AI Avatar Revolutionizes UK Social Care Training

ai avatar revolutionizes uk social care training.jpg Technology

In an unprecedented move in the UK’s social care sector, artificial intelligence (AI) is being employed to train staff, potentially addressing the sector’s workforce shortages swiftly and efficiently. Healthtech company and social care provider Cera has piloted the use of an AI avatar, a digital representation of a real-life trainer, designed to onboard new employees in multiple languages and teach them essential skills, such as recognizing the signs of a stroke.

The potential impact of this innovative approach is significant. Cera estimates that if the technology is adopted nationwide, the avatars could train approximately 20,000 new carers annually. This approach comes at a crucial time for the social care sector, which has been grappling with around 152,000 vacancies on any given day between April 2022 and March this year, according to a report from Skills For Care. Cera’s founder, Dr Ben Maruthappu, envisions the use of avatars as a cost-effective solution for training thousands of people daily while maintaining the familiar face of their local Cera team.

AI to Address Workforce Shortages in UK’s Social Care Sector

In what is believed to be a first for the UK social care sector, artificial intelligence (AI) is being employed to train staff and address workforce shortages. Healthtech company Cera is piloting an initiative where an avatar, a digital representation of a real-life trainer, welcomes new employees in multiple languages and imparts various skills including how to identify signs of a stroke.

Pioneering Use of AI in Social Care

The project, if implemented nationwide, could potentially train around 20,000 new carers annually. Cera’s founder, Dr. Ben Maruthappu, referred to this development as an exciting and pioneering one. The company, which primarily provides social care on behalf of the NHS and local authorities, is set to have its avatar-trained staff deliver services in the health sector or through councils.

Pilot and Future Prospects

A pilot program in London and South East, which commenced this month, is expected to have trained about 60 new carers by the end of August. According to Skills For Care, there were approximately 152,000 vacancies in social care on any given day between April 2022 and March of this year. With the use of avatars, Cera hopes to train thousands of people at low or no cost while maintaining a familiar face for the local team.

A Mix of In-Person and Online Training

Though the use of AI is expected to enhance training, it does not completely replace in-person instruction and support. Dr. Maruthappu emphasized that certain aspects of care, like manual handling of a patient in a hoist, require in-person training. However, the use of avatars can make online training more personalized and efficient.


The use of AI to tackle workforce shortages is a novel and promising approach. It not only enhances the efficiency of the training process but also allows it to be more personalized and accessible. However, it’s essential to maintain a balance between technological advancement and the human touch that is inherent in social care. This approach could serve as a model for other sectors facing similar challenges.

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