New training centre boost for north east

SIBBALD Training has opened a dedicated plant operator training and testing centre in Drumlithie, near Aberdeen.

The company, which is headquartered in Blackridge, West Lothian, has taken the decision to open the centre to expand its presence in the north east of Scotland and provide a more convenient, cost effective option for clients.

John Sibbald, director at Sibbald Training, told Project Plant, “We have been servicing the contract in Aberdeen for the new Aberdeen Western Peripheral Road. We’ve been servicing a lot of the training requirements so what’s been happening is they’ve actually been having to send guys from the job in Aberdeen down here to our site in West Lothian, which is obviously quite a cost for the customer.

“That was the first instance we recognised there was a requirement in the Aberdeen area for plant training and a test centre.”

The company also recognised that there was a market due to the current downturn in the oil and gas industry in Aberdeen, which has led to workers leaving the sector and looking to retrain.

John said, “There is funding available at the moment through Skills Development Scotland for reorientation training so (for) guys that are coming out of the oil and gas industry or have been made redundant, there is money available there for them to upskill and move into another industry.”

The satellite centre, which will be serviced via Sibbald’s Blackridge base, is located at Pitdrichie Quarry with several acres of space available for training on various pieces of plant. The site will also include a classroom and mess facilities.

Instructors will go to the site as required and the company will initially hire in plant equipment for training while they judge the demand.

“We will be able to do road roller training there, we will be able to do slinger training, crane supervisor, crane AP, excavator training, agricultural tractor and telehandler forklift, just to name a few,” John added. “We will be able to deliver training and testing under CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) accredited training, as well as NPORS (National Plant Operators Registration Scheme).”

Speaking on the benefits of the new centre, John said, “For our clients, it will cut their travel costs if they do have sites and employees in the north east of Scotland. It should hopefully cut their training costs. We do believe that there is a fair shortage of plant training and testing centres in that area so we believe that offering this opportunity to our customers up there will help things be more efficient and cost effective for them for delivering their training.”