Shortly after announcing the acquisition of a Tenstar Simulator as part of its ongoing mission to upskill the industry, the Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA), with training provider Setting Out For Construction (SOFC), has delivered two courses which have been rated best in class by delegates and employers.
The half-day course, held at the offices of the SPOA in Stirling, has attracted plant operators from both ends of the age spectrum.
Gordon Durno, from Currie Contractors and winner of the Scottish Plant Operator Challenge and crowned UK Plant Operator of the Year 2023, was one of the first people to sign up to the course, proving you are never too old to learn new skills. He was joined by one of the youngest operators Jamie Currie, now aged 16, who hit the headlines in 2020 for becoming the UK’s youngest digger driver and who was mentored by Gordon.
In addition to Currie Contractors, AB2K also put a group of its plant operators through the training course and were blown away by the standard of training which saw an immediate return on investment.
Stuart Gardner, operations manager at AB2K, explained: “We were absolutely delighted with the machine control training in every sense. The Tenstar Simulator is an incredible piece of equipment that really does simulate a construction site environment without any health and safety risks, allowing the operator to really concentrate and get hands on and make mistakes and learn from them in a safe environment.
“Added to that, the training delivered by Gail McEwen is first class. Her experience as a plant operator and as an engineer makes all the difference. Attending the training at the offices of the SPOA in Stirling, delivered by an independent instructor gives companies confidence and reassurance as there is no conflict of interest.
“The investment in our team paid off immediately as AB2K was able to send a plant operator from the course on to a job within just three days where he was able to put his improved skills and knowledge to use.”
Gail McEwen, director at Setting Out for Construction, developed the machine control training and believes there is no better course in Scotland: “The course is CITB Assured, which means it is delivered to industry standards, which I wrote in collaboration with employers, equipment providers, industry experts and stakeholders, so I can say with absolute certainty, that there is no better course to learn machine control technology. The Tenstar Simulator is the jewel in the crown and gives plant operators a very realistic construction environment to enhance existing skills and learn new ones in a safe environment.
“The SPOA is really leading the way in terms of identifying the biggest challenges in the industry, namely upskilling plant operators and attracting young talent into the industry and investing in state-of-the-art machinery, training and facilities to tackle these head on. I am delighted to be a part of this.”
Courses are scheduled throughout 2024 with the next training course scheduled for 12th January 2024.
CITB-registered employers can claim a grant towards the cost of this training course.