Simulators introduced for construction training courses

Unemployed people are learning the latest construction skills using virtual reality simulators thanks to training funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The WMCA has joined forces with Solihull College & University Centre, Birmingham-based RMF Construction Training Academy and education equipment provider Tenstar Simulation to install four simulators at the college in the first training programme of its kind in the region.

The move is one of a number of WMCA initiatives to train local people in the construction skills needed to help the region build its way out of the Covid-19 economic shutdown.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “It’s great news that we are able to fund training on construction simulators at Solihull College & University Centre, working in partnership with RMF Construction.

“Construction was one of the best performing sectors before the coronavirus outbreak hit, and we know that large infrastructure projects, such as HS2, will be key to our economic recovery.

“Training local people to operate modern plant is a crucial part of the advanced construction skills that the industry will need over the coming years. The training we are funding will also help make sure that the jobs being created go to local people.”

The WMCA is funding training on the equipment through its Construction Gateway programme, which offers unemployed people free construction training and a guaranteed job interview at the end of the course.

John Callaghan, principal and CEO of the college, said: “We are delighted to be working with the WMCA and RMF Construction to develop new, innovative ways to address the skills gap in the construction plant sector.

“Learners will be able to build their confidence and competence on a variety of machines in a controlled setting before moving on to real construction plant.

“The simulators will also help to ensure we are Covid-19 compliant and reduce our carbon footprint.”