The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) have launched a virtual reality experience for students, designed to provide interesting and engaging ‘live, on-site’ learning opportunities
The course, entitled ‘Construct Your Future’, has been designed in such a way that pupils are able to work towards an end of year ‘Design and Build Project’ as well as achieve a City and Guilds Level 1 Award in Construction Skills which will provide them with a valuable introduction to the construction industry.
CWIC has worked with partner colleges across Wales to deliver a range of construction-based training courses to address the specific needs of future skills, gaps in provision and to attract the next generation to consider the industry as a career option.
They will also have opportunities to be hands-on with some of the essential skills required in the industry and undertake tasks using Computer-Aided Design software and to learn about Quantity Surveying.
One of these ‘hands-on’ opportunities is a virtual reality programme – using CWIC’s Virtual Built Environment Element Explorer (VBEEE) software – which aims to increase the appeal of the construction industry by ‘gamifying’ the construction process.
Delivering an innovative solution
Laura Clarke, Wales’ regional manager at CIOB, said: “CIOB is very pleased to see new and innovative approaches to engaging young learners, and this collaborative approach by CIOB and CWIC is spearheading cutting-edge ways of bringing the construction industry to life during the pandemic and encouraging young people into the sector.”
Gareth Wyn Evans, manager at CWIC said: “Collaboration underpins CWIC, and this initiative is another example of how our long-standing strategic relationship with CIOB has delivered yet another innovative solution to drive forward construction education and promote technical and professional roles within the sector.”
“For both education and the construction industry, immersive and remote training is engaging, cost-effective, and safe.
“It also provides trainees with the true to life experience not currently possible.
“Whilst Covid has limited our access to live working environments, virtual reality, particularly through the CONVERT project, has enabled learners to test ideas, components and features before committing them for construction, where previously they may have only encountered the subject in textbooks and online presentations.
“Effectively digitising the delivery and aspiring to change perceptions of the evolving construction sector in Wales.”