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New Plant Operator Apprenticeship Under Development


A new Construction Plant Operator Trailblazer Apprenticeship has gained approval from the IfA (Institute for Apprenticeships).

A proposition was devised by an employer-led trailblazer working group supported by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA). Following frequent revisions to the submission plan, approval was received from the IfA and the working group is now planning to develop the standards and assessment plan for the new Plant Operator Apprenticeship.

First formed in July 2016, the working group signifies a number of employers including construction equipment owners and hirers, in addition to representatives from other sectors such as demolition and rail.

P Flannery Plant Hire and the Hawk Group are acting as the co-chairs and CPA colleagues are project-managing the apprenticeship process on behalf of the group.

The working group will be developing a Level 2 multi-role occupation like the current ‘framework’ apprenticeship where learning will take place with four machines over a 12-month period to act as the stepping stones into the sector and occupation.

The planned content includes learning on servicing and simple maintenance techniques, as well as marshalling of plant, providing apprentices with an overall understanding of plant operations and supporting activities. However, there is a requirement to have at least 20% of the learning of the job, most of the learning will be undertaken within the workplace.

The working group further plans to apply to develop a Level 3 Specialist Plant Operator occupation to allow the transfer from Level 2 to Level 3 and provide the skills needed for specialist activities such as rail plant, demolition and tunnelling.

Patrick Flannery, Co-Chair of the working group said: “We are very pleased to have finally received approval from the Institute for Apprenticeships after several 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.”

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