Grande Prairie Regional College will be making virtual reality training available to its students in the new year. The College has signed a memorandum of understanding with Serious Labs, an Edmonton-based developer of heavy equipment training simulators and blended learning solutions, to pilot the new training programs.

As a first step in the first quarter of 2021, GPRC and Serious Labs will introduce the software company’s Mobile Elevated Work Platform operator training simulator to the college. President and CEO of Serious Labs Jim Colvin says the program will also create an added benefit to employers and site owners by reducing the time and expenses of providing additional training to employees.

“GPRC is well-known for its innovative approach to post-secondary education, particularly in the skilled trades and apprenticeships. Their intention to utilize training tools such as VR simulators demonstrates their next-generation thinking.”

“This partnership is synergistic with our own goal of increasing learning engagement and collapsing the gap between vocational training and job-site readiness, particularly during the added challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he says.

GPRC President and CEO Dr. Robert Murray says the MoU comes as another step in the college’s 5GPRC strategy.

“This partnership is a catalyst in ensuring GPRC delivers these opportunities to future learners and industry leaders in our region.”

“Working with Serious Labs allows GPRC to continue to build strong relationships with industry and create jobs that advance the diversification of our economy well into the future,” he says.

Serious Labs is noted to have provided VR training and solutions to industry leaders including Syncrude, the U.S. Department of Energy, Shell, Singapore International Airport, and British Airways.