New “trailblazer” plant operative apprenticeship approved

A submission for a new apprenticeship for plant operators, supported by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA), has been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA).

The submission, made by an industry-led working group, was approved following a number of revisions.  The CPA said its staff is providing administrative support to the “trailblazer” construction plant operative apprenticeship.

The working group consists of a number of employers representing the scope of construction plant operations and is co-chaired by Flannery Plant and the Hawk Group

The working group will develop a level 2 multi-role occupation similar to the current ‘framework’ apprenticeship where learning will take place with four machines over a 12-month period. This, the CPA said, will act as the “stepping stones” into the sector and occupation.

Proposed content includes learning on servicing and basic maintenance techniques as well as marshalling of plant, which aims to give apprentices an overall understanding of plant operations and supporting activities.

The working group also intends to develop a level 3 specialist plant operator occupation to allow the transfer from level 2 to level 3 and provide skills needed for specialist activities such as rail plant, demolition and tunnelling.

Patrick Flannery, co-chair of the working group commented, “We are very pleased to have received approval from the Institute of Apprenticeships after a lot of meetings with them over the last year to come up with an acceptable format.

“We are now eager to start the development process and design an apprenticeship that meets our industry’s needs and entices new people into the industry.”