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Transforming Training With Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

Providing staff with opportunities for training and upskilling is an increasingly important and an expensive part of running a successful running business. According to the latest Training Industry Report, the average training expenditure for large companies in 2020 was a staggering £17 million. 

This, however, isn't delivering much in return due to the training expenditure just being spent on conventional classroom style teaching. Online learning provider Cerego's recent State of Learning report has found that a 70% of training is forgotten within 24 hours, and almost 90% is forgotten after 30 days. 

The problems associated with traditional training methods don't end there. Issues like delivering consistent training, tracking skills application, quantifying training effectiveness and improving learning effectiveness are some of the constant challenges trainers have to deal with.

Most survey respondents who reported an increase in their training budgets for 2020 attributed it to the purchasing new technologies and equipment. VR/AR is becoming increasingly accessible as a technology, with all sorts of industries adopting it to enhance core business processes. 

It is estimated that VR/AR training will contribute £225 billion to the global economy by 2030.

Benefits of VR and AR training

  • VR/AR training can combat the shortfalls of traditional methods of training and further complement them
  • Can be easily repeated for improving skills sets
  • Can randomise the training to create new scenarios 
  • User performance can be tracked and graded automatically
  • This type of training is scalable to hundreds or even thousands of people
  • VR/AR environments allow trainees to experience equipment or substances that would otherwise be limited or inaccessible
  • Can be used for soft skills training - PwC found that 40% of VR learners saw an improvement in confidence compared to classroom learners  
  • Can be used in recruitment processes by virtually assessing potential employees

Recent research from the University of Cambridge has found that training via VR resulted in 28% more productivity, 55% faster learning and 200% less mistakes than non-VR methods. 

Examples of success stories

Global retailer Walmart, has reported 80% savings in training time by using VR to prepare store managers for Black Friday, America's biggest shopping day. 

UK wastewater utility solutions provider Lanes Group is using its Igloo Shared VR cylinder to train groups of engineers in simulations of various high-risk wastewater environments. Not only has this been successful, it has also reduced employee attrition by 57%. 

The University School of Medicine is using VR to train surgeons, resulting in a 40% reduction in mistakes made compared to surgeons who are conventionally trained. 

Multinational oil and gas company BP is integrating its own content into VR-based training provider Immerse's Virtual Enterprise Platform (VEP). The training will be deployed internationally, and the platform will generate detailed data and reports on learner progress.