Modal Training’s new truck simulator is bidding to “transform training in the region” after receiving the seal of approval by Lord John Prescott.
The XPI simulator, which is built around a full-sized LGV tractor unit, uses the same controls as road-going trucks, providing trainees with a close to reality experience.
With a high-resolution, 260-degree LCD display screen, the equipment allows for a range of elements such as load type, weather conditions and locations, which can be altered to meet individual training needs.
The truck simulator was officially launched to local employers, industry professionals and dignitaries at Immingham’s Modal Training, part of the Grimsby Institute Group.
Leading the way was Lord Prescott, former MP for Hull and Deputy Prime Minister, who described the state-of-the-art facilities as “incredible”.
“I’m very pleased to be here today and am looking forward to having a meeting with the Institute about the future of the Humber, which is leading the way in the new industrial revolution,” he said.
“We’ve gone from manufacturing to consumption across the ages, but now we’ve got to be sustainable to be able to grow our economy without damaging the rest of the world.
“This new industrial revolution is based on renewables and we’ve got stacks of that here.
“The new industrial power is wind and we are at the centre of that, which is only backed up by the incredible training facilities here at Modal.
“The Government are talking about developing places of growth, so we want them to know this is the biggest place of growth they’ve got.
“I’m really excited and pleased to see these facilities to help move the industry forward, and I’m looking forward to working with the Grimsby Institute.”
Modal Training Director Hugh Callaway also spoke of an “exciting day” launching the truck simulator to industry.
“We’ve had a lot of great feedback about how it can be used to help logistics businesses improve their performance and training.
“The Grimsby Institute Group wants to know what we should be providing in terms of training people in sectors to fill the needs of the local economy.
“This started with a lot of engagement and discussions with the logistics industry, before the scope widened to include maritime.
“We wanted to be innovative and do things a different way by building a centre of excellence, based on the foundations of an outstanding FE college.
“Ultimately, we wanted a centre that works with clients as partners. We don’t want to just sell things, we want to deliver projects and work with clients to work out what they need.”
Grimsby MP Melanie Onn, who attended the event alongside her Cleethorpes counterpart Martin Vickers, described the simulator as “fantastic”.
“This is a fantastic local asset, right on our doorstep. It fits in really well with our local industry, but what we need to do now is build it from a local asset into something recognised regionally and nationally.
“It’s a fantastic training resource for new learners or people already in industry who need to refresh their skills, so hopefully local businesses recognise its value and put it to good use.”
Group Chief Executive Gill Alton also commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the latest training that can be provided through this simulator.
“We have invested in state-of-the-art, leading edge technology which can hopefully transform training in the region, and we’ve had some great feedback from employers.
“We’re delighted to work in partnership with them to meet their current and future needs.”
Speaking earlier in the day, Executive Director of Workforce Development and Partnerships.
Lucy Ottewell-Key revealed a new LGV Apprenticeship is close to launch.
Trainees can gain their C and C+E licence, using the simulator to learn in an environment as close to reality as possible.
“We are interested in talking to people about the apprenticeship so it’s developed with employers, to make sure we meet their needs and reduce the skills gap,” said Lucy.
“It’s not for drivers already working, it’s for new entrants into the market to support the industry.”