VR simulators attract young construction talent

As the battle for apprenticeship talent hots up,  Training experts from Welsh developer Lovell used a virtual reality simulator to open up the world of construction for students attending one of South Wales’ largest careers events.

The Skills Cymru event, held at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena, gave Year 11 students the opportunity to meet members of the Lovell team and try their hand at operating an excavator using the CITB simulator. The teenagers were also able to sign up for work experience placements on Lovell developments in South Wales, find out how to apply for apprenticeships and talk to members of the Lovell team, including young people building careers with the company.

Partnership homes developer Lovell, which expect to build over 380 homes across South Wales and the South West of England in 2018, believes there has never been a better time to launch a career in the sector, especially in Wales where predicted construction growth is the highest in the UK. It’s estimated that 12,250 new construction jobs will be created by 2022 with strong demand for surveyors, bricklayers, carpenters and civil engineers.

“We had an extremely busy day at Skills Cymru, meeting students from across South Wales,” says Lovell project skills co-ordinator Nicola Murray. “Bringing more young people into the industry has always been central to Lovell’s strategy, enabling us to develop the skilled workforce we need to support our continuing business growth as well as invest in local communities by providing  training opportunities for residents. Engaging directly with teenagers at events like Skills Cymru is an important part of this, enabling us to show them how exciting a career in the industry can be through activities such as the simulator.

“As a company we’ve directly trained more than two dozen apprentices in this region over the past two years, in addition to supporting many apprenticeships organised by our subcontractor partners. We’re also committed to offering work placements on our sites – a great way of finding out if the world of construction is right for you.

“We were particularly pleased to meet so many young women at the event – including an aspiring quantity surveyor who is now set to spend time with us on work experience.”