AI CareerChat Bot finalist in CareerTech Challenge Prize

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AI CareerChat Bot finalist in CareerTech Challenge Prize

by Angela Gerrard

The CareerChat (CiCi) consortium, led by DMH Associates was selected as 1 of 20 national finalists within the NESTA CareerTech Challenge Prize, supported by the Department for Education, England.

Senior consultant Prof. Graham Attwell explained the innovative chatbot, named CiCi, as a chatbot providing a personalised, guided career journey experience for adults aged 24 to 65 in low skilled jobs, at risk of automation and/or displaced from work as a result of Covid-19. This new prototype bot is currently being piloted in three major English cities: Bristol, Derby and Newcastle. He says ‘It offers informed, friendly and flexible high-quality, local contextual and national labour market information including specific course/training opportunities, and job vacancies to support adults within ‘at risk’ sectors and occupations’

CiCi incorporates advanced Artificial Intelligence technologies, database applications and Natural Language Processing and can be accessed on computers, mobile phones and devices. It allows users to reflect, explore, find out and identify pathways and access to new training and work opportunities. Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE explains “This is cutting-edge work within the career development sector. Our work combines drawing on expertise from within a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to harnessing machine learning and AI, alongside maintaining the important dynamics of human interface relationships.”

Nesta is delivering the CareerTech Challenge in partnership with the Department for Education as part of their National Retraining Scheme. In late September 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new Post-18 skills revolution Over the coming year(s), it will be vital to increase adults’ access to reliable and good quality labour market information and intelligence.

dmh associates based in Exeter, England and Pontydysgu, based in Pontypridd, Wales have formed a partnership to co-create ‘CiCi the little powerhouse that supports your career’.

Prior to the pandemic, Nesta research suggests that more than six million people in the UK are currently employed in occupations that are likely to radically change or entirely disappear by 2030 due to automation, population ageing, urbanisation and the rise of the green economy.

In the nearer-term, the coronavirus crisis has intensified the importance of this problem. Recent warnings suggest that a prolonged lockdown could result in 6.5 million people losing their jobs. Of these workers, nearly 80% do not have a university degree. 

The solutions being funded through the CareerTech Challenge are designed to support people who will be hit the hardest by an insecure job market over the coming years. This includes those without a degree, and working in sectors such as retail, manufacturing, construction and transport.

The CareerTech Challenge runs from October 2020 until March 2021, for more information visit