SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
2. Project Details
Company or Institution
General description of the AI solution
Due to continuously evolving pressures on the workforce, there has never been a greater need for adults to re/upskill to keep and secure employment.
The affordability, feasibility and flexibility of online courses make them an ideal and inclusive solution to re/upskill populations. They enable anyone, anywhere to learn and gain skills at any time. Importantly, they offer a COVID-19 transmission-free approach to tackling skills gaps across industries and economies.
However, the market for online courses has become saturated with >100k courses provided by >1000 different institutions across >40 major learning platforms. Therefore, many struggle to engage and benefit from online courses due to challenges in finding suitable courses tailored to their needs, preferences, skillsets and careers. Learners are wasting time and money on the wrong courses, evidenced by the 90% dropout rates for online courses – this is preventing people from effectively upskilling and retraining.
Learnisa is the only AI-powered platform that best-matches learners to the most suitable online courses. For anyone looking to take an online course, Learnisa can match people to their ideal course within 3 minutes. Learnisa intelligently scans 110,000+ courses across the market to provide personalised course recommendations to learners that are optimised for their success (whether to land a new job, progress within their job, support their academic studies or just learn something new). Importantly, Learnisa can provide learning recommendations for 1800+ occupations, from bus driving to banking.
Beyond course matching, Learnisa has also developed an AI-powered recruitment feature that matches jobseekers to the most suitable job vacancies from thousands available across the market.
With Learnisa, applying for jobs doesn’t have to be a lengthy process filled with rejection. Impressively, the platform provides personalised learning recommendations per job vacancy to enable learners to address personal skills gaps and maximise their chances of securing employment. By uniting both education and employment, Learnisa will empower and enable the re/upskilling of populations and facilitate the efficient migration of labour across sectors, which is essential given the disruption of automation and COVID-19.
The third of Learnisa’s innovative solutions is a Learning & Development tool to support organisations and initiatives looking to upskill their people, teams, candidates and communities. This tool can be embedded within any platform or site and enables its users to easily find/enrol on the most suitable courses for 1800+ occupations from Learnisa’s catalogue of 110,000+ courses. This tool can empower people and teams with the right skills to impact their organisation.
Learnisa firmly believes in the transformative impact of learning and education. Through Learnisa, learners and jobseekers can develop the RIGHT skills to better their life prospects, regardless of who they are or why they need to re/upskill.
Excellence and Scientific Quality: Please detail the improvements made by the nominee or the nominees’ team or yourself if your applying for the award, and why they have been a success.
Despite the content of online courses carrying many vocational applications and benefits, the vast majority lack an explicit association to a job or industry – many course providers fail to provide job-specific learning recommendations. To provide personalised and career-relevant recommendations, Learnisa developed a novel method using AI to accurately integrate course and labour market data. Resultantly, Learnisa’s system is built on a taxonomy of 110000+ courses, 13000+ skills and 1800+ occupation types. The recommendations are powered using AI to match learners to courses that will provide the MOST VALUE based upon an individual’s skills, preferences and goals for learning. Furthermore, Learnisa’s data-driven techniques provide every learner with a % match score per course (thereby providing additional assurance to users on course suitability). The same principles are applied to Learnisa’s recruitment feature with % match scores for job suitability too. What’s more, Learnisa’s system is designed to maintain personalisation and avoid bias against segments of users.
This exceeds solutions of course aggregators and providers, whose basic functionality fails to effectively align learners to suitable content.
Learnisa’s models were built upon insights gained through completing the EDUCATE research accelerator. Learnisa was subsequently funded by the UK’s Department for Education, Nesta and Innovate UK to ensure the models are innovative and provide inclusive value to all segments of populations (particularly lower-skilled segments whom could benefit most from re/upskilling). Learnisa’s technology has been developed in partnership with Cognition Foundry (an award-winning IBM partner), to ensure enterprise-grade value for learners.
Both Learnisa’s course and job recommendation features are live after extensive testing and refinement surpassing TRL 9. During development, Learnisa was selected in the top 8 companies that came through the EDUCATE cohort and was invited to pitch at London’s City Hall, for an event sponsored by AWS/Mayor of London. Learnisa has since been featured in The Big Issue and The London Economic and has been dubbed “The Google or GoCompare for online courses and jobs.”
Learnisa controls and owns 100% of the IP powering their models. Basic Freedom-to-Operate searches have been carried out – there are currently no IP issues surrounding Learnisa’s AI/ML methods.
Scaling of impact to SDGs: Please detail how many citizens/communities and/or researchers/businesses this has had or can have a positive impact on, including particular groups where applicable and to what extent.
By aligning learners to the right content through better, personalised, accessible recommendations, Learnisa can generate a positive cycle of network effects that can improve learner outcomes. This can generate a greater demand for courses and in turn a richer supply of content, which can advance the supportive learning infrastructure to the wider learner and labour markets. Since Learnisa’s core is a universal platform connecting all course providers to learners on one platform, Learnisa will be able to identify whether the demand for courses (dictated by labour market indicators) is being adequately met by the supply of courses…and in turn generate a feedback mechanism to ensure a sustainable online learning ecosystem that is capable of supporting the ever-changing labour market. By providing a more effective means for helping people to up/reskill, Learnisa can help to reduce skills gaps, reduce unemployment, improve workforce productivity, drive business and sector growth, which can stimulate income and GDP growth across economies. Learnisa’s recruitment feature can also facilitate the efficient migration of adequately skilled, career-adaptable labour to in-need sectors, bypassing educational and employment inefficiencies across economies.
Due to the boundaryless inclusivity of online courses, Learnisa’s data-driven approach will enable them to draw unique insights uniting both the education and employment sectors on a per sector, per region, per economy and even global scale. Such insights would include occupation, skillset, academic and careers data. These insights hold significant value to stakeholders including course providers, employers, recruiters, governments.
How Learnisa is disrupting the status quo:
- Learnisa’s learners will be more likely to invest their time and money in a course that is suitable for them
- Learnisa’s jobseekers will be more likely to apply for a job that is suitable for them
- Learnisa’s learners will be more assured that a course or job is suitable for them at the time of enrolment or application (thus improving career confidence and adaptability)
- Learnisa’s learners will be more likely to complete online courses and reap career/educational benefits
- Learnisa’s jobseekers will be more likely to land their desired jobs and be best-equipped when applying for roles
Scaling of AI solution: Please detail what proof of concept or implementations can you show now in terms of its efficacy and how the solution can be scaled to provide a global impact ad how realistic that scaling is.
Given the recent launches of Learnisa’s course and job recommendation systems in 2021, Learnisa has been able to target job seekers (looking to secure employment), the employed (looking to excel within their careers), academic learners (those pursuing a degree or apprenticeship) and hobby learners (those simply looking to learn something new). Early testing revealed: 90% learners were more assured of what to learn for career; 80% had better understanding of skills to develop to achieve learning goal; 70% had enrolled on course, of which 90% intended to complete; 90% NPS.
Learnisa has developed user engagement strategies (based on insights gathered from research conducted during EDUCATE and the DfE/Nesta/Innovate UK-funded projects), which navigates the delivery of impact through B2C, B2B and B2G channels. Learnisa is targeting those who could benefit most from up/reskilling through online courses, including lower-skilled segments who are currently seeking employment. This will promote engagement for those who are unfamiliar and familiar with online courses to promote accessibility and inclusivity. Additionally, Learnisa is strategically promoting re-engagement strategies to encourage lifelong learning e.g. Learnisa can support the re/upskilling of career-focused learners to find suitable employment AND THEN support their upskilling to progress within that new role (regardless of whether the employer provides L&D training). Subsequently, Learnisa projects to hit almost 1m users across the UK/US/Western Europe/India/China within 12 months (subject to securing further investment).
Learnisa is currently exploring partnerships to support employers, training providers, recruiters, job boards, universities, charities and governments with their re/upskilling initiatives and requirements.
Learnisa’s network effect can facilitate the growth of course providers, boost workforce productivity and business growth. Beyond this, Learnisa could also be used to support training in AI fields and drive innovation.
Learnisa is registered with the UK’s ICO and has compliance processes that are GDPR/CCPA compliant.
Ethical aspect: Please detail the way the solution addresses any of the main ethical aspects, including trustworthiness, bias, gender issues, etc.
Although online courses are inclusive, Learnisa is aiming to improve the accessibility of courses, particularly amongst lower-skilled (and most in-need) segments of populations globally. Learnisa is a socially inclusive solution that is free for learners, opening up access of courses to ALL learners. Their system has been designed to non-biasedly provide personalised learning recommendations to users regardless of their vocational/academic background, proficiency, learning budget, location, need to re/upskill. Learners historically can be limited by cost, geography and awareness of course options, all of which Learnisa alleviates to empower the individual. Learnisa’s system is designed to maintain personalisation and avoid bias against segments of users.
Prior to launch, Learnisa took into account GDPR-compliant measures to prevent bias and promote inclusivity when conducting user research underpinning product development and marketing/engagement strategies. In doing so, Learnisa’s recommendations are multidimensional as they are not just based on a user’s suitability to a course but also takes into account variables such as the quality and affordability of a course when generating recommendations. Moreover, Learnisa lists thousands of free courses to facilitate access to suitable up/reskilling content for those who are more price-sensitive.
Learnisa also provides environmental benefits. Since online courses can be delivered remotely and digitally, Learnisa promotes an approach to learning that does not require (polluting methods of) travel to and from learning institutions. Additionally, online learning avoids paper wastage on books and other learning materials. If we consider Learnisa’s potential to disrupt the global education and employment sectors, Learnisa can significantly reduce the impact of the impractical, environmentally inefficient, exclusive (particularly in Global South) in-person methods for teaching (whilst promoting more effective and efficient means of boosting economies through accessible and inclusive education).