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The creators of CiCi – a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning that offers support with creating a CV, the latest job vacancies, apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities – are offering free access to this cutting-edge technology throughout January. You can simply try out CiCi in the comfort of your own home, on a bus or train or elsewhere 24:7. This can be a fun career exploration activity – using a mobile phone, ipad or laptop – to find out what opportunities are out there either in your local area or further afield –

CiCi boasts more than 25,000 full-time job opportunities across the UK on its site, information on courses and further education and 1,500 inspirational career journey videos. It can also be translated into more than 40 different languages and has a text-to-speech function.

Those using CiCi will ‘chat’ with the bot, enabling personalised information and advice to be delivered to the user 24 hours a day, seven days a week and, if needed, the user can choose to speak to a human adviser.

CiCi, part of CareerChat (UK) Ltd, started as an idea in 2019 and was co-developed by a team of career development experts, labour market specialist and technology gurus, led by Dr Deirdre Hughes OBE. CareerChat was initially awarded funding after being named as one of 20 national finalists in the NESTA/Department for Education-funded CareerTech Challenge.

Further funding was granted by the University of Exeter, as part of their ‘Environmental Futures and Big Data Impact Lab’ project, enabling education and employability providers such as The Bemrose School to pilot CiCi, as part of a test and learn initiative.

It has already been hailed a success in Derby, where The Bemrose School have been piloting the project with their pupils, parents and teachers. The YMCA Derbyshire are also using CiCi.

“We are very proud of our careers guidance at The Bemrose School,” said Claire Amos, lead in careers delivery at the Uttoxeter Road school, who recently welcomed personnel from HMS Ambush, the RAF and BBC as part of their careers programme.

“CiCi is a fantastic and easy resource that can be used by students of all abilities. It is also very inclusive, and we have seen first-hand how CiCi’s personalised and friendly careers support will help our student to explore their future career possibilities, raise aspirations and become aware of labour market information.”

City & Guilds and Arden University have each invested in a customised version to support work in local communities targeted at young people and adults. To find out more about CiCi and the evidence-base intelligence dashboard that complements this: email – [email protected]