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Talent Tracker

The construction equipment sector aims to recruit young people to the industry at next year’s Plantworx exhibition.

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The Construction Planthire Association (CPA) has announced that it will host a training and education zone at next year’s Plantworx event. It is aimed at raising awareness of the skills shortage in the construction equipment sector and promoting UK colleges that offer construction plant courses.

The zone is an industry initiative aimed at addressing the lack of apprentices within construction. It is hoped that it will encourage new blood into the industry, educate companies about what courses are available across the UK, what grants are available to help fund the employment of apprentices, and enlist the support of the industry’s movers and shakers.

“The colleges we have approached have all been very positive about the training and education zone,” says CPA safety and training manager Haydn Steele.

Colleges that have pledged support for the initiative include Reaseheath College in Cheshire, the National Construction College in Bircham Newton, Norfolk, Lackham College, Wiltshire, Bridgwater College, Somerset and Llysfasi College in North Wales. The Construction Skills Award Alliance (CAA) has also confi rmed it will exhibit at the event, alongside Myerscough College in Preston and the Finning Cat Training Academy, a purpose built apprenticeship training facility based at Finning’s UK headquarters in Cannock, Staff ordshire.

“The colleges we have approached have all been very positive about the training and education zone”

More than 15 colleges nationwide are offering courses and qualifi cations in plantrelated subjects, including maintenance and management.

“At Plantworx we aim to get as many companies and training bodies involved in the education and training zone - to spread the word and get today’s youth interested in construction equipment and the industry. Also to find placements within plant hire and construction companies to safeguard the future of our industry and its many sectors,” SAYS WHO?

Rob Oliver, CEO of Plantworx organiser the Construction Equipment Association (CEA), adds: “It is a sad paradox that we have so many people unemployed, yet a shortage of the right match of skills to the jobs that need to be done. From a manufacturer’s point of view our members have had challenges in attracting good engineering personnel into their companies - and right through the supply chain it’s important we up-skill to improve efficiency and output.

“On a broader scale we all need to promote a progressive construction and manufacturing base to help our economy get out of the doldrums,” says Steele.

The CPA will also use the Plantworx event to present its annual “Stars of the Future” awards for apprentice plant mechanics. There are separate prizes for Level 2 and Level 3 apprentices, with colleges monitoring their students to identify 32 regional winners who are then further assessed to identify one national winner at each level.

The judges are not only looking for academic excellence, but also for young people who show the most potential, with a range of skills and attributes that would benefit from the boost a prestigious award would bring. “These youths are our industry’s future and should be recognised as such,” said Steele.

  • Plantworx 2013 takes place at the Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, from 14-16 May 2013. The biennial exhibition for the construction equipment industry includes more than 100,000m2 of exhibition space for working machines, live demonstrations and site applications. The event is aimed at everyone involved in managing, purchasing and operating construction equipment.

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