Created by the Vodafone Foundation, LV8 is an app designed to involve first and foremost the Neets, young people who do not study or work, offering certified digital skills. Here’s how it works, what you learn by playing and the opportunities it can open up
It is read Level8, but it is written LV8: is the new app available for free and designed to involve young people in digital training courses. A learning system based on the technique of gamification, in short a learning game, aimed above all at those who are not studying or working, and who can therefore find in the development of digital skills the keystone to grasp new job opportunities and to get back into the game right away, taking back their future in hand.
The phenomenon that is tried to stem is that of the so-called Neet (acronym for Not in Education, Employment or Training), which, as we will see, is of particular interest to our country and in front of which the Vodafone Italia Foundation has decided to invest, engaging in a training project to offer an accessible, concrete and practical opportunity.
How LV8 works
LV8 was created to help develop the skills defined within the European digital skills framework DigComp 2.1. Which means, in practice, the use of Google and its Google Workspace applications, but also Canva to create graphics and posts, the basics of Search Engine Optimization (Seo) and Social Media Strategy, an introduction to Content Management Systems (Cms) and al coding in html language, and so on.
The user experience is that of a video game, between timed quizzes and mini-games, but in this way step by step the application allows you to get to one basic knowledge for a variety of applications. All within a structured system in 8 levels of increasing difficulty, which give the app its name and which – once passed – allow the release of Open Badge, i.e. digital certifications on blockchain of the skills acquired, also recognized by the European Community. A digital photograph of your own know how, therefore, to be enhanced also within one’s own curriculum.
Indeed, to be more precise, the Open Badge contains metadata in open source format compatible with many applications, and therefore it is in effect a curriculum digital, also containing a collection of the activities in which the person took part and the community in which he is active.
The creation of LV8 saw the direct involvement of about 400 girls and boys through three pilot editions, which involved both the north and the south of Italy, between Turin, Catania and Cagliari. A contribution consisting on the one hand in testing the app and on the other in expressing one’s opinion on the project. Now LV8 it’s available free on the App Store, on Google Play and on lv8.eu. With a curiosity: an easy-to-read font is used within the application and dyslexia friendly, which has been subjected to scientific research on its degree of readability, resulting in a type of font simple to use for all readers, including people with dyslexia.
Of course, the path does not end with the completion of the 8 levels: at the end of the game they are proposed self-assessment test to give young people the opportunity to understand their own potential, such as those offered by Future Jobs Finder, a platform also branded Vodafone and dedicated to job opportunities in the digital economy. Or, the same can be done as well from Knackapp, a platform that combines the cognitive science, the game and theartificial intelligence to unlock the potential of the participants.
At the end of the course it is also possible to access more targeted free courses and other opportunities promoted by LV8 partners. An example is the Cariplo Foundation, which with the second edition of the project NeetWork proposes approaches to the labor market but also paid internships. To which are added the contributions of Binario F from Facebook, which also offered important developed content to this for the game, and of Generation Italy, the foundation created by McKinsey & Company, Google and Repubblica Digitale to which the Vodafone Foundation adheres precisely with the LV8 project.
Some data to explore the Neet phenomenon
As anticipated, Italy, much more than other European countries, is affected byschool dropout e Consequently by people who are in the so-called Neet condition. Young people who leave their studies early and who, in fact, risk finding themselves in situations of economic and social hardship and often have difficulty finding work.
Our country, in particular, is the first country in Europe by incidence of Neet, with over 2 million children involved in 2020 according to the data collected by Istat, and an impact that already materialized in 2016 in a decline of one percentage point of GDP second an Oecd research. With the arrival of the pandemic, the situation has obviously worsened, because, as is well known, the health emergency has impacted above all on young people, much from a point of view psychological how much in terms of school dropout e unemployment, with a vicious circle mechanism.
In the range between 15 and 29 years, the Neet is a phenomenon that mainly affects the South, essentially affecting a third of people, 32.6% to be precise. Then follow the regions of the Center, with 19.9%, and then those of the North with 16.8%. Although not gigantic, there is also a gender gap, because of the incidence of Neet it is higher among girls than boys, with 25.4% against 21.4%. Finally, always according to the most up-to-date Istat data, there is a correlation with the educational qualification: the incidence among those who have no qualifications or only a primary or secondary school license is 21.9%, among those with a high school diploma it is 25.4 % and finally for those with a degree or a post-graduate diploma it is 20.6%.
Almost twenty years of the Vodafone Foundation
If it is obvious that formation the new generations and reduce it occupational imbalance is essential for the country’s social stability, Vodafone has for some time been engaged in a broad path of digital transformation of skills. Starting from the company itself, to develop the technical, commercial and managerial skills so necessary to accompany the evolution of work. After a training plan aimed at all 6 thousand employees, Vodafone has launched its own Digital Academy, a training center of excellence created in collaboration with Luiss Business School, Mip Politecnico di Milano School of Management and SDA Bocconi School of Management.
But attention to the potential of technology and digital to improve people’s lives is a fundamental principle of the company, as well as of its foundation. Vodafone Foundation Italy was born in 2002 from the desire to create an autonomous structure dedicated to social solidarity activities and to the benefit of the community, in particular for people in uncomfortable situations. The mission of the Foundation is to support society by offering a contribution to promote accessibility and social inclusion and, in fact, improving the quality of life of people through new technologies. To date, over 100 million euros have been invested to support 450 projects throughout the Italian territory, and the current strategy focuses on projects with a high social impact, scalable and sustainable between applications for good, connected education e digital health. A few examples? Dreamlab, the app that uses the smartphone for research against Covid-19 and against cancer, or even Bright Sky to counter the violence against women.