Upgraded machinery at NCC Inchinnan a ‘game-changer’ for plant apprentices

Image credit: Peter Devlin

A collaboration between the Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA), Scot JCB and CITB has resulted in the upgrade of machinery used for the Plant Mechanic Apprenticeship at CITB’s National Construction College at Inchinnan, Renfrewshire.

In a bid to attract more young people into the industry, the SPOA revealed it has worked closely with CITB in recent years to enhance the training provision for plant operator and plant mechanic apprentices as well as encouraging SPOA members to take on apprentices.

The SPOA was asked by CITB to facilitate the upgrade of the machinery at Inchinnan. The trade body engaged with its industry supplier members to come up with a package which would deliver benefits for Scotland’s plant mechanic apprentices as they start their careers.

Scot JCB responded and the following package is now in place:

  • New JCB 140X, bringing the excavator training to a modern standard with common rail engine, DPF and AdBlue systems.
  • JCB diagnostic software and laptop for the trainers and apprentices to use on the machine. Previously apprentices did not receive computer diagnostic training.
  • NCC trainers have been added to the Scot JCB dealer training account. This will help CITB trainers keep up to speed with the latest technological advancements and see them trained at the JCB world headquarters.

SPOA president Callum Mackintosh described the deal as a ‘game-changer’ for apprentices. He added, “Not only will it significantly improve their learning and training experience, it will hopefully help to encourage more young people to follow a career in plant.

“This deal also shows how far the SPOA has come in terms of our relationship with the CITB and our buying power with members to significantly improve the facility at Inchinnan. This will hopefully also pave the way for future collaborations with JCB and Scot JCB.”

Image credit: Peter Devlin

Christopher Blake, curriculum manager CITB Plant, added, “The National Construction College Inchinnan welcomes the addition of the new JCB140X into the plant mechanic training fleet of machines. This demonstrates our desire to upgrade our current machinery provision and provide relevant and modern equipment for all our trainees to utilise.

“Our focus continues to ensure trainees are fully workshop and site prepared within service, maintenance and repair requirements, especially as our learners will encounter such modern fleets of construction equipment commonplace in the industry.”

Image credit: Peter Devlin

Iain Bryant, joint MD at Scot JCB, commented, “At Scot JCB we understand the importance of apprenticeships and have placed many of our own plant mechanic apprentices with the NCC at Inchinnan. So it is only fitting that we worked with the SPOA and the CITB to upgrade the machinery at Inchinnan and bring the apprenticeship programme in-line with industry expectations today.”

Apprentices currently following the Plant Mechanic Apprenticeship have praised the investment. Andrew Manson, winner of SPOA Plant Mechanic Apprentice of the Year 2022/23, said, “The new machinery at Inchinnan will make a real difference to apprentices. The training at Inchinnan is excellent and, now that we will be using the latest machinery, it means that we will be significantly better prepared for our jobs in the workshop and feel more confident about what we do.”