A group of members of the Velocity Network, including Oracle, Randstad and SAP SE, participated in live demonstrations of verifiable career credentials using blockchain. One of the key purposes of Velocity is to integrate with the many vendors that already provide tech solutions to educators, recruiters and employers. The demonstrations involved a dozen different integrations.
So if a college has a vendor that manages their database of degrees, the vendor’s system can provide a credential. If another supplier performs background checks, they can use the credentials from the Velocity app, and so on.
The Velocity Network consortium was founded in January by thirteen organizations and initiated by Velocity Career Labs. It has since expanded to more than 25 members. However, we noticed that a member that has dropped is Upwork (see update).
As people stay in jobs for shorter timespans or adopt gig work, the pace of career mobility has accelerated. And so has the paperwork for employers. On the flip side, individuals want to keep control over their personal information, including career data and with whom they share it. So self-sovereign identity is appealing.
“As work and skills become much more dynamic, organizations need to shift away from a top-down approach and focus on the needs of individuals,” said Meg Bear, SAP SVP. “The Velocity Network is creating a way for individuals to own their credentials throughout their career journey.”
The initial Velocity Network demos covered three aspects of career credentials, including the most common one, proof of education, training and employment. Employment in certain professions requires licenses, so the second area was licensing and compliance, with the third one focused on workforce mobility, both nationally and internationally. COVID has highlighted some of the mobility issues in the United States with desperately needed health workers not licensed to work across state lines.
Ultimately an individual will have a digital career credential wallet. The Velocity Network Foundation envisions the platform will enable token-based career credentials that allow individuals to own and share their career data with current or prospective employers.
The Velocity announcement said: “As an open source, standards-based infrastructure, the participants within the Velocity Network are actively issuing and exchanging verifiable career credentials, leveraging current and emerging standards and common schemas to ensure data interoperability across the labor market, including: World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Verifiable Credentials, Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs), Open Badges, Learning and Employment Record (LER) Wrappers and Wallets, Credential Engine’s CTDL, and the Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR), all of which are common across the education market and the verifiable credentials space.”
The solution uses a permissioned blockchain, which we think is Hyperledger Besu and there is a Velocity token that is used as a utility token and not traded externally.
Meanwhile, Blockchain based credential solutions are becoming increasingly prominent. The World Employment Confederation (WEC) started working on a project earlier this year with some of the largest staffing firms, including Adecco, Kelly Services, Manpower, and Randstad, which is also part of the Velocity Network.
Etisalat Digital recently partnered with Smartworld for a blockchain credential solution targeted at educational institutions in the UAE.
Update: An earlier version stated that the National Student Clearinghouse had dropped out, which was incorrect