Using Virtual and Augmented Reality to Bridge the Utility Industry’s Knowledge Gap

In an article for Smart Cities Dive, Navigant Research looks to new technologies as an efficient way to train the next generation of utility workers

Over the next several years, utilities are expected to lose approximately half of their workforce as current employees retire. As these workers leave, they’ll take with them a wealth of specialized knowledge and skills that their replacements will lack. Capturing outgoing expertise will be critical and, according to an article in Smart Cities Dive, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) could be an efficient way to ensure it stays within the organization.

“Utilities are in the midst of one of the greatest workforce transitions we’ve seen in any industry in recent memory,” said Michael Hartnack, research analyst with Navigant Research. “Many are now scrambling to deploy tools to stem the outgoing tide of information, and most are seeking to leverage advanced technology to help.”

In the article, Hartnack offers examples of how VR and AR can streamline training and reduce time spent on everyday tasks. Leveraging these tools, he said, can ultimately reduce the need to hire replacement employees on a one-to-one basis, creating savings while enhancing operations.

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