Using Minecraft to help unearth ‘hidden’ engineering talent

Posted on 6 May 2020 by Jonny Williamson

Enginuity (formerly Semta) and the Prince’s Trust have created an online game – powered by artificial intelligence and based on Minecraft – to identify people that have what it takes to power the nation’s economic recovery.

The launch of Skills Miner is part of Enginuity’s mission is to create skills solutions for individuals, educators and employers to help close the skills gap in the engineering sector.

The game has been brought forward from the summer to allow thousands of people in lockdown to have fun – and find out if they’ve got what it takes to transit from the virtual to the real-world workplace.

Sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms monitor players’ performance and assess their aptitude for a whole raft of skills – from observation and assessment, resilience, digital competency, problem solving and critical reasoning.

Skills Miner To find the skills for our future, we bring you Skills Miner. A brand new, custom-created world for 2020!

Players of the game, which is based on Minecraft and aimed at players of all ages, will be guided to various levels, given assessments of their cerebral and dexterity strengths – then given a call to action to help them make an appropriate move through the gateway from the virtual to the real world.

Second and third phase plans include providing educational bursaries and other career-boosting rewards for players.

Enginuity CEO, Ann Watson commented: “This is a game-changer. We have through our innovation lab, the ability to help young people to discover hidden talents and unlock rewarding careers in something they might not have even considered.”

“Many of them might never realise their true potential without this initiative. Some of the beta version users have told us that game feedback was the one and only time that they had been told that they were good at something.”

In recent years, Semta has been one of the most influential employer-led engineering skills training bodies in our sector, connecting employers with skills training, and joining up the dots between them, career-seekers and government.

Now the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance has a new name: Enginuity. Just a brand change or something more significant? The Manufacturer recently sat down with Ann Watson to find out.

The game, set in an electric car showroom and factory is aimed at young people and may have particular benefits for the 800,000 Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEETs) in the UK, some from disadvantaged backgrounds, who would not otherwise be assessed by anyone in education, training or employment.

Their talents often go unnoticed and unharnessed, and are of particular interest to game partners The Prince’s Trust.

Find out more and play Skills Miner.

*All images courtesy of Enginuity

[Skills Miner has not been endorsed by Mojang, the Swedish video game developer behind the Minecraft series.]