A new challenge, a fresh product, an innovative opportunity.

This year has undoubtedly been a challenging time for construction businesses. For many, recruitment has inevitably fallen low on the list of priorities and even for those wanting to add to their workforce, the simple challenge of finding funds is proving to be an insurmountable task. It is imperative therefore that training providers remain innovative in seeking to help businesses address this challenge in the ever changing climate of 2020. Here at Weston College, innovation and industry collaboration are in our DNA, and the last few months, far from dampening that instinct have been a catalyst for finding new and creative ways to train people for their industry.

Admittedly, apprenticeships are not a new idea, but the Level 2 Construction Plant Operative is most definitely a fresh and very exciting addition to our offer here at Weston College. The outdated perception that apprenticeships are only useful for the ‘tea-making, errand-running school leaver’ could not be more acutely challenged by this particular opportunity. The standard is so packed full of genuinely useful skills and understanding that anyone completing their course will be qualified to CPCS standard with as many as five key operator tickets. To gain the equivalent level of competency privately, businesses or aspiring machine operators would easily need to find as much as eight thousand pounds and would do so without the benefit of experience which plays such a key role in the apprenticeship journey. Designed by industry, for industry, this standard will create competent, capable, site ready operators for recruiting businesses at a time when the construction industry is charged nationally by government with the task of ‘building back better’.

Even more exciting for us at Weston College is that we are proud to be one of the first providers in the UK to launch this fantastic new product! With our initial cohort scheduled to begin in January 2021, we are poised to provide the solution for local construction industry right now, when they need it most. This means we are comfortably within the window of time for businesses to take advantage of the governments incentive scheme for taking on new apprentices before the end of January 2021. When you couple these rewards with the CITB grants available and the regular funding for apprenticeship levy payers then this opportunity becomes attractive both financially and practically.

Our state of the art construction training centre in Weston-super-Mare will be the venue for apprentices starting in January, who will benefit from our purpose built dig areas, lifting towers and plant simulation. Our machines are already fitted with GPS technology thanks to our partnership with Plantforce UK, meaning we are ready to equip machine operators to be at the cutting edge of plant operations. As a CITB ATO we will claim CPCS achievement grants automatically and can support companies with any other training needs they may have. An Ofsted Outstanding college, the complimentary content of the apprenticeship is guaranteed to be delivered to the highest of standards, ensuring apprentices are given the quality of training your businesses deserves. This really is a golden opportunity in a year when such things seem few and far between.

To have an informal chat about the Level 2 Construction Plant Operative, or to discover the other ways we can support your business in the coming months please reach out to me at heidi.oliver@weston.ac.uk or by calling 01275 465555.