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Severn Trent helping unemployed look to the future with Virtual Reality at East Birmingham jobs fair

29th June 2023

Severn Trent will be using Virtual Reality to help get hundreds of unemployed people into work at our huge new jobs fair in East Birmingham.

Those attending the Big Boost for Brum event on July 10 will be able to use VR headsets for mock interviews and face questions from a computerised Avatar.

The futuristic experience is just one of the free services and attractions on offer at the jobs fair which is being held at Birmingham City FC’s St Andrew’s Stadium. The event will also feature companies including National Express, Kier, Pertemps, as well as the NHS.

Justin Maggs, Learning Lead at Severn Trent Water, explained the technology which will be on display on the day. “By putting on the VR headsets you will be able to see a virtual interview room and an Avatar interviewer,” he said.

“The interviewee is asked what job they would like to apply for and they then face questions based on their answers.

“It is fantastic technology which is fun and exciting to use but will also provide valuable experience of a job interview for people in a comfortable virtual environment.”

Severn Trent launched a ten-year programme last November to help 100,000 people in the region to reach their full career potential and more recently announced it was creating 1,000 new jobs for the Midlands. It is hoped hundreds of new positions will be up for grabs at the July 10 event, which will also offer training in other life skills.

Over the last six months Severn Trent has also hosted employability sessions at Unity Hubb in Ward End, meeting the local community to understand their needs and delivering sessions to increase employment opportunities.

The company has also partnered with local schools to educate and engage pupils around careers and to provide 500 work experience placements a year across the region. Research shows that young people who had higher employer engagement like work experience are 86% more likely to continue in education, employment or training.

Kofi Hanson-Asiedu, Learning and Development consultant at Severn Trent, goes into communities in Birmingham to deliver employability sessions. He says: “There’s a real buzz in Birmingham, and the sessions either myself or my colleagues have been involved with are full of people looking to learn and develop themselves.

“Looking for work, changing careers or learning new things can be really daunting for people, but it’s why we develop our sessions to be as accessible and adaptable as possible. Sometimes someone making that first step through the door is a huge success for them as things can take time, but my role is that I am here to help with that and help someone grow at their pace.

“I’d encourage anyone to pop along to the event on the 10th, as we’ll be delivering these sessions all day. If you’re not quite ready to get involved, you can come and ask questions or watch from afar before deciding if you want to take part. Whatever your pace or need, we’re here and can help.”