Today the PetroLMI Division of Energy Safety Canada launched Experience the Energy: Take the Tour, a first-of-its-kind virtual reality (VR) tour of Canada’s oil and gas worksites.
Experience the Energy: Take the Tour showcases the careers, the innovation and technologies that are transforming the energy industry.
“Over the past few months, PetroLMI has piloted this project at events across Canada and we’ve heard this new tool provides an authentic experience, unlike anything else out there,” says Carol Howes, vice-president of Energy Safety Canada’s Communications and PetroLMI. “You put on a headset and you are transported to seven different types of worksites. You experience everything from watching a smart pig detect the health of a pipeline to seeing the largest trucks in the world at work. It’s a cost-effective way to see, understand, and be a part of the industry.”
Canada’s evolving energy industry requires new skills and knowledge to support changes in technologies, and workers don’t have enough information about the shifting requirements, according to research conducted by PetroLMI. There are often mismatches between the skills that oil and gas companies are seeking and those that are available in the labour force.
“The release of this tool is one of a number of projects that PetroLMI has been working on to help provide workers with better information,” says Howes.
VR is an emerging learning medium that is proving to be a powerful engagement tool. Experience the Energy: Take the Tour has been designed with Indigenous peoples, youth, workers in transition and newcomers to Canada in mind. It is available for free through the Oculus store for the Oculus Go VR headset. It is also available on the PetroLMI website.
PetroLMI plans to attend numerous events in the coming months to expose attendees to the new tool and has partnered with Inside Education and the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY) to share the VR experience through schools and Indigenous communities.
“Using virtual reality as a learning and training tool is quickly becoming an area of focus. Some of the studies and data available suggests that you see improved training outcomes and reduced overall training time and costs,” says Murray Elliott, president and CEO of Energy Safety Canada. “As a health and safety authority, we are looking at how technologies like virtual reality can also assist in providing safety training to the oil and gas industry.”
Experience the Energy: Take the Tour is available in both English and French. Funding was provided by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program for five of the seven worksites – automated and conventional drilling, mining and SAGD operations as well as a processing plant, while the Province of Alberta, working in partnership with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services, funded the two remaining worksites – liquids and natural gas pipelines.
The Petroleum Labour Market Information (PetroLMI) Division of Energy Safety Canada is a leading resource for labour market information and trends in Canada’s energy industry. PetroLMI specializes in providing oil and gas labour market data and insights, as well as resources for workforce and career planning.