Green light for new construction plant operative apprenticeship

construction plant operatives,

The new Trailblazer Apprenticeship for construction plant operatives has been given the go-ahead by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE)

The Trailblazer Apprenticeship for construction plant operatives is now being finalised for delivery to industry.

This follows over three years’ development work by an employer-led trailblazer working group supported by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA).

The working group was first formed in July 2016 to develop a new apprenticeship for construction plant operatives. The working group, chaired by Patrick Flannery from P Flannery Plant Hire, consists of employers representing construction equipment owners and hirers, including those from the demolition, rail and extractives sectors, as well as clients and training providers.

Trailblazer apprenticeship

The new Trailblazer Apprenticeship for construction plant operatives is set at Level 2 and learning will place over a 15 month period using four machines – an excavator, dumper or dump truck, forklift and ride-on roller.

The content includes learning on operator-level servicing and basic maintenance techniques, as well as the marshalling of plant, providing apprentices with an overall understanding of plant operations and supporting activities. The majority of learning will be undertaken within the workplace, although there is a requirement to have at least 20% learning ‘off the job’.

The last function of the trailblazer working group was the development of the assessment plan – the methodology and requirements to effectively measure the skills, knowledge and behaviours (KSBs) required for the apprenticeship. The devised assessment process includes a number of practical activities on each machine type, including preparation checks as well as a marshalling activity, a test of technical knowledge through a multi-choice testing format and a professional discussion supported by a work record book that needs completing in the workplace.

The assessment plan

Final approval of the assessment plan has now been granted by the IfATE, meaning that the core of the development work has been completed and the working group can prepare the apprenticeship for delivery to industry. This would normally involve a launch event but this is being reviewed in light of current circumstances regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

Patrick Flannery, chair of the working group, commented: “After many years of developing this apprenticeship, we’re pleased to have passed the final hurdle in getting the assessment plan approved. This means that we can now prepare the apprenticeship for delivery.

“I’d like to thank the members of working group for their unstinting devotion, input and time to get this apprenticeship though to fruition, coping admirably with the frustrations and issues of the development phase. It is a measure of their support that we now have an exciting apprenticeship to offer to the plant sector.

“More than ever, we need to attract new talent and we hope industry will support our efforts and take up this important apprenticeship.”


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