The virtual reality (VR) workshops were launched in Estonia, to improve the career awareness of young people of the health care sector. Virtual reality workshops give participants the chance to job shadow bio analysts and nurses and experience their day-to-day working environment. Participants can observe closely how various samples and analyses are taken and made, how to work with a microscope, learn first aid, and how to solve crisis situations. During the practical part of the workshop, they can try out the skills needed in these jobs under the watchful eye of professionals. The chosen specialities match the trends observed in the report on the health care sector by OSKA (system of surveys on sectoral needs for labour and skills).
One of the goals of the workshops is to increase the engagement of young people and early contact with the world of work, and to support their competitiveness. According to the director of the Estonian Youth Work Centre, Edgar Schlümmer, author of the idea of mobile workshops, it is extremely important that career services and youth work as a whole: ‘Youth work is tasked with creating the best opportunities for the personal fulfilment of young people in their selected area and speciality. Mobile workshops are an innovative and critical step in bringing career services closer to young people, and they do so in an attractive and efficient way. The workshops give people the opportunity to explore different jobs and occupations and the practical side of working life, and they help young people be better prepared for working life’.
The workshops are organised in different youth centres, at fairs and camps all over Estonia. The aim is to reach at least 900 young people by the end of 2018.
The workshops are funded within the framework of activities described in the jointly funded ESF programme Inclusion of youth at risk of exclusion and improvement of the employment readiness of youth. This was approved by the Minister of Education and Research and implemented by the Estonian Youth Work Centre.