Virtual Reality. You’ve definitely heard of it. If you’re a gamer, you may have even used it. But would you expect to see VR in workforce training and development? Well, thanks to Harness Energy’s collaboration with creative production company Activate Studios, you’re about to see the use of VR in a range of workforce training and development settings.
The growth of VR is now a reality
While science fiction novels such as Ready Player One have long predicted the growth of VR, it’s only now that the software is really beginning to take off. Apple has announced it’s working on a headset capable of running both AR and VR technology, to be released in 2020, CNET reports. The headset would be completely untethered to a computer or smartphone, and feature an 8K display (higher resolution than the best TVs available today). Facebook and Google have also recently announced significant spending on VR.
How is VR being used by Harness?
Harness has engaged Activate Studios to create 20 VR assets across a variety of different training programs. The first, Working At Heights, is currently in the final stages of production, and will be ready for use very soon.
The idea is to use VR as a tool throughout the day on a number of training courses to increase engagement and retention of information.
The Working at Heights VR experience has four key themes:
- It starts when an employee is met by a VR supervisor who gives them a number of tasks they must complete.
- The employee must then identify all potential safety hazards (each decision is recorded to give a score at the end).
- The employee is then taken to the next scene, where they must build an unprotected edge at height.
- Finally, the employee returns to the original site, where their analytics are displayed for the hazard identification stage, and they are shown whether they completed the construction task effectively.
This affords the employee a complete idea of what it is like to work at height, and gives them the opportunity to learn a range of skills such as hazard detection while still remaining in a safe environment. The next experiences planned by Activate Studios will involve working in confined spaces, working with fire, and giving first aid.
What are the advantages of using VR in workforce training and development?
VR gives the opportunity to create a much more engaging and memorable experience for employees than simply sitting in a classroom or only learning things theoretically. This hands-on style training will help with information retention, and means when a trainee does eventually get to the real-life setting, they’ll have seen exactly what they are supposed to be doing already.
There is always a risk that someone will complete all their training, but when they actually get to a 50-storey building or an oil rig in the middle of the ocean, they decide that line of work isn’t for them. VR technology means that trainees can experience what it’s like to be in these dangerous settings before they actually have to go there, hopefully reducing the chances of this happening.
Additionally, VR experiences collect a broad range of data on how the employee has performed .This can easily go to your learning management system, like those those offered by Chorck, where you can aggregate results and see how people have performed.
What is the future of VR in workforce training and development?
There is a rosy future ahead for VR in workforce training and development.
Tyronne Curtis, Managing Director and founder of Activate Studios, believes there is a rosy future ahead for VR in workforce training and development:
“It’s only a matter of time before VR becomes widespread. I’ve really enjoyed working with Harness because they are so forward thinking. They’ve taken a conventional way of doing things in a traditional industry, and thought ‘how can we make this better’? And the answer is VR.”
“Once traditional industries start to see the value in VR, it’ll start to be used more and more. And in workforce training and development, we’re already seeing the positive effects it’s having with engagement and ultimately safety.”
To find out more about Harness Energy’s innovative training programs, contact the team today.