insights from our Virtual Reality Training Session

Getting ready for the eagerly anticipated ‘Choose Your Future’ event on Thursday, February 22nd – featuring industry-related VR experiences for students – in partnership with Cyfle Building Skills, we conducted a virtual reality training session at the University of Wales Waterfront campus. The session was tailored for all staff and employers attending the event. Collaborating with CWIC, the Construction Wales Innovation Centre at UWTSD, our team and participating employers received comprehensive demonstrations, training, and walk-throughs showcasing the latest advancements in virtual reality technology within the construction industry.

We were thrilled to welcome distinguished construction companies and respected training providers from the local areas. Noteworthy participants, who will be leading students through their virtual reality experiences, included CCTAL, TAD Builders, Bouyges, TRJ Ltd., Castle Scaffolding, Tilbury, Lloyd & Gravell Ltd., Morganstone, PCR, and Andrew Scott.

The session was filled with educational opportunity and excitement, granting access to an array of virtual reality software, tailored specifically for the construction industry:

Virtual Construction

The Virtual Construction VR allows users to immerse themselves in the construction process. They can select from three distinct briefs for virtual building construction, considering elements such as building performance, comfort, sustainability, and cost measures.

Working at Heights

The Working at Heights VR offers users a lifelike experience of working at elevated levels, particularly on and around scaffolding. It provides users with the chance to assemble and inspect scaffolding components, all while addressing health and safety, Scaffold Component Identification, Scaffold Assembly, Scaffold Inspection, and legal requirements.

Drone Piloting

Using cutting-edge VR technology and industry-standard controllers, the rotor pilot simulation allows users to practice fundamental flight principles and engage in industry-related activities. These activities include basic flight training, understanding the prerequisites for safe operation, and inspecting heritage buildings.

Wood Ed

Wood Ed serves as an excellent initiation into carpentry and construction. In a risk-free setting, users can operate tools such as a band saw, rip saw, surface planer, and spindle moulder. This helps develop beginner-level knowledge and skills, while fostering self-confidence in handling real machinery.

Tunneling

The newly introduced tunneling software provides users with a distinctive chance to venture underground—safely! In an immersive experience, Tunnelling Skills encompasses Shaft & Tunnel Construction, Accessing the Shafts & Tunnels, and Emergency Protocols.

Paint Sprayer

Simspray, the virtual spray paint learning system, allows users to practice industrial-level painting. It encompasses various systems such as HVLP, Airless, Airmix, and electrostatic powder coating processes, along with additional features for sandblasting and edge blending. Simspray provides comprehensive coverage of skills such as adjusting air pressure and paint flow, controlling coating thickness, mastering distance, speed, and angles, and demonstrating techniques for working on flat, round, and complex surfaces!

Participants had the opportunity to engage with the groundbreaking ‘Futurescape’ software. Using VR headsets, both staff and employers delved into a fantastical gameplay narrative, allowing them to not only explore an imaginative world but also apply industry skills in various construction-focused scenarios.

Leading the demonstration was Euros Griffiths, our Training Manager/Shared Apprenticeship Coordinator. Euros played a pivotal role in offering industry-specific insights and providing weekly feedback to the Futurescape developers. Alongside this, Euros was also tasked with bringing the new software to industry, so that professionals and students could access and trial it. This collaborative effort aimed to make the software as realistic and beneficial to students as possible- making for an exciting time in construction training!

Discussing the session and the introduction of Futurescape, Euros said,

“The session provided an excellent chance for both staff and employers to explore the latest technological advancements within the construction industry – which is rapidly improving all the time! Demonstrating Futurescape was particularly great, as a lot of time has been invested in crafting it to reflect industry specific knowledge and skills.”

“Today’s session will ensure the students on Thursday will get the best experience possible.”