In 2021, supported by Ufi VocTech Trust Academii partnered with CIWM (WAMITAB) to create a series of gamified learning experiences to help overcome learning barriers for front line operatives in the waste and recycling industry.
Firstly, we transformed a series of Level 1 Awards into interactive, engaging, animated eLearning content. The courses included:
- Level 1 Award in Waste Management
- Level 1 Award in Cleaning Principles
- Level 1 Award in Infection Prevention and Control
- Level 1 Award in Reuse and Refurbishment
Secondly, we produced two educational mobile learning games for front line operatives in the waste and recycling industry with the aim being to support health and safety and increase hazard perception.
To support the creation of the games, employers were involved regularly in the development process, the training was piloted with operatives and managers at Re-Gen Waste to ensure the experience was effective, accessible and fit for purpose.
We sought to move away from the typical classroom environment and engage those who hadn’t engaged with traditional education routes. The goal was not only to teach but also inspire the learner to want to learn and have fun while doing it. The games were designed to be highly visual to support language barriers and work beautifully across mobile phones.
These games made a real impact and helped us teach critical lessons in a way that truly sticks. The beauty of learning through games is people often don’t realise they are learning, they have the freedom to make mistakes they would ordinarily make on the job, and try again all while in a safe environment. This learning method has proved to be highly successful and drastically improves learner confidence and competence.
These games were launched on World Health and Safety Day 2021 and were nominated in The Learning Technologies Awards shortly after. Take a look at the feedback following launch below:
“Before embarking on this project, we carried out a discovery process which identified a number of barriers to learning and development in the waste and resource management industry. For our operational employees we were seeing a fear of the classroom which was preventing them from wanting to engage in learning and development and their own professional progression, something which clearly, we want to overcome, and we need to overcome to meet the skills challenges of tomorrow.
By gamifying learning we really sought to bring some fun back into the experience for those operatives, using ‘play’ to have a repetitive, competitive, problem solving, challenging environment. You start to build new neural pathways for the mind and that’s so critical for hazard perception and awareness. It can really increase the ability to spot hazards on the ground and therefore reduce risks to health and safety across what is a very dangerous sector.”
Katie Cockburn – Professional Services Director CIWM
“The waste and resource sector has a critical role to play in delivering on the UK’s net zero agenda, improving resource efficiency, and ensuring that our green recovery targets are met. But we cannot do this without investing in the skills development of our staff and our people at all levels, across both our business and the supply chains with whom we work. So, the first step of this exciting new project is gamification, giving us a tool to engage and motivate operational staff, keeping them safe by enhancing their hazard awareness but also building their confidence so that they can take part in further learning and development opportunities as they arise. If we are serious about the skills transition needed to put our sector at the heart of the green recovery, we must take all our front-line staff and their supervisors with us and make sure they have the skills and the confidence to drive us forward.”
Dr Adam Read – Director of External Affairs at SUEZ & President of the CIWM
The applications were well received by the end users and the department managers. As a health and safety professional, training, instructing, and informing individuals of the hazards and control measures in the workplace is a vital component and I found that these interactive applications are a great addition to our existing methods of health and safety training and the applications added some colour and depth to the learning experience. An added benefit to these applications is the visual aspects and accessibility for a multinational workforce.
David Donnelly – Health and Safety Manager at Regen Waste
Read more about the project here.