VR technology used in plant operator apprenticeship programme

AccXel, UK’s first co-funded and industry-led construction school, has introduced specialist VR technology into their plant operator apprenticeship programme, following an asset finance funding package from Lloyds Bank.

The construction sector is facing an increasing skills crisis with nearly a quarter of the current workforce expected to retire in the next 5 to 10 years (Photo: Lloyds)

Located in Gloucester, UK, AccXel was founded by Nicola Bird to tackle the skills crisis and to train civil engineers, groundworkers and plant operators — as well as to encourage more women to join the industry.

The use of virtual reality training simulators is said to provide real-world recreations of operating plant machinery and provide a safe environment for plant apprentices. 

Nicola Bird, founder and managing director of AccXel, said, “One of my main reasons for founding AccXel, was to create bespoke training programmes which better suited the industry. My time with KW Bell Group made me realise that traditional apprenticeship schemes don’t offer a comprehensive package of learning and development and wouldn’t be able to support the growth of the industry.

“Women are vastly underrepresented in construction and currently make up just 11% of the whole industry. This is yet another issue we want to work towards solving at AccXel. We believe having women represent 15% of our apprentice mix is a strong statement to the industry and we will continue to pioneer and provide equal opportunity to young women across all sector roles.”

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