Unleashing the metaverse for skills and workforce development

Article by Gemma Rodon, Marjorie Chinen, and Diego Angel-Urdinola: “The metaverse is revolutionizing skills and workforce development, reshaping learning in fields like auto-mechanics, health care, welding and various vocations. It offers future workers with invaluable, cost-effective, flexible, standardized and safe apprenticeship opportunities tailored for the demands of the global economy….Given its importance and potential, the World Bank’s EdTech team, with support from a Digital Development Partnership Grant, has recently completed a knowledge pack (KP) that provides evidence and case studies showcasing the advantages and results of using the metaverse, notably virtual and extended reality (XR) labs, for workforce development and offers guidance on implementation and steps necessary to deploy this technology. XR is an umbrella term that encompasses all immersive technologies that blend physical and digital worlds, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).

The KP compiles a catalog of available virtual and XR labs in the market in high-demand sectors, such as auto-mechanics, nursing, and welding. Overall, the metaverse is reshaping workforce development in three key aspects:

  • Reducing risks and fostering safety: Some training situations and learning experiences may be dangerous or difficult to access (e.g., health care, welding training, emergency preparedness, mass disasters, etc.).
  • Promoting technical proficiency: The metaverse allows for unlimited practice opportunities and can personalize the pace (and scenarios) of the learning experiences in a simulated environment.

Enhancing efficiency and monitoring: Training in the metaverse requires less investment in inputs and consumables; allows for easier adjustments to changes in the industry and facilitates data collection and analysis on students’ use and performance…(More)”.