The Centre de formation professionnelle de la Baie-James (CFPBJ), in Quebec, Canada, says it has inaugurated a new mining equipment simulator as it looks to improve training facilities for its students.
The acquisition of this tool for mining sector training was made possible through initial funding for CFPBJ’s ore extraction study program, it said. In addition, the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur provided C$310,000 ($229,065) and the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail granted C$476,000 under the Programme partenarial pour la formation et l’innovation to purchase equipment for the program to train students in operating heavy machinery on forest roads.
The CFPBJ said: “This new state-of-the-art tool will reaffirm the CFPBJ’s position as an academic leader in specialised vocational training. Spending more hours operating equipment will greatly enhance the skills of students in programs devoted to ore extraction and heavy equipment operation on forest roads.”
Sonia Caron, Director of Services and Centre, said the centre was committed to continuously improving its training programs by ensuring they are as realistic and dynamic as possible. “Virtual reality in vocational training allows students to consolidate their learning and reach a level of development that will greatly accelerate their entry into the workforce.”
The simulator purchase will make it easier to learn how to handle heavy equipment on forest roads and operate underground mining equipment. It will also enable customised training for surface mines, the CFPBJ said.
“Multisensory simulation will allow students to test reality without the dangers of a real field operation. Students will be able to practice in all types of conditions, including unforeseen situations: punctures, mechanical breakdowns, fires, etc. In addition, complementary equipment will allow for real-time data analysis, and the simulation modules can be customised to reproduce the actual physical environment of partner mine sites,” the centre said.
Safety is also at the heart of the CFPBJ’s concerns, with Caron saying: “This simulator enhances skills needed to work safely and use the machines efficiently. The risk of accidents is considerably reduced because students have many hours of driving experience before they operate the machinery.”
The CFPBJ has been operating in the James Bay region of Quebec since 1998 offering a wide range of study programs in several industries, including mining, forestry, construction, health and administration.