New trailblazer apprenticeship scheme

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has launched a new trailblazer apprenticeship scheme for hire contractors.

Since the new hire controller trailblazer apprenticeship secured approval from the Institute for Apprenticeships (IFA) in December 2018, the CPA has been working with the Construction Industry Training Board on the details of documentation and assessment.

Hire controllers play a key role within plant hire companies and thus the construction industry, co-ordinating the supply of essential equipment.

The aim of the hire controller (plant, tools & equipment) trailblazer apprenticeship scheme, which has been several years in development, is to attract new recruits by effectively turning a job into a profession with recognised qualifications.

The apprenticeship was devised by a trailblazer working group, chaired by Kirsty Archbold-Laming, director of Southern Hoist. Other companies represented include A-Plant, AP Webb, Ainscough Cranes, Camfauds, Clee Hill Plant, GAP Group, Lavendon, MGF, Nationwide, Selwood and Speedy Services.

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has provided administrative support and both the the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and Hire Association Europe (HAE) have had input. This means that the new apprenticeship is recognised and accepted by all primary trade bodies and industry federations in the hire sector.

The new apprenticeship has been set by the group at a level 2 and will take between 12 and 18 months to complete, with 20% of that time to be devoted to ‘off-the-job’ training. The IFA has placed this trailblazer in funding band 8 which equates to £5,000 that can be spent or claimed by employers (subject to current funding rules) for apprenticeship levy and non-levy paying organisations, in line with typical training costs supplied by training providers.

In developing the standard for this occupation, the working group defined the required duties of a hire controller for the training syllabus, which included the provision of technical information to customers in helping them select and use suitable equipment for the planned activities; ensuring the equipment being hired is compliant with health & safety requirements; completing contract documentation at both on-hire and off-hire stages; processing payments including calculating hire and rental charges, damage charges, fraud prevention measures and insurance payments; and handling customer technical enquiries and complaints.

The standard containing the skills, knowledge and behaviours for the apprenticeship, as well as the assessment plan, can be downloaded from: