Training specialist casts eye to the future after golden year

Arkadiusz Bak and Tomasz Orkiszewski

A Lanark-based business with ambitions of becoming Britain’s top plant operator training provider has hailed the country’s construction sector for the reception it has received in its first year.

Launched by experienced construction duo, Tomasz Orkiszewski and Arkadiusz Bak, Goldcast Academy has invested heavily in the latest plant technology and offered limited spaces on its ‘intense’ training courses to ensure that the ‘highest quality’ level of operators pass into industry.

Justyna Kamińska, head assistant at the firm, told Project Plant that the company received a ‘fantastic welcome’ from the sector at ScotPlant 2022, where the firm showcased its offerings to plant professionals from across the country.

Set for a ‘bigger and better’ stand at ScotPlant 2024, Justyna revealed the company was grateful for the interest shown as the plant sector grapples with well acknowledged operator skills shortages.

“We were so happy with the reception at ScotPlant and appreciated how nice people were towards us, given that we were just brand new to the industry,” she added. “The mission is to be the best quality training centre in the UK. We’re really passionate about people and training; we want to connect people with fantastic workplaces.”

Goldcast Academy works with both companies and individuals in its training offering. The organisation also supports trainees in finding employment upon completion of their course, providing help with updating CVs and passing them on to the academy’s partners as well as a construction recruitment agency.

The firm offers training in 360° excavators, forward tipping dumpers, telehandlers, rollers, dozers, wheeled excavators, front loading shovels, articulated dumper trucks, crushers, screeners, and even tractors!

“Our programmes are quite intense,” Justyna explained, before telling how trainees receive material prior to their first visit to the training centre to ensure they have a level of knowledge of the plant once there. “You really are set up for success – our training (numbers) are limited, so we have really strict measures to prevent poor-quality training; there is only a certain amount of people per trainer. This obviously reduces the amount passing through the training, however what it does mean is that every trainee has the highest possible quality of training and understands all the material on the course.”

Significant investment has been made by the firm in technology such as a GPS Topcon X-53x Auto Excavator, and Steelwrist tiltrotator buckets in a bid to ensure trainees pass into the industry with the ability to operate new plant, to position themselves ahead of others in the field.

“We do try to look for the newest possible technology that has come out,” Justyna explained. “We are investing heavily in the technology and it’s to make sure that the trainees that come to our training centre are set up for success; our passion is training, and our goal is to set everyone up for success.”

A big ambition of Tomasz and Arkadiusz is to inspire young people into realising the potential benefits of a career in operating plant machinery. Justyna explained the firm has had trainees take their children to the training centre at the end of their course to have a look around the equipment, with the business hoping their natural curiosity continues into later life when it comes to choosing a career.

“We are really excited about the younger generation,” she added. “I’ve spoken to quite a few young people and some haven’t had any sort of information (on a career in construction in school). But, for us as a training centre, it should be one of our tasks to get the message across to young people that a career in construction and plant operating is not a boring job – it’s a fantastic one!”

Moving forward, Justyna said the ambition is to open a second training base. However, she insisted all focus is currently on ensuring that the Lanark training centre is operating at the highest possible standards and growing at the envisioned speed.

“It’s a great time to start looking for this (type of) training,” she added. “It guarantees you the ability to operate the machines and keep up with the demand of the industry.”