Offshore, renewables and maritime training provider Clyde Training Solutions is embracing virtual reality to ensure workers are as prepared as possible to safely operate in critical offshore environments across a range of sectors.
Clyde Training Solutions (CTS), which is based just outside Glasgow, is producing virtual reality training simulations for offshore, renewables, maritime and marine workers to ensure they are more than just compliant with their industry’s regulations.
Recent studies, including the PwC “Seeing Is Believing” report, have shown virtual reality provides some staggering learning enhancements, with the translation of training content to a virtual environment dramatically increasing long-term knowledge retention, forming muscle memory and reducing learning times of procedural based activities.
John Abate, CTS Global Head of Training, says, “With our competency beyond compliance ethos, we want to ensure anyone who comes through our doors isn’t just compliant with the standards expected of them by their industry, but also confident in the training they are receiving. With realistic representations of hazardous environments, and users receive a lasting and accurate experience as part of a blended learning package, we will help properly prepare them for whatever they might encounter offshore.”
With the changing work environment across industries leading to a blended learning approach that allows delegates to undertake refresher training, CTS has worked with Aurora Digital Solutions – a company which is also part of Northern Marine Group – to develop the technology.
Jamie Roberts, Digital Innovation Manager at Aurora Digital Solutions, says, “We have identified a number of opportunities to leverage the power of VR as part of a blended learning approach and have created a number of bespoke solutions that look to use the technology to heighten learning objectives and provide long-term behavioural change.”
As well as refining skills, CTS believes the offer will also help new entrants to industry build their confidence, with training of this nature enabling delegates to fully immerse themselves in realistic and engaging environments. This also gives them the chance to practise critical and sometimes dangerous training scenarios, from the safety of a virtual environment, just a short distance from Glasgow city centre, ensuring the facilities are within easy reach for people based in central Scotland and northern England, significantly cutting travel and accommodation costs for attendees.
The company can create clients’ exact asset allowing for as close to real life training as possible to be completed either onshore or on the actual facility, which allows effective planning of an operation prior to undertaking it.
Abate adds, “Not only will this help mitigate any potential issues that could arise in the planning of a particular procedure, but it will also ensure that everyone conducting the work is doing so in a familiar, and crucially, safe environment. People’s safety always comes first in any workplace, and training of this nature will mean they are as prepared as possible. Our clients work in notoriously hazardous situations, and the training we are offering arms people, regardless of their experience, with critical training which is vital to their safety before they have even travelled to the asset.”
“There is a common misconception that this type of training can never replicate a real-life scenario, but we are challenging that. Using our virtual reality system does not mean that people won’t have to go through certified training, but it complements that training, ensuring their skills are as sharp as possible, leading to competency beyond compliance,” he continues.
The company has been invited by the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) to demonstrate the technology and the benefits it can bring to the renewables sector on its stand within the Safety, Skills & Training Zone at the WindEurope Electric City 2021 event in Copenhagen, which takes place from November 23-25.
Abate says, “We are proud to have been invited by GWO to show delegates first hand the impact the virtual reality system can have for them. It is fantastic to receive endorsement from such a well-respected organisation, and I am looking forward to meeting friends old and new in Copenhagen.”
“We believe the technology really can improve the competency and therefore safety of people working in hazardous environments. This will ensure they are performing to the best of their capabilities, which will be to the benefit of them and their company, and I look forward to showing delegates this in-person,” he concludes.
The new virtual reality offering comes at an exciting time for CTS following the opening of a centre dedicated to the renewables industry, helping the company ensure the UK’s workforce has the necessary skills to realise the country’s green energy ambitions, while the organisation was also recently awarded a 3-year contract to provide OPITO and GWO training to a new industry client.