Tag Archive for: Corporate L&D

Upskilling and Reskilling via Virtual Reality Training Solutions

As we start to move (ever so slowly) out from under the shadow of COVID-19, upskilling and reskilling employees are top of mind for learning and development professionals, according to the L&D Global Sentiment Survey 2021.

Of more than 3,000 people from 95 countries who responded to the question, “What will be hot in workplace L&D in 2021?”, 13% said upskilling and reskilling are their main interests. While 13% may not sound large, here’s some context: survey respondents could only choose one answer, and the #1 spot hasn’t logged that many votes in the annual survey since 2016. In addition, upskilling/reskilling was ranked highly across all job roles reported by respondents and around the world, too.

Of course, while employers were talking about upskilling and reskilling before, the global pandemic has pushed the conversation forward. A 2018 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study found that at the time of the research three years ago, 50 percent of jobs ran the risk of changing or becoming obsolete, largely due to technology. In early 2020, pre-pandemic, the World Economic Forum estimated that 42% of core job skills will change by 2022.

After COVID-19, changes to jobs and associated skills gaps are even more likely. Though the unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% in January from a high of 14.7% in April 2020, millions of jobs – and along with them, significant job experience and skills – have been lost to the pandemic, with many unlikely to return.

Whatever the forces driving workplace change, employers are dealing with a smaller workforce that probably will stay smaller, at least for the next few years. But they still need people who can write software, run equipment, sell products, and manage functions. As a result, upskilling and reskilling have become even more important than before. And so has enterprise-wide training.

The Time Has Come for Remote VR Training

Whether an organization wants to upgrade employee skills to close talent gaps or teach new skills so workers can take on entirely different roles, training is necessary to both. And while traditional training modalities such as ILT, CBT, and OJT will remain in the long run, now is the time for organizations to add immersive virtual reality training to their toolbox.

2020 forced companies to rethink where people work, and today’s realities mean organizations need to make a similar leap when it comes to training. In-person group training and ILT are off the table in many places until the pandemic lets up and people can gather for classes. Remote training’s day has come, and improvements in VR technology mean that it can become a full-fledged member of the training lineup.

Until just recently, it was difficult to use VR equipment remotely, since it involved shipping an expensive laptop and headset and setup that can be difficult. However, new all-in-one headsets that don’t require connection to a laptop are lightweight, easy to ship, simple to operate, and far less expensive than previous VR training equipment. With these headsets, companies will be able to shift far more training to VR as remote work continues.

In addition, VR eliminates safety concerns connected to hands-on training. Foundry 45 recently completed operator training for TriMet, the Portland, Oregon, transportation authority. Training operators virtually is far safer than allowing them on tracks even during off-hours. VR training also answers current health concerns; it can be conducted both remotely and, with proper hygiene and social distancing, in the workplace.

Even after we return to the office, VR training still offers advantages. It is perfect for training-on-demand, allowing employees to learn at their own pace and take extra time to review trouble areas. It reduces the need for expensive equipment and expansive training rooms and allows for more flexible scheduling. Finally, it cuts the time commitment from SMEs needed for training – which, with a reduced workforce, has become very valuable time indeed.

VR’s Best Use: New and Improved Hard Skills

While VR can be used for a wide variety of training needs, it’s most effective for teaching new and improved hard skills – those that must be applied consistently and accurately. Preventive maintenance and equipment repair are two good examples.

The reasons? First, immersive training can closely simulate both the job environment and hands-on experience needed to perform tasks. While it can be used for soft skills training, such skills typically involve relationships with people, which are much more variable and much more difficult to imitate in virtual reality. Situational learning that replicates on-the-job experience is a great aid to retention. According to a study conducted at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the retention level a year after VR training on hands-on skills was as much as 80%, compared to 20% just a week after traditional training.

Second, improvements in hard skills are easily measurable, both during and after training. Trainees learn, practice, and test before they start work. At that point, because it’s easy to measure results, it’s clear whether they can successfully apply their training to their new job role. Ease of measurement adds a concrete dimension to learning, proves effectiveness, and gives companies a real ROI for their training spends.

Third, hard skills training can accommodate elements of gamification, which increases engagement and makes training fun.

Mind the Gap

The L&D Global Sentiment Survey also found that organizations are more interested in tried-and-true training methodologies and may be somewhat less inclined to consider VR at this time (though mobile training delivery is still on their radar). Given VR’s benefits and recent technology developments, that’s a point of view worth revisiting. A company’s ability to meet long-term goals is at risk if it doesn’t have employees with the skills needed today. Virtual reality can help close the skills gap in an effective, safe, and engaging way.

Interview: L&D Trade Secrets for Successful Training Programs

Start listening …

Foundry 45’s Dave Beck Interviews Mitch Weiss, VP of Client Services at Caveo Learning

From picking the right training format to tracking the right metrics, a lot of ingredients go into your employee training program. Whether you decided to use a new learning method like VR training or a more traditional approach such as a classroom setting or video, it takes a lot to get it right.

To understand what it takes to make a training program successful, we interviewed Mitch Weiss, VP of Client Services at Caveo Learning.

As a learning strategy company, Caveo is an expert at helping organizations move the needle on performance goals. In this insightful interview, Mitch delves into the ins and outs of a successful corporate training program. Take a listen to learn about:

  • The importance of instructional design and the use of technology
  • KPIs L&D professionals should be measuring
  • Role of engagement and its connection to retention
  • Keys to demonstrating training value to the leadership team
  • How to overcome common roadblocks to program design
  • Upcoming trends impacting L&D professional

Interview music by: bensound.com

Atlanta Tech Edge Show talks VR with GT Head Coach Josh Pastner and Foundry 45

Link to Atlanta Tech Edge Interview

Scott Driscoll – Foundry 45

The longstanding relationship between Foundry 45 and Georgia Tech formed when Managing Partner Dave Beck received a phone call from the university offering ticket packages for upcoming football games. At the end of the conversation, Beck took the opportunity to ask Georgia Tech if they had ever thought of using virtual reality to reach people interested in season tickets. The university, intrigued by the idea, decided to took advantage of Foundry 45’s emerging VR technology! Foundry 45 and Georgia Tech never looked back! Beck highlights the company’s list of projects with Georgia Tech.

We’ve not only worked with the Men’s Basketball team, but we’ve also built experiences for the Football team, the Women’s basketball team, and on the academic side, we’ve worked with the College of Management and the College of Computing.

Specifically, Foundry 45 worked closely with Georgia Tech Head Coach Josh Pastner to capture the best game-day experience through VR. In the Atlanta Tech Edge interview, ACC Coach of the Year Josh Pastner elaborates on his time working with Foundry 45 over their great season.

“They’re as good as it gets. Their quality of work, attention to detail, customer service. They’re the best and allowed us to be innovative in what we do. Because for us, we’re dealing with 16, 17, and 18-year-olds. It is about social media and about being futuristic. We are Georgia Tech, Institute of Technology. We bring [Foundry 45’s] products with us all over the world when we are recruiting.”

Host Cara Kneer asks Coach Pastner what it’s like when showing prospective students or athletes the university through virtual reality.

“You’re moving your head and everything else. … I told my staff, we need to have on campus visits in their home. … [Foundry 45] allowed us to simulate an on-campus tour or being at our game or being in our locker room, while we’re sitting at their home 5,000 miles away from the campus.”

Foundry 45 is fortunate to continue working with so many great partners like Georgia Tech. The company thanks Atlanta Tech Edge Host Cara Kneer and Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball Head Coach Josh Pastner for a great discussion about virtual reality crafting the grand story.


Foundry 45 is The Business VR Leader. We create immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences for mobile platforms including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, iOS Cardboard Headsets, Android Cardboard Headsets. Foundry 45 helps businesses step into their brand story by using dynamic 360-degree video and VR app creation. Our marketing and recruiting approach captures customer experience desires and emphasize product value. We also partner with existing video production studios, advertising agencies, and other content creators to serve as their VR technical consultants and developer shop.

To learn more about Foundry 45, visit us at www.foundry45.com.

For Immersive VR inquiries, contact Managing Partner:

Dave Beck, dave@foundry45.com

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Virtual Reality for Recruiting

Many colleges and some companies are starting to turn to Virtual Reality to help recruit new students, athletes and employees. Virtual Reality (VR) lets prospects feel what it’s like to be on-location through a VR Viewer.


Athlete experiencing Virtual Reality tour

By sharing their world through VR, brands not only get to be associated with high-tech new technology, but also get several dollar and time-saving benefits:

  • Show prospects the facility without paying for travel
  • Help convince prospects an in-person visit is worthwhile (many high school football recruits only have a limited number of official visits to choose between)
  • On-site, helps save time by showing some areas only in VR (dorms, classrooms, far-off buildings)
  • Prospects get to see exciting events that don’t necessarily fall on their visit (big rivalry game, annual company meeting or charity event, etc.)

Gear VR and Google Cardboard virtual reality viewers

Gear VR and Google Cardboard virtual reality viewers

The two most popular viewer platforms now available are Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR. Both use a smartphone as the display and specialized VR apps to immerse the viewer in a different world.

Gear VR is a higher-end experience and is great for face-to-face meetings with prospects, whether on-site or off-site. Cardboard, is much lower cost, and can be custom-branded and given to prospects as a mailing or giveaway after a visit. This way they can let family and friends also see what it’s like on-location.

branded Google Cardboard virtual reality viewers

branded Google Cardboard virtual reality viewers

From a New York Times article recently published  about several schools starting to utilize VR for recruiting:

“Kids are trying to get all over the world to go see universities; you’ve got to bring your university to them and give them a reason to come look closer,” Kansas Coach David Beaty said.

WSB TV in Atlanta recently did a story about Immersive Recruiting during the evening news. You can see a version of the piece online at wsbtv.com.

At Foundry 45, we can help record 360 content, create a branded viewer app, and provide guidance on how to convey a message through VR. Contact us with any questions or to learn more.