When Balfour Beatty joined forces with Flannery Plant Hire two years ago to create a ‘best-in-class’ operators skills hub they never would have imagined the success it would have in just a short time.
The Operator Skills Hub- a purpose-built facility in Birmingham offers innovative training programmes to inspire young people and upskill current plant operators in the UK.
With the construction and infrastructure industry rapidly scaling up to deliver some of the most ambitious schemes in history, the Operator Skills Hub delivered its first Trailblazer Plant Operative Apprentices in 2021, meeting its aim to support 30 young people in its first year.
Key in addressing the construction and infrastructure sectors significant skills shortage, the facility uses state-of-the-art training simulators as well as the latest semi-autonomous vehicles to prepare plant operators and apprentices for the modern-day, digitally-enabled construction site.
“It is an exiting place. You turn up and feel like you’re in the midst of a really modern environment with digitalisation at the forefront. You then put people on the equipment and they think these cabs and this machine is very sophisticated these days. Then they start to see what salaries they can earn in the industry and you can see them starting to think this is a really attractive place to be,” Andy Ormerod, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Plant and Fleet Services business, tells this week’s Highways Voices.
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