Barclays' VR Work Experience Pod Isn't a Late April Fool's Joke

By Gary Cutlack on at

Banking chain Barclays has presumably had enough of bored teenagers being sent to stumble cluelessly around its offices trying to get Reddit to load on financial workstations, as it's created a "LifeSkills Pod" to put people in and teach them things about the working world. Without the awkwardness of people being in their working world.

It doesn't appear to be a leftover April Fool's joke, either. Barclays says of its immersive work experience simulator: "Imagine this, it’s your ‘first day’ at work. You are in control of the experience -- you approach the LifeSkills Pod and select the sector you want to work in, as well as an outfit you feel is most appropriate. You even time stamp your arrival. You’re ushered into the Pod, a futuristic space that features high-tech equipment and take your seat – you’re excited to begin. Your boss appears on the screen and briefs you on the first task of five -- you roll up your sleeves, it’s time to get started!"

Time to sit down and do some fitful bursts of administration while trying to circumvent the IT department's block list. Sounds amazing. It's on display at the Lister Community School, where students are being encouraged to have a go at seeing how sad and mentally and physically ruined a life of work will make them.

Kirstie Mackey, the head of the LifeSkills team at Barclays, said: "Against the backdrop of a lack of work experience opportunities, we need to do even more to bridge the gap between education and work by providing a range of different experiences for young people such as the LifeSkills Pod."

It's definitely not an April Fool's joke, as Barclays' joke this year was the April 1st announcement of the sale of its Portuguese retail and insurance businesses, which fooled loads of people into think they'd been made redundant. [The Drum]

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