October 2013

New free app to guide young people through UCB courses and careers

Read time: approx 3 mins

Teenagers can get a taste of further education at UCB without leaving home, thanks to an exciting new app.

BeMe@UCB provides a fun, interactive look at the varied career paths open to students, whether it is working in tourism, childcare, hospitality or one of the many vocational training options available.

The free app provides a one-stop shop for young people seeking information about FE studies, including course content, entry requirements and future career paths.

BeMe@UCB allows users to create their own avatar, selecting their eye colour, hairstyle and facial expression, before picking the uniform that reflects their dream job.

Once the avatar is ready, students navigate their way around the course of their choice and take a look at a typical student profile, based on real-life examples of UCB alumni.

The student profiles feature a brief personal description, a summary of the “best bits” of the course and an outline of the individuals’ “dream job.” To add to the authenticity, the student avatars have been created to look like the students.

Some of the courses feature games the students can play on the app and new games are planned in subsequent upgrades of BeMe@UCB.

At the moment, if users click on the Hospitality section they learn how to lay a table for restaurant service. Would-be make-up artists can upload pictures from their own phone or tablet and manipulate the image with some outlandish designs including zombies, werewolves and butterflies.

The app reflects the cultural diversity of UCB’s student population, so users can dress their avatars in hijabs and turbans.

The app was the brainchild of UCB further education school liaison officer Lisa Collins, who came up with the idea after thinking about new ways to engage teenagers.

It is important to appeal to young people in ways that are interesting and relevant to their lives and we thought an app would be both informative and entertaining. BeMe@UCB is aimed at students aged around 12 to 15, so it has been designed with fun elements, such as the avatars and the games. However, the underlying aim is a serious one and we hope the app will allow young people to make informed choices about their future career. The app acts a portal to all of the vocational courses – and therefore jobs – on offer to students who enrol at UCB.

Lisa Collins

The BeMe@UCB app is a superb new recruitment tool and helps to demystify the choices on offer for further education. We have had very positive feedback from schools about the app and we are looking forward to developing its potential. We would be happy to talk to any schools and colleges with a view to adapting the app for their own course profiles. UCB has a first-class reputation for its vocational training and the app acts a shop window for our varied courses. BeMe@UCB is another example of the imaginative ways UCB reaches out to young people in order to show them the benefits of pursuing their education.

UCB vice-chancellor/principal Ray Linforth

The app is available to download free from the App Store and will soon be ready for android devices.

To download the app, visit the iTunes App Store.

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