Energy Queensland’s Technical Training and Apprentices team, alongside the Digital Division, are developing virtual reality (VR) training simulators to provide Ergon Energy and Energex trainees with a safe training environment.

Technical Training Business Manager, Stewart MacDonald, and Digital Enablement Specialist, Noeneel Sharma, from the Digital Division have already developed a Polarity VR Training Simulator and are about to deploy their next VR Training Simulator – Electrical Installation Fault Finding and Compliance Testing.

“The new Electrical Installation Fault Finding and Compliance Testing VR Training Simulator takes realism to a whole new level while still maintaining a completely safe environment for trainees,” Mr MacDonald said.

“You really feel like you are working on the side of a real house in suburbia.”

Mr MacDonald and Mr Sharma initially developed the training simulators to connect with younger audiences, but found that even more experienced field staff are embracing the new technology.

“What’s really exciting is seeing some of our more experienced staff have a go and then forget they are in a virtual environment,” Mr MacDonald said.

“They stand there fully immersed in the VR environment, provided by the training simulator, and begin behaving as if they are really working on a real piece of equipment.

“What’s exciting is that the more experienced staff are making suggestions about where this technology could next be applied.”

Mr Sharma said the benefits of VR training aids go well beyond the novelty factor many associate with VR simply because the technology is becoming more widely accepted and more affordable.

“It’s also really accessible – all you need is a headset – and you can be located anywhere in Queensland and receive consistent, high-level information and a safe environment to practice high-risk tasks,” Mr Sharma said.

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