TESDA recognizes First Balfour as early adopter of XR tech in training delivery

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) recognized First Balfour and other member-companies of the Philippine Constructors Association (PCA) as early adopters in the application of Extended Reality (XR) Technology in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) delivery and competency assessment.

The awarding was held yesterday, August 23, during the 29th founding anniversary of the agency in Mandaluyong City. The other early adopters recognized were the Association of Carriers and Equipment Lessors (ACEL) Training Center, DMCI Technical Training Center, Megawide Construction Corporation, Makati Development Corporation, and Ulticon Builders Davao.

L-R: TESDA Deputy Director General (DDG) Vidal Villanueva III, DDG Aniceto John Bertiz III, DDG Rosanna A. Urdaneta, Director General Suharto Mangudadatu, International Labour Organization (ILO) Country Director Khalid Hassan, and First Balfour President and Chief Operating Officer Anthony Fernandez

In his opening message, TESDA Director General Suharto T. Mangudadatu encouraged guests and attendees to try out the various XR technologies showcased in the event which includes the heavy equipment simulator of First Balfour’s equipment rental business T1 Rentals.

Being one of the first in the local construction industry to invest in a high-tech equipment simulator in 2014, First Balfour takes pride in revolutionizing its methods of skills training and development, earning for it a range of benefits including increased productivity, lesser safety risks, and optimized costs.

TESDA Director General Suharto Mangudadatu, PhD tries out T1 Rentals’ excavator simulator

Developed and manufactured in France, First Balfour’s Acreos simulators provide various simulation modules and exercises that allow operators to master heavy equipment operations in a virtual environment. With this form of XR tech, the use of actual heavy equipment in the conduct of training is no longer required, therefore saving as much as 100,000 liters of fuel annually and avoiding mechanical wear and tear.

Providing a testimonial on behalf of the Philippine construction industry, First Balfour President and Chief Operating Officer Anthony Fernandez highlighted the collaboration between private firms and TESDA in producing a truly world-class workforce.

T1 Rentals’ Head of Operator Training Wil Espinili receives his NC II

In the same event, national certificates were also awarded to T1 Rentals personnel who passed TESDA’s competency assessment using XR technology at the First Balfour Head Office last August 8. These were riggers Florencio Eparwa, Jr., Ricardo Amoto, Jr., Barry Gabia, Dennis Cillo, and Jay Ar Palma, mobile crane operator Dock Ampato, and Operator Training & Management Head Wilfred Angelo Espinili.

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