With specialist skills gaps in the construction sector the need for this type of training has become ever more important. Since 2016, the CITB funded Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC) has been providing such training for the industry. During this time, CWIC has enabled the provision of 12 CPCS A59A – 360 Excavator training courses, benefiting 48 beneficiaries in total.
Whilst CWIC is addressing the demand for this excavator training it has also been promoting innovative technologies and delivery methods. Optrain Ltd in Rhymney, South Wales responded by incorporating the use of digital excavator simulators in March 2019.
The aim of the digital simulator led training is to provide safe, cost effective and realistic learning environments for candidates. Simulators offer practical and theoretical knowledge that will help them undertake the role of a 360 Excavator operator. The qualification covers tracked excavators above and below 10 tonnes, enabling successful learners to obtain a CPCS Red Trained Operator Card. Training takes place over a ten-day period with 9 days focusing on skills development and 1 day of theory & practical assessment. A high proportion of hands-on demonstration and practical exercises takes place supplemented with classroom based simulation and tutorials.
These state of the art simulators provide a combination of work site conditions with realistic controls, enabling hands-on learning that enhances traditional operator training programmes. Learners are able to develop familiarisation and understanding of machine controls, as well as experiencing correct and safe operating procedures before training on actual machines. The software used for the training is designed to offer a ‘true to life’ experience developing a full range of foundation operation skills in a safe and controlled environment.
How did the training help the individual?
Trainees who have benefited from participating in these simulator courses said;
“It was excellent training provided, they’re a great organisation, and the digital simulators were a fantastic aid to the learning and course structure”
“I really enjoyed the training course and learned a lot. The organisation was great and it was a perfect venue for training. I spent days in a digital simulator, which I think has really accelerated the learning process. It’s a great way to further your career”
“The team were amazing people to train with, and the quality of the training itself was really good. The organisation was brilliant and training took place in a nice, clean venue”