Interplay Learning Co-Founder Stephen Quirk had an opportunity to discuss technology and upskilling at the Future of Work, an event co-sponsored by the Milken Institute, Working Nation and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. The key theme is that companies can no longer view worker training and education as expenses but need to re-consider as investments. In the modern knowledge economy, human capital is paramount and companies that don’t invest in their most critical assets will fall behind. This is true even in the skilled trades world of electricians, technicians, maintenance staff and installers; labor shortages are particularly sharp and a major demographic shift of retiring baby boomers demands a scalable solution to train the new generation of workers.
Historically, training these individuals has required expensive hands-on training. The impact of online learning has been limited and mostly ineffective, but the rise of Virtual Reality (VR) offers a solution. VR can scale experience and the possibilities for workers training is unlimited. Learn how to fix an air conditioner or wire an electrical circuit for a kitchen in the comfort of your own headset. WalMart is a pioneer in this area and recently announced a $20MM investment in VR training. “We had associates standing in line to get trained,” said Brock McKeel, senior director of digital operations at Walmart. “That never normally happens. So we knew we had something.”
The presentation can be found here: Interplay Future of Work