Virtual construction training to fill industry vacancies

Virtual reality is now being used to find workers for the construction industry.

Just by putting on a pair of goggles you can learn about truck driving and operating heavy machinery, and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) is hoping it'll help fill vacancies.

Two workers may not be wearing hard hats or work boots, but they're still working on a virtual reality worksite, operating heavy machinery and completing roadworks.

What they're doing can be seen on a screen, but for them, the virtual construction training feels real. James Coddington and a 12-person team developed the software over six months. It's tailored to the construction industry, taking the user through a 30-minute work scenario. 

It will now be used to train potential workers, giving them basic skills and health and safety information to get onto a real construction site.

"Getting someone onto a construction site at the moment can take five to seven days, and we're reducing that down to 45 minutes," says Coddington.

The Government has invested more than $800,000, and it will now be rolled out in conjunction with the MSD.

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