Shotcrete training reduces concrete waste on WestConnex

Simulator-based training at the WestConnex Training Academy is paving the way to safely and efficiently train a new workforce in the application of sprayed concrete (shotcrete) in tunnels. The training will improve project productivity by reducing the impact of training on the construction program and reduce materials waste by improving the skills of the workforce in applying shotcrete to the tunnel surface. 

Across the M4 East and New M5 projects, this innovative simulation technology forms a core element of a package that will see more than 40 people receive a nationally recognised Statement of Attainment.

The principal contractors for the M4 East and New M5 projects, have established the Training Academy at Homebush to support leaving a lasting legacy of a workforce with skills and qualifications relevant to tunnelling and the civil construction industry generally. They have partnered with TAFE and other Registered Training Organisations to deliver skills training, apprenticeships and traineeships, and other up-skilling opportunities at the dedicated facility.

The shotcreting virtual simulator allows inexperienced workers to safely learn how to shotcrete without interrupting the project's work flow using controls that replicate shotcreting equipment being used within the tunnels. The simulator technology component of the training is supplemented with an on-line theoretical component and supervised on-the job practice – before final assessment and the awarding of the qualification. 

The WestConnex M4 East and New M5 are the first tunnel projects in Australia to be using this technology as part of their shotcrete skills development and training solution - a great example of the project's innovative approach to delivering sustainable outcomes in resource use and a lasting skills legacy.

"Thanks to this innovative specialised training the projects will now have enough skilled 'nozzlemen' to meet our tunnel construction programs.” 

Guy Pearce, Training Manager