Displaced youth have little chance of becoming productive members of society and realizing a successful future if they are not provided with context-specific employability skills and preparation for workplace challenges. Our goal is to use our innovative, extended reality tool, BecaXR, to offer young refugees living in Turkey, many of whom are from Syria, improved pathways to employment and fulfillment. One pathway toward realizing that objective is improving access to and the effectiveness of employability skills training.
BecaXR (Better Careers through Extended Reality) is a first-of-its-kind application designed to bring the workplace to life to help displaced youth visualize potential career opportunities while also practicing the skills they need to be successful.
The application uses augmented reality, avatars and virtual-reality environments to provide digital workplace simulations that are readily accessible, cost-effective, and give displaced youth the opportunity to obtain and practice critical life skills, including public speaking and interviewing.
BecaXR was developed in response to the question: “How can digital technologies provide breakthrough solutions to support youth in developing secure livelihoods?” We piloted the app with deprived and at-risk youth in Vietnam and, based on that success, are now ready to expand it to a second country, reaching displaced (and host community) youth ages 15-24.
The proposed initiative will supplement another Save the Children project focused on improving the school environment and the experience of refugee youth in Turkey. To facilitate transition to the workplace for these youth, we will adapt BecaXR to the country context and facilitate use of the application to support displaced youth in imagining and preparing for their futures.
Through this project, we will offer an immersive experience proven to inspire youth toward decent careers. At the same time, we will help them practice job-appropriate employability skills. Additionally, the app will feature experiences related to protection, such as workplace safety, preventing bullying in the workplace and positive collaboration.
The initial phase of the project will include a local needs assessment and the adaption of BecaXR to the identified needs, including language. We will also refine the app with media development (audio, photo and video). Implementation will then begin with a first-year target reach of 300-400 youth through community centers. This will be followed by expansion initiatives and work with potential partners, such as school systems.