Training Innovation: Schlumberger Virtual Reality Onboarding Program
Schlumberger has rolled out a virtual reality (VR) onboarding training program for new employees, including engineers and technicians, who typically have not had field experience. The VR technology simulates a variety of environments, including land rig, offshore jack-up rig and offshore semisubmersible unit enabling a new generation of students to experience the best “hands-on” training possible.
The idea behind using a VR environment rather than traditional classroom methods is to increase the fluency of specialists, make them more comfortable working in the field and enhance trainees’ ability to better process operational steps—increasing productivity and lowering risk.
In an E&P article “Upgrading The Industry In The Information Age” Steve Uren, head of simulation at Schlumberger, notes that , “The training for the cementing downhole tool systems evolved from what was primarily a traditional classroom environment into a VR simulation of the actual working environment of the system.
We redesigned the entire program with some prework requirements. Once the employees arrive at the learning center, they engage in daily activities in the VR environment. We basically removed all of the traditional classroom activities.”
He continues, “The trainees can explore the general arrangement of the rig. New employees are given an accelerated introduction to the different rig types they will experience; they have the opportunity to walk around and understand where the equipment is and what the equipment does.”
Uren adds, “Feedback from the VR training has been very positive with employees embracing the change of learning environment and tools.”