth development opportunities for all young people in Aotearoa New Zealand, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
With existing funding for SkillsVR Virtual Reality training programs in many of New Zealand's biggest sectors, including primary industries, security, construction, and more, it was only natural for MSD to bring SkillsVR onboard to help up-skill our youth and open their eyes to the many exciting employment opportunities New Zealand has on offer!
MSD has funded 500 SkillsVR licenses to give Kiwi youth the opportunity to explore the full breadth of SkillsVR training scenarios via industry partnerships. This will give them the opportunity to gain a wide range of skills in a variety of industries and act as an attraction tool for New Zealand industries looking for sustainable employment.
From tourism and security, to kiwifruit pruning and food hygiene, our youth will be immersed in virtual reality worlds to experience real-world working environments. The VR sessions will be facilitated by MSD’s partners within their respective offices all over Aotearoa, where rangatahi have access to other useful resources and employment advisory.
Most importantly, they will learn hard and soft skills within their VR sessions, training both industry-specific and transferrable skills to boost their career opportunities.
The Youth Group UK will then connect our rangatahi to global mentors who can provide invaluable advice tailored to their interests as well as general guidance on preparing for the future.
This is the first ever Virtual Reality youth initiative all over the world that's fully funded by government, and SkillsVR is proud to be a world first.
To learn more, visit the Digital Embassy page today!