The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) created a fund to increase the uptake and adoption of immersive learning among construction employers.
TCEG partnered with City College Plymouth, Plymouth Construction Training Group and Building Plymouth (alongside other companies including Kier and Willmott Dixon) to create solutions tailored to the local Plymouth area. With booming investment in Plymouth and 10,000 new jobs expected in the next five years, it was vital that our project partnership would maximise its impact on new recruitment in the local construction industry and offer an innovative approach to training.
We developed a suite of VR materials and training designed to offer innovative, blended learning and risk-free training in a completely authentic setting. These supplement the academic curriculum for both the HE and FE cohorts.
It was imperative that students get a sense of an authentic introduction to a building site. For the first time, we accurately recreated a Kier Living four-bedroom house in VR using real building specifications from one of Kier’s new Plymouth developments. This represents a unique asset and an invaluable foundation learning environment upon which educators can build targeted learning content and journeys to address specific, employer-identified skills gaps. The user experiences an authentic site that feels real by emulating textures and sound design found on a real-world site.
I’ve never done anything like it before
Operating in a similar style to a driving hazard perception test, the training solution is tailored to the different skill levels of the HE and FE demographics. The FE experience guides the user on a linear path around the site through three modules, whereas the HE experience allows much greater independence in free roaming.
We created an unforgettable learning experience punctuated with moments that users could never experience through traditional classroom learning. For instance, the user can simulate the safety procedures necessary before stepping onto a building site – or practise with heavy machinery like a mitre saw.
I’d like to see it more in the classroom
The training has had an early rollout across the FE and HE courses, before its full implementation in September 2020. Future students will use the solution to supplement their classroom learning in health and safety, and it will be the basis of assessed coursework on risk assessment.
Lance Chatfield, Academy Manager at City College Plymouth