Philip Hopkins August 08, 2012
Actors Michael O'Malley and Colin Masters at the new building centre. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
A REVOLUTIONARY new training centre for the building and construction industry has been opened in Melbourne. It is only the third centre of its kind in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region.
The $14 million Building Leadership Simulation Centre, developed by the Master Builders Association, will use 3D technology, a 15-metre wide parabolic screen, 12 site sheds and a team of specialist actors to create a virtual workplace.
Here, participants will confront the challenges of a building site in a risk-free environment. It will be able to train up to 7000 industry professionals, apprentices and students a year. The new approach to training focuses on communication, leadership and problem solving.
The centre is in Brady Street, South Melbourne, in the heart of the Montague Precinct that is a part of the state government's plan to transform 240 hectares of Fishermans Bend into a residential and commercial precinct.
The federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, Chris Evans, officially opened the simulation centre yesterday, announcing $1.9 million of federal funding for the centre.
MBA executive director Brian Welch said the venture had the capacity to reduce occupational health and safety incidents, improve building quality and cut construction costs.
''The BLSC is the single biggest investment Master Builders has ever made. After seeing the competitive edge that simulation technology was delivering to the biggest builders in Europe, we knew the Australian building industry could not afford to miss out,'' he said.
Some of the biggest names in Australian construction - including Australand, Baulderstone, Metricon and Lend Lease - have signed on as foundation partners.