call back

The project at-a-glance

  • Enterprise-strength careers guidance software
  • Vibrant UX to drive maximum engagement and
    employability outcomes
  • Architected to support the exponential growth of user data
  • Ongoing relationship including management, maintenance and monitoring of U-Explore’s EdTech portfolio

The requirement

Keen to better harness the power of technology to drive this deep-rooted company mission –and with an ambitious growth mindset, U-Explore began talking to IDS.

In an ever-changing education and employability landscape, EdTech innovator U-Explore is passionate about ensuring every young person has access to the best information, advice and opportunities that will shape their future regardless of who or where they are.

The brief was to strengthen the agility, robustness and market
potential of its careers guidance software, to better support nationwide schools, colleges, and students, with the professional insights needed to plan a career.


“Software projects always encounter technical challenges, particularly when companies are hungry to innovate and grow. But we know we are in safe hands.

“In fact, since this long-standing relationship began, we’ve felt like we’re at the centre of IDS Group’s world. We work together closely, so much so we view them as an extension of our team – I believe this is a true definition of a technical partner.”

Matt Peters
Managing Director, U-Explore

Our solution

Beginning with a technical audit, IDS worked in close collaboration with U-Explore to assess the performance of the platform to date, in terms of everything from system architecture and functionality through to UX and fulfilment of the needs of the target audience.

The partnership approach saw IDS play a pivotal part in U-Explore securing a grant in 2017 which fuelled a crucial platform refresh that would drive the next phase of growth. This technical development project involved the design, development and launch of a free digital service – START, a youth-targeted website to encourage career planning through personalised informative pathways. The goal was to empower the education sector and young people alike with extensive, trusted industry information that enables smart decisions.

Functionality included helping students devise action plans and capture a digital record of achievement in their locker, while supporting schools with structured modules and activities for their young people.

A user-centric design approach was critical, and IDS worked closely with U-Explore on a vibrant, responsive and accessible interface to drive maximum engagement. Platform flexibility allowed schools and colleges to tailor the packages and programmes according to their needs, for further effectiveness – adaptability that is critical in the current education and employability landscape.

The results

The project was such a success that U-Explore wanted to advance their traction in the market. With IDS Group’s help, the team therefore secured a second grant to bolster their EdTech portfolio with work experience software. This also proved a significant success.

In fact, the core adaptability of the platforms was truly put to the test during the Covid-19 pandemic, when U-Explore continued to iterate the proposition to better support users in the face of government restrictions. The introduction of virtual work experience opportunities is one of many examples of newly introduced functionality.

What was once a nationally-focused platform has also been adapted to become a regional place-based solution – a project that U-Explore and IDS accelerated as a result of the health crisis. Now, a user can enter their postcode to immediately be funnelled to the right area of the platform, according to their location. This localised approach – rolled out to London, Lancashire and Leeds, to name just a few – ensures the careers and employability content, guidance and opportunities better reflect the challenges and opportunities within the local economy and jobs landscape.


UK schools and colleges onboarded.


students aged 11-18 supported


teachers and advisers empowered