July 2, 2020 @ 16:43 by Richard Dawson
The National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) has partnered with a global EdTech company to launch a new digital training programme for employers.
The ‘Lifeed Caregivers’ web app will allow companies to harness the knowledge of employees who have cared for an older relative or dependant.
Founded in 2015 and with employees in Italy and in the UK, Lifeed is an EdTech company that aims to unlock learning potential by transforming employees’ life transitions into resources for businesses.
Together with NICA, Lifeed have been able to bring a new product to the UK market that it hopes will help foster a culture of care in the organisation, which adopt it.
Previous research has estimated that nearly 8 million people in the UK provide care for family members without pay, and recent estimates show that COVID-19 has added another 4.5 million people to this figure.
Studies have found that the vast majority of caregivers get positive effects like greater self-esteem and feeling useful.
The Lifeed Caregivers app aims to unlock the specific soft skills nurtured through doing caregiving such as stress management, patience, and self-confidence, and apply them to the workplace.
The Lifeed Caregivers program takes place through a web app, and includes online training modules, real life missions, webinars, and a diary, with 30 minutes per week recommended over 3 months, with a maximum of 12 months to complete the programme.
It focuses on relationships with others, personal development, and self-direction, in order to harness the skills developed through the care experience and apply them at work.
Professor Nicola Palmarini, director of NICA, said: “We strongly believe in the core idea of Lifeed where the experiences of life of each one of us – like caring about a family member or dealing with a crisis – can be translated in practical skills for personal and professional growth.
“Our mission at NICA is to harness the intelligence of people through engagement and data.
“This new digital platform will help businesses to harness new skills, gather meaningful insights and create a sense of community in the workplace.
“It can also help shape policy and provides huge potential for the growth and personal development of employees whatever life stage.
“We have been successfully building and operating our thriving and successful citizen engagement network named VOICE for over 10 years and together with Lifeed we are bringing a concrete example of how this issue can be addressed.
“We are using digital and data in a novel way, while leveraging a true collaborative interaction between employers and employees to understand the needs and empower each other in a joint play to benefit both the work-life balance of the individuals and the needs of an ageing society.
“We are pleased to have played our part in helping to transform the culture of care for businesses in the UK.”
Riccarda Zezza, founder of Lifeed added: “We are thrilled to have partnered with the wonderful NICA team, who have lent their world-leading expertise in human experience to help us perfect our Lifeed Caregivers program.
“We’re excited to help build a culture of care within British businesses, particularly in light of the current situation which has brought out the caring instincts in all of us.
“Our life experiences make us who we are, and by embracing them into our working life, we can develop and grow in all aspects of our lives.”