Site Safe launches virtual reality training courses

Jacob Hedley

The future of training is here with Site Safe New Zealand’s first virtual reality (VR) health and safety training courses for New Zealand’s construction industry.

Learners in Auckland can now book VR formats of the Foundation Passport Building Construction and Civil courses. VR courses will be rolled out in Wellington and Christchurch in late 2023.

The courses, developed with industry and in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development and SkillsVR, are designed to provide health and safety training through a virtual onsite experience.

They accurately simulate hazards present in a real construction environment, and eliminate the risk of making mistakes.

Compared to traditional classroom learning, VR training is more time-efficient, cost-effective, and accommodating to people with different learning styles.

It delivers consistent training content, and results in high learning outcomes.

Job seeker Jacob Hedley was the first person to complete the VR Foundation Passport training course, and in just 90 minutes he gained his digital Site Safety Card and important skills that would help him in his search for a job.

“I was actually blown away — I told my missus, I told my brother-in law, father-in-law, and a friend over in Australia,” Hedley says.

As a key sector currently facing a skilled labour shortage, the development of VR health and safety training is an innovative way of getting people ready for work in the construction industry.

“By utilising technology such as VR, Site Safe continues to lead in providing innovative and effective ways of delivering workplace health and safety training,” Site Safe chief executive Brett Murray says.

“It is important that we are doing all we can to ensure that construction is seen as a safe and attractive sector to work in.

“Training plays a big part in building the competence and confidence of our workforce to produce good work outcomes.”

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