VR tool tipped to help tackle skills gap


A new virtual reality application has been tipped to help tackle skills shortages within the construction industry and assist geotechnical engineers by providing information about products and services.

Aarsleff Ground Engineering UK clients will have the opportunity this summer to visit the company’s ‘VROOM’ in Nottinghamshire for a short tutorial before entering Aarsleff’s ‘virtual’ world. 

Equipped with a VR headset, users will take part in a guided tour, exploring some of Aarsleff’s specialist techniques – both above and below ground. 

The tour will feature rail, commercial, residential, mining and industrial zones. 

Aarsleff explained that the firm teamed up with 3D technology and software development studio Luminous Group to develop the virtual reality application. 

Aarsleff’s marketing and communications manager said, “Finding ways to visualise and engage with ground engineering techniques can be challenging – everything our specialist industry does is underground or soon covered up. The new virtual reality application makes it possible for our users to experience ground engineering techniques in a more dynamic and accessible way than ever before, and this is what makes it really unique”. 

Aarsleff added that the application could help attract the next generation of ‘digitally native gamers’ into the industry. 

It is hoped that the application will appeal to people entering the sector for the first time as well as established engineers looking to understand more about Aarsleff’s offering including drilling and grouting, soil nails, driven piling, mini piling and sheet piling services. 

Aarsleff UK MD Kevin Hague said, “In embracing VR, we also hope to tackle the challenge that ‘young people are not interested in construction’ by rolling out the virtual application at careers fairs and university shows. Students and aspiring engineers will be able to walk around on an Aarsleff site, helping them to understand several ground engineering disciplines and learn about the machinery operated on site – all whilst in a safe and engaging way.”

The contractor is inviting a selection of clients to their offices to experience the new VR application over the summer, after which point the programme will be exhibited on a wider basis.