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Taking careers information into the virtual world

12 January 2018

Taking careers information into the virtual world

One of the best ways to understand what it would be like to work in a particular company or industry is work experience. However, this can be resource intensive and it is not always possible to go into an employment setting. At Prospects, we took an innovative approach to immersive work experiences and developed a range of virtual reality tours of well-known employers. The tours offer an insight into the world of work and can be viewed almost anywhere, enabling schools to arrange trips without leaving the classroom and those in custody to familiarise themselves with the latest working environments. 

At the recent Skills London event Prospects Digital Business Innovation Director, Michael Larbalestier, worked closely with Umbrella Training to develop a VR Hotel. Knowing it would be impossible to give every one of the 30,000 visitors an opportunity for work experience in a top hotel, Michael and Umbrella worked together to capture the experience on film so it could be enjoyed through virtual reality. 

The virtual reality films featured different apprenticeships in elite London hotels including The Ritz, Egerton House Hotel and The Dorchester. In addition to a tour of the hotel the films had embedded content designed to inform young job seekers. 

The approach worked really well at Skills London, where virtual reality activities on VR headsets were supported with a large flat screen display and handheld tablets by apprentices and managers from the different hotels. 

Speaking after the event, Sam Coulstock, Director at Umbrella Training, commented: “Michael was a massive help for us at Skills London this year by producing our VR Hotel.  Michael's knowledge on the subject of virtual reality was brilliant and we found him to really understand what we were trying to achieve at every step of the way.  No doubt without Michael's help we would not have achieved our goals for Skills London.”

Prospects has also developed a series of 360 VR YouTube videos covering around 35 careers. These have been commissioned as part of Prospects Career Clusters work in London, where we work with schools and have a set of VR headsets we loan out to schools, or take in and run workshops.  

For Prospects being collaborative provides innovative and productive ways of working and is one of our five values. In addition to our virtual reality work with Umbrella Training, we also connected Umbrella with Capel Manor College, the land-based careers college also exhibiting at Skills London, who were able to supply floristry displays to give the VR Hotel added impact. 

To find out more about virtual reality and how Prospects are innovating in the field, or to hear more about Skills London, please contact  A film of the stand is available here.

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