Dev Clever enters into China with material contract win

Chris Jeffries

Deployment of 20,000 VR devices pre-installed with the Group’s Immersive STEM learning library

Dev Clever, a leading developer of online and immersive career guidance, learning and development platforms, is pleased to announce a material contract from Question What’s Real (“QWR”), an Asia-based VR hardware manufacturer and distributor operating on behalf of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (“CAS”). The contract is for an initial 20,000 VR devices to be deployed to users in China, pre-installed with the Group’s immersive STEM learning library.

The initial devices will begin to be distributed shortly after the Chinese New Year in February 2022. The Company will receive US$150 per device on an annual recurring SaaS subscription basis. Subject to the success of the initial roll-out, there is an option to extend the partnership to include between 15,000 and 30,000 additional devices in 2022. In addition to the immersive STEM-based content, the VR headsets will also incorporate a healthcare app, developed by QWR and CAS, with the objective of reducing myopia through the use of VR.

Background on CAS and QWR

CAS, in conjunction with the Chinese Academy of Engineering – collectively known as the ‘Two Academies’ – functions as the national scientific think tank and academic governing body, providing advisory and appraisal services on issues stemming from the national economy, social development, and progress in science and technology.

CAS and the Jiangxi Provincial People’s Government jointly established the ‘Jiangxi Industrial Technology Innovation and Incubation Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’. This focuses on the major scientific and technological needs of Jiangxi’s economic and social development. Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi Province, is being positioned as the ‘VR capital of the world’.

QWR, is a leading manufacturer, developer, and distributor of cutting-edge immersive VR, AR, and MR devices and experiences with operations in multiple countries globally from Asia. 

Chris Jeffries, CEO of Dev Clever, commented:

“As Dev Clever continues its global expansion, with a presence now in North America, India, the UK and the United Arab Emirates, we are very pleased to be adding a partnership in China.

“China, as one of the largest education markets in the world, has led education VC investment growth over the past five years and we are excited to be working with both CAS and QWR to further education in the sciences. CAS has an outstanding reputation and we are delighted to be partnering with such an esteemed international institution.

“As the world continues to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing a marked increase in enquiries for our products and services from educational authorities globally. We are excited about the expansion of our pipeline and look forward to growing our presence in China and beyond.”

Material Extension of Agreement with the CSC Academy in India

Chris Jeffries


Dev Clever’s,wholly-owned Indian subsidiary and Veative Labs Pvt Ltd (“Veative”) have agreed a material extension to their partnership with the CSC Academy in India (“CSC Academy”). 

This follows the pilot announced on 29 June 2021, when the Company stated that its immersive learning and careers platform would go live in 25 of the c. 5,930 CSC academy centres and it would assess the foundation programme of STEM-based immersive learning and careers guidance. Following the successful completion of this pilot, the CSC Academy and Dev Clever have agreed a foundation programme for phase two – with Dev Clever’s proprietary immersive career guidance and learning platform to be rolled out to all CSC academy centres across India. As a result, in phase two the foundation programme will be offered to 2.6 million students and will begin to be rolled out in Q1 2022. During this phase, Dev Clever will receive a one-off on-boarding fee and an annual SaaS-based subscription fee for each student, to be paid directly by the CSC Academy on behalf of the student.

In addition to the foundation programme, students will be given the opportunity to upgrade the service to a premium subscription and access additional learning content as well as live one-to-one career counselling sessions, delivered virtually through the platform. Dev Clever has agreed to work with the CSC Academy to offer students a Launchmycareer (“LMC”) Careers counsellor training programme that will provide a recognised qualification and, in anticipation of the demand for this premium subscription service, Dev Clever has already started onboarding career consultants. 

It is the express intention that, subject to success during phase two, there will be a further opportunity to formalise the expansion of beyond the CSC academies to the broader 350,000 CSC centres and its tens of millions of users.

Chris Jefferies, CEO Dev Clever, said:

“The Indian Government’s recognition of the importance of career development for its young people is a pivotal moment in its intention to bring positive and lasting educational change to its citizens, and particularly its youth. Our now broader remit is yet another endorsement of our ability to support India with the technological knowhow in bringing about this change. It also has extremely positive implications for Dev Clever with the fees generated during phase two expected to bring material revenues into the Company. 

“We are also extremely excited to be working with the CSC and to be able to jointly offer an initial 2.6 million students the opportunity of a recognised qualification in careers counselling that will provide employment for those students seeking a job in this area and also enable them to guide other students towards a career aligned with their ambitions.”

DevClever Launch The National Careers Challenge across the UK

Chris Jeffries


In a bid to bridge the global skills gap and enable the youth of today to develop the career skills that employers are asking for, The Inspirational Learning Group (TILG), are pleased to announce the launch of The National Enterprise Challenge under a brand-new name for 2021/22, which will now be known as The National Careers Challenge.

This change comes at a crucial time and for very exciting reasons: as the world begins to recover from the pandemic, The Inspirational Learning Group have huge plans to expand the reach of their in-school challenges with the help of new owners, Dev Clever – tech innovation specialists and owners of the career search and discovery platform, Launch Your Career (LYC).

Following the acquisition over summer, The Inspirational Learning Group hosted a launch event in early October 2022, welcoming guests to Thorpe Park to discover the new vision for The National Careers Challenge, and to test out some of the Virtual Reality experiences being developed for the future.

The collaboration between Dev Clever’s ‘Launch Your Career’ platform and The Inspirational Learning Group has resulted in the launch of The National Careers Challenge, which will deliver both virtual and physical interactions for young people in the near future.

The event saw new CEO, founder of Dev Clever and LYC, Chris Jeffries, take to the stage. He presented his dream “to build a world where young people can be inspired by possibilities, by changing the way we train and prepare young people for the world of work,” and that “The National Careers Challenge is an extension of two great companies coming together to engage young people and get them excited about their future.”

The National Careers Challenge is designed to fit into a school drop-down day, to introduce and develop crucial employer interaction that exercises and builds key employability skills in an exciting and engaging environment. Schools can choose from a number of challenges designed for year groups 7-10, all of which result in the winning teams from schools across the UK competing in our live final at the ICC in Birmingham in July 2022.

Ben Dyer, co-founder of The Inspirational Learning Group shared “to date, out flagship challenge – now known as The National Careers Challenge – has facilitated over 350,000 students to develop key employability skills such as teamwork, communication and leadership; the feedback from schools shows that students feel more confident using skills such as communication, presenting, and more. This year we pledge to build the skills of 50,000 more students.”

This year, following unprecedented interest from our corporate partners, our programme offers: a Year 7 STEM challenge, (in partnership with Air Products UK); a Year 8 Theme Park challenge in conjunction with Thorpe Park; a Social Enterprise challenge working with NatWest; and, to celebrate our 10-year anniversary, The Inspirational Learning Group are proud to set an Esports challenge for Year 10 students. All our challenges are mapped to the Gatbsy Benchmarks and support students to develop key skills required by employers in the workplace.

The challenges culminate in a LIVE, national final celebratory event at the ICC in Birmingham in July 2022, where we will see the winning teams from all participating schools battle it out in front of our judges for the top spot and to be crowned The National Careers Challenge winners for 2022. The event will also provide live interactions with real employers, as well as chances to WIN great prizes for both schools and students. Our finals have been supported, endorsed, and hosted by ambassadors such as Theo Paphitis, Nick Jenkins, Diversity, and Lord Sugar in past years – so stay tuned for more announcements about this year’s event!

Schools across the country can take part in the National Career Challenge competition NOW, with the LIVE Finals at Birmingham’s ICC on 5th July 2022. For more information click here

The Big Career Conversation with Young People in England

Chris Jeffries


Dev Clever are delighted to present a research report, commissioned by the Business Intelligence and Advisory Group of Dev Clever Holdings PLC.

The report is one of the most comprehensive discussions with young people and was distributed to over 3600 pupils this summer. The survey spanned across Year Groups 7, 9 and 11 and focusing on career aspirations and how pupils had received career guidance and advice throughout their time in education and is the largest report of its kind.

The report is supported with interviews with employers and headteachers, and provides an extensive summary of the current position, regarding careers support offered in Schools and what employers want from young people.

The report findings are stark, with most pupils still struggling to understand how to get comprehensive careers information, advice and support and believing they do not get enough careers advice and support in Schools.

With many welcome developments from The Education Bill, Careers Hubs and through organisations such as The Careers and Enterprise Company, this research still highlights that much more needs to be done to support our young people.

Young people need career guidance support more than ever. The social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for many years to come and Dev Clever, continue to play their part in helping young people prepare for the world of work.

Read ‘The Big Career Conversation’ Report here.

DevClever announce a 5 year partnership with Veative and NISA to roll out its Platform in India

Chris Jeffries


Today, Dev Clever, experts in digital innovation and immersive careers guidance, announce a 5-Year Partnership with Veative and the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) to implement its careers discovery platform, Launch Your Career, across 70,000 schools in India.

The platform, which has seen career engagement rates soar in young learners across two continents, will deliver high-quality guidance in line with dedicated benchmarks to ensure standards are raised. Focusing on verified testing, profiling, and custom data, Dev Clever will replicate the success it has had in the UK and USA to raise the bar across all NISA affiliated schools that onboard to the platform.

Also, as part of the new agreement, the trio will further bridge the careers gap in India by integrating a world-first direct-to-consumer subscription service. The service will offer advanced functionality and invaluable careers development content at the click of a button, on the fly, and synced to every device. Accessible anywhere, anytime, anyhow; nurturing India’s youngest minds in their own homes.

Moreover, the service aligns with Launch Your Career and is the perfect opportunity for parents and schools alike to maximise the potential of India’s student base. Giving them the tools to discover a career outside the norm, link to employers and institutions, and use resources to make informed decisions. In essence, Dev Clever’s objective is to become the CEIAG platform-of-choice across India.

Launch Your Career: The platform-of-choice in India

Pleased to conclude Phase One of its entry into the Indian marketplace, the partnership has already prepared and is ready to kickstart Phase Two in January 2021. Phase One was all about evaluation. Phase Two will see NISA recommend as the platform-of-choice to its 70,000 schools, which are attended by c.13 million students. It presents opportunity for widespread impact on learners and celebrates a significant milestone in the changing of India’s current careers offering.  

In recent years, the demand for better careers standards and advisers in India is unprecedented. In 2019, it was reported that 93% of schools across India lacked trained career specialists. Up to 53% of school leavers are ill-advised to find a job. Market saturation has left many youths out of work. The repercussions of this are dangerous for schools, learners, as well as India’s economy.

The new partnership will tackle India’s crisis’s head on in schools and the home. Once schools have onboarded and are familiar with the platform, there will be opportunity to upgrade its subscription license to gain best practice tools, Veative modules, and virtual learning content. The upgrades are engineered to enhance not only student potential but advisory efficiency; effectively, it’ll ensure schools can better align and guide learners from all potential avenues.

A New B2C Subscription Model for Careers Guidance: Giving Learners What They Want

The EdTech space worldwide has been significantly growing year-on-year. In light of Covid-19, India has witnessed an even larger boom. Its EdTech market is estimated to grow by up to 4x by 2025, reaching approx. $10bn, and it’s becoming a space to engage young paid subscribers.

In fact, India has become a nation of digital subscribers and Dev Clever are ready to transform the existing landscape with its landmark B2C subscription model to enhance careers guidance. The service, set to hit the Indian market from [April 2021], delivers outstanding functionality and access to careers content at home. It will also enable parents to supplement and monitor their child’s progress from any device. It’s a sleek and modern approach to careers guidance.

The expansive service will provide skills, guidance, and experience from all angles to maximize a learner’s potential and prepare them for college and career readiness. Students will benefit from virtual work experiences, careers networking, as well as college and course recommendations. Moreover, students can also undertake valuable modules to build aspects of their character and learning, incl. modules in interactive language learning, self-development and wellbeing, and curriculum-aligned educational units, all designed and brought to life by the award-winning Veative.

Success is in student statistics: Transforming lives

Dev Clever have rocketed careers engagement in learners within the UK. It recently collected feedback from schools it works with and is proud to highlight an impressive 147% growth in student participants feeling more engaged and informed after using the Launch Your Career platform.

By readjusting their focus and empowering students to make real life choices, educators could motivate learners in or outside the classroom. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 94% of learners saying the platform was helpful to finding the right career. 89% of learners felt more informed about careers. While 96% of students said they loved the Launch Your Career platform.

Chris Jeffries, CEO Dev Clever, said:

“This is a significant milestone and material opportunity to support the career development of millions of young people in India. We are delighted to be working directly in partnership with NISA, the benchmark authority and voice of the expeditiously expanding budget private education sector in India, and Veative, the market-leading provider of online and immersive curriculum-aligned learning content. Together, we are able to deliver this solution at such a scale that it has a real possibility to change the way young people learn and become prepared for the world of work in their future.

 “The Indian EdTech sector is predicted to grow from *$2.8bn in 2020 to $10bn by 2025 and this partnership enables the company to enter an exciting geography at scale with a strong proposition, a direct route to market and the opportunity to secure a sizable part of this rapidly growing sector.”

Kulbhushan Sharma, President at NISA, commented:

“NISA is committed to bringing about the best learning and growth opportunities for all students within our purview, and this commitment does not end at the gates of a school. Working with Dev Clever and Veative to drive career readiness and open up further long-term opportunities brings an added dimension to all that we do. We are delighted to explore new career aspirations with our students through the Launch Your Career platform, and then excite those minds with the cutting-edge learning technology developed by Veative. Much more than a simple solution, this new way of connecting students with learning will bring a significantly positive impact to budget private schools in India.

Ankur Aggarwal, CEO at Veative Labs, added:

“We are both excited and humbled to be working with Dev Clever, a market leader in career development, and NISA, a massively influential body working hard to affect real, lasting change in the lives of Indian youths. Our contribution to this endeavor is to add a unique immersive learning element to enable a true understanding of what some career choices entail, plus some real learning in that area of interest.

In these trying times, the ability for educators to pivot with the changing needs of both in-person and remote learners is paramount. Such a disruptive environment creates both challenges and opportunities for EdTech companies to rise to the occasion. Delivering online education at scale at significantly lower costs, coupled with increased internet and smartphone penetration and a large untapped consumer base, makes this a truly wonderful time to be involved in education in India.”

DevClever Launch the National Careers Challenge following Acquisition of TILG

Chris Jeffries


In a bid to bridge the global skills gap and enable the youth of today to develop the career skills employers are asking for, Dev Clever, pioneers of VR careers platform, announce their acquisition of UK education business The Inspirational Learning Group (TILG).

The expansion comes at a crucial time. As the world attempts to recover from the pandemic, young people need a chance to connect directly to potential future employers. TILG will not only enrich Dev Clever’s skills offering but complement its existing development platforms and partnerships.

Founded in 2016, TILG helps young people make decisions about their future by providing meaningful engagement with employers and programmes that build soft skills for the workplace. This includes The National Enterprise Challenge (TNEC), which is endorsed by ambassadors such as Theo Paphitis.

As the EdTech market grows, demand for a versatile careers platform ensures Dev Clever are primed to attract millions of users: schools, learners, employers. Combined with its notable partnerships with Lenovo, NISA, and Aldebaron, marketing at scale to a wider, global audience is a surefire deal.

Focus: Closing the Global Skills Gap

 The skills gap is becoming a global crisis. It’s estimated 69% of employers have difficulty filling vacancies due to candidates lacking hard and soft skills for these roles. According to the World Economic Forum, closing the global skills gap could add US$11.5 trillion to global GDP by 2028.

Regarding young people, they need more opportunities to take part in real-life business activities to acquire these skills. Problem is that access to work experience is vanishing. A Prospects survey highlights this by revealing how only 17% of learners gained experience in the last 12 months.

To aggravate the issue, it’s predicted, in the UK alone, there will be a shortfall of 2.5 million skilled workers by 2030. What can be done? Career platforms must evolve with the shifting labour market, such as changes in technology, the workplace, or, recently, the landscape due to the pandemic.

With the widespread capabilities of TILG, and the recent procurement of Veative Labs, Dev Clever is evolving to meet these changes and help young people to attain the skills employers need, alongside their education, to bridge the growing global skills gap and aid economic recovery.

Creation of the Careers Challenge

Acquiring TILG will bring education and industry together. The company’s skills days have a 91% approval rating, and its flagship TNEC – a real-life business challenge – has facilitated over 300,000 students to develop key employability skills, such as teamwork, communication, and leadership.

From these foundations, Dev Clever will launch its National Careers Challenge (NCC), which aims to make careers discovery rewarding for Year 6 – Year 11 learners. It’s a potent move in the EdTech sector to merge TNEC with virtual work experiences and live assessments to bridge the skills gap.  

The NCC will be a keystone of Dev Clever’s careers ecosystem – a network for employers, schools and learners. It’ll enable employers globally to market their business, demystify their sector, and connect to learners via virtual encounters. It’s a prime opportunity to address the skills pipeline.

The learner experience can be enhanced with social peer support, personality testing, and engagement tools, such as VR, to gamify their careers journey and ignite their passion in relatable ways. This unique style makes it easier to expand a learner’s skillset and connect them to suitable employers.

Learners can record their interactions, encounters, and any skills they’ve acquired on their online passports. It’s a safe space they can share with teachers and feedback can be sent to employers. It’ll also work nicely with NCC to so learners can swiftly present to employer their job-ready skills.

Creating work and skill-based opportunities worldwide

 The NCC will be available to all young students in the UK by the end of Q4 2021. Once launched, learners will gain instant access to an extensive employer hub filled with valuable experiences, tours, webinars, and insightful video content to build skills and make decisions for their future.

Likewise, organisations will be able to deliver personalised talent assessment and virtual work experience programmes. Moreover, young people will be encouraged to engage in NCC for the chance to secure traineeships, apprenticeships, and scholarships with sponsoring businesses. 

In the New Year, Dev Clever plans to release its NCC programme globally. Staring in India via its alliance with the National Independent School Alliance (NISA). The move could see 1.5 million schools and up to 280 million students taking part in the first Indian National Skills Challenge.

Working together with the newly acquired team at TILG, Dev Clever anticipates widespread rollout of its career challenge in the next three years. Swiftly integrating TILG’s operations and expertise can ensure emerging market territories gain access to an innovative careers and education content.

In addition, the experience Dev Clever has attained from creating hundreds of digital experiences for global brands and educators via its platform Engage can now, through the NCC competition, be used to produce engaging virtual work programmes for brands and employers onboarding globally.   

Chris Jeffries, CEO Dev Clever, said:

“Adding the Career Challenge initiative with Dev Clever’s leading careers platform will further enhance our ecosystem. Our ability to connect employers with relevant pre-selected talent will be significant and should result in much reduced friction for students identifying, finding, and securing their first job. This is a substantial development, and we are very much looking forward to swiftly integrating TILG’s operations and bringing the Career Challenge in the first instance to the UK and India and thereafter to other large emerging market territories.”

Michael and Ben Dyer, co-founders, The Inspirational Learning Group, added:

 “We are delighted to be joining Dev Clever which will supercharge the collective offering to young people and will be a great step towards bridging the skills gap. The work we have done at TILG over the past 5 years has seen us go from an innovative idea to the largest schools’ enterprise challenge in the UK. The work that Dev Clever is doing is revolutionary and bringing our expertise together in this marketplace will allow us to offer schools and employers all over the world an excellent offering in careers guidance and educational content.”

Careers After Covid: Tackling the Future Career Fear in Secondary School Students

Chris Jeffries


Over the past fifteen months we have all experienced the devastating impact of COVID-19 across the UK, and indeed the World.

Every part of society has been impacted requiring us all to adjust to lockdown, furlough, redundancy, working from home and being together in small social groups like never before. Positively, families have formed new bonds and recognised that adversity can bring opportunity and new ways of working.

One group that has been impacted more than any other is young people. Lord Iain McNicol, Chair of their Business Advisory and Intelligence Group, commissioned this research on ‘Careers After Covid’ supported by DevClever to help promote understanding of the critical need for careers guidance and personalised career-led learning.

You can read the full report here.

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