State-of-the-art skills training for underground mining that includes new systems such as virtual reality tools and interactive touchscreens, are soon to be made available to customers on site.
According to Murray & Roberts Cementation education, training and development executive Tony Pretorius, the new innovations incorporate the use of remote e-learning solutions coupled to Dover Assessment for psychomotor skills, virtual reality (VR) simulation, mass assessment tools and classroom response systems, or ‘clickers’.
“Making use of the latest technologies – such as interactive touchscreens – we can now offer two-dimensional and three-dimensional training interventions,” he says. “This can be deployed with VR training modules, including the use of VR simulators that we are developing with our strategic technology partner, Simulated Training Solutions.”
Among the high-tech advances being driven by the academy is a portable VR drill rig with training tools transported in a purpose-designed trailer to sites convenient to the customer – even on mines themselves.
“This gives even remote mining sites the chance to enhance skill levels, productivity and safety,” he says. He points to the ongoing difficulty that companies face in conducting group activities under Covid‑19 protocols, and particularly in moving personnel across borders.
Pretorius also highlights plans to extend skills development to communities, in an effort to help combat unemployment. He says that this socially responsible approach to training is already embraced at the Murray & Roberts Cementation Training Academy facilities, but could in future be more widely available through this injection of technology.
The academy’s new training systems will also be rolled out internally, to staff within Murray & Roberts Cementation projects.