The Vodafone Italia Foundation – after Dreamlab, the application for research against Covid-19 and against cancer, and Bright Sky to combat violence against women – launches LV8 (Level8), a new app to involve young people who do not study and do not work, the so-called Neet (Not in Education, Employment or Training), in digital training courses.
In Italy, the first country in Europe by incidence, the Neet phenomenon affected over 2 million children in 2020 – with an impact on GDP that exceeds one percentage point – and is closely linked to early school leaving and subsequently the difficulty of finding a job. The figure is up compared to 2019 and this is attributable to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic: young people are among the most affected because, together with the unemployed, they continue to feel excluded from society, remaining exposed to a greater risk of depression. In the range between 15 and 29 years, geographically it is a phenomenon that has a greater impact in the South (32.6%), compared to the Center (19.9%) and Northern Italy (16.8%). The incidence is higher among girls (25.4%) than boys (21.4%). As for the educational qualification, the incidence among those who do not have any or who only have an elementary or middle school license is equal to 21.9%, among those who have a diploma it is 25.4% , and it is equal to 20.6% among young people who have obtained a degree or a post-graduate diploma.
The development of digital skills becomes the key to returning to having an active role in society and being able to seize job opportunities. And this is why the Vodafone Foundation has decided to invest in a training project thanks to technology.
LV8 is a “learning game” that allows you to acquire basic digital knowledge and some applications through the videogame experience. With the overcoming of 8 levels of increasing difficulty and challenges of various kinds, LV8 provides for the release of 3 Open Badges, digital certifications on the blockchain of the skills acquired to be enhanced in one’s curriculum vitae.
The Open Badge becomes the digital photograph of one’s skills. Contains metadata in open source format, compatible with all applications that read Open Badges. It is a digital curriculum that represents what the person knows how to do, the activities in which he participated, the communities in which he is active.
The realization of LV8 was possible thanks to the direct involvement – in 3 different pilot editions – of about 400 girls and boys from Northern (Turin) and Southern Italy (Catania, Cagliari), called to express their opinion on the definition of the concept and to test the game.
Skills – use of Google and its Google Workspace applications, Canva to create graphics and posts, SEO basics, Social Media Strategy basics, Google Sheets, introduction to CMS, introduction to HTML coding and more – are defined within of DigComp 2.1, the European reference framework for digital skills.
At the end of the game, self-assessment tests are proposed to give young people the opportunity to understand their own potential, such as those offered by Vodafone Future Job Finder www.futurejobfinder.com, which opens young people an access door to new skills and opportunities for work in the digital economy, or from Knackapp, a platform that combines cognitive science, play and Artificial Intelligence to unlock the potential of young participants. At the end of the course it is also possible to access targeted free courses and other opportunities promoted by the partners of LV8: Fondazione Cariplo with the second edition of the NEETwork project which offers approaches to the labor market and paid internships, Binario F from Facebook, which has also offered important contents developed ad hoc for the game, Generation Italy, a foundation created by McKinsey & Company, Google and Repubblica Digitale, to which the Vodafone Foundation adheres with the LV8 project.
LV8 – available for free on the App Store and Google Play and on www.lv8.eu – uses the EasyReading / Dyslexia Friendly font, a character subjected to independent and independent scientific research on its degree of readability and which can be considered an easy to read font for all readers, including dyslexics.
“For many years, early school leaving has affected Italy much more than other European countries – says Marinella Soldi, President of the Vodafone Italia Foundation -. Young people who leave their studies early risk finding themselves in situations of economic and social hardship and often have difficulty finding work. LV8 is an accessible, concrete, practical and digital opportunity to get back into the game and recapture your future, immediately “.
Training the new generations and reducing the employment imbalance is essential for the social stability of the country. For some time now, the Vodafone company has been engaged in a broad path of digital transformation of the skills of the entire company population to develop the technical, commercial and managerial skills necessary to accompany the company’s evolutionary needs. After an extraordinary first training plan launched last December to enhance the professionalism of all 6 thousand employees, Vodafone has recently launched the “Vodafone Digital Academy”, an excellent training center created in collaboration with Luiss Business School, MIP Politecnico of Milan School of Management and SDA Bocconi School of Management.