From education to employment

College students ‘CONVERT’ their skills for future construction development

@BordersCollege is one of three colleges taking part in the Construction Virtual Environment Resource Training (CONVERT) project, which uses technologies such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality to provide high-quality learning experiences that mimic real situations in construction.

As part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, Borders College construction students helped pilot the new equipment with a number of sessions delivered between the 7th and 11th March.

These sessions included the use of drones for site surveying and 3D environmental mapping, virtual training tables which simulate saws and routers, and spray paint simulators. Working at height and the use of laser-scanning and high-quality rendering to produce a virtual deconstruction of a building were also part of the innovative project.

Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) is leading on the project management for this two-year, GB-wide, CITB funded collaboration to deliver state-of-the-art immersive learning training and engagement sessions to construction learners in Further and Higher Education.

The equipment was booked through ESP, who are in partnership with CONVERT and CWIC, and are a link for all colleges in Scotland. They will drive any improvements and laisse with SQA to have some of the technology added to the curriculum.

College Painting and Decorating Lecturer Mark Eason commented:

“These immersive learning resources are available free of charge through the project and will greatly enhance the learning experience for construction students at Borders College.

“The sessions we delivered, as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 22, were very informative and highlighted that modernising the construction industry is critical to its survival, and that embracing immersive technology is key to the future of skills development and talent retention within the sector.”

The project aims are:

  • To provide new learning opportunities to 2,440 Further and Higher Education students studying construction-related subjects
  • To seek to reduce error, accident, time, and costs through the targeted use of integrated learning in education and the workplace
  • To provide employers with cost-effective, scalable training that enhances safety and productivity
  • To provide a more engaging way of learning about construction that’s safe
  • To enhance the appeal of the industry to new learners

Immersive technologies, such as virtual reality have the potential to revolutionise training and Borders College is delighted to be part of this exciting new project, which will be hugely beneficial to learners.

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