The Vocational Training Center of James Bay offers programs of study in the mining, forestry, construction, mechanical and health sectors. With three locations in Chibougamau, Lebel-sur-Quévillon and Matagami, the center offers innovative training methods using state-of-the-art teaching tools. In spite of the remoteness of these locations, this center sees its programs of study almost filled year after year!

formation au cfp de la baie-james. training at the cfp de la baie-james.

Extremely concerned with being at the forefront of new technologies, the CFP de la Baie-James integrates virtual reality into several training programs. To date, several of them offer immersive training developed in collaboration with Etherlab. Students in the following programs have the opportunity to benefit from this technology :

  •   Residential and home-based personal assistance;

  • Health, assistance and nursing;

  • Heavy equipment operation in forestry;

  • Mineral extraction;

  • Drilling and blasting (to come).

We recently spoke with Luc Letendre, development agent and pedagogical advisor for the CFP de la Baie-James, to get his impressions on the use of virtual reality in an educational institution.

Technology is evolving very quickly and the isolation conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated the pace. Therefore, many fields of employment are updating their ways of doing things in order to turn to digital technology. By conducting a strategic market watch, the CFP de la Baie-James is keeping abreast of new practices in the areas where they offer training. In fact, a virtual symposium offered by the Institut national des mines allowed them to discuss the relevance of training that is well adapted to new realities. Aimed primarily at people working in Quebec’s educational institutions, the symposium presented the main distinctive features of a 4.0 training program that is aligned with the new realities of smart mining development, as well as the new skills to be acquired to promote industry competitiveness. In this context, virtual reality allows students to become familiar with digital technology and to integrate these new practices into their professional development.




On another note, many areas of study in the health sector require practice and role-playing among learners. For example, in a scenario developed in collaboration between the CFP de la Baie-James and the Etherlab team, the learner must recognize a risky situation and distinguish between signs of dependency, abuse and neglect.  The learner must then transmit the necessary information to the nurse and adopt the essential attitudes for good communication and the development of a helping relationship. Before the use of immersive training, it was difficult to present a simulation that was representative of reality. This new pedagogical tool allowed learners to be faced with a difficult scenario in order to be better prepared for the job market. In addition, these virtual reality scenarios standardize learning from student to student while allowing for a simulation that borders on realism.

" It's important to keep up to date in order to stand out from other educational institutions... We put a lot of emphasis on our immersive learning techniques. This allows us to have an excellent enrolment rate in our programs and to have 80% of our students come from outside the region.  "

Luc Letendre

" Students studying in the health field will have to work alone most of the time. Virtual reality allows us to provide them with scenarios that reflect the daily life of their practice and allows them to make the right decisions. Conventional training would not have allowed us to do this type of simulation. You often have to experience it to fully understand it. "

Luc Letendre

Consistency of information:

The CFP de la Baie-James uses virtual reality to ensure consistency in the knowledge provided to its students. Some practices can be more complex to explain if they are not contextualized and can vary from one teacher to another. Virtual reality allows the student to receive the same information as another student in a different class with a different teacher.


Accessibility of the solution :

Immersive training can be done anywhere and anytime: all you need is a headset! It is also quite simple to change visual elements or elements related to the scenario. “We work with content experts to ensure that all elements of the simulation are accurate. If there are elements that need to be changed, we contact the Etherlab team and they make sure that everything is compliant. “ Mr. Letendre explains.


Ease of use :

Just download the training into the headset and you’re done! No programming or computer knowledge is required. “Once our Oculus Quest headsets are set up, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! “ Luc Letendre


Learner safety:

Evolving in technical fields, students at the CFP de la Baie-James must perform a set of actions, movements, postures and mental operations in order to properly mobilize the professional skills to be mastered. Their safety during these actions is essential. It is by performing them repeatedly and allowing them to move forward by trial and error in complete safety that students gain confidence and avoid errors that could later prove fatal.


In conclusion, the success of the CFP Baie James lies in the integration of immersive technologies in several of its training programs and in the desire to be constantly up to date on the latest practices in pedagogical support. Virtual reality is a key asset in attracting and maximizing student commitment, in addition to offering them quality preparation for their future professional field.

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