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    RAISING THE BAR ON LIFTING OPERATIONS SKILLS

    New ‘Lifting Technician Trailblazer Apprenticeship’ ready for delivery

    The Construction Plant-hire Association has announced that a new ‘Lifting Technician Trailblazer Apprenticeship’ is now available and ready for delivery, following final approval from the Institute of Apprenticeships.

    The new apprenticeship framework has been devised by an employer-led working group and is supported by the CPA. The apprenticeship is:

    “designed for those who will operate a Mobile Crane, Crawler Crane or Tower Crane and undertake slinging and signalling duties, the new Lifting Technician Trailblazer Apprenticeship replaces the existing Construction Civil Engineering Plant Operator (Cranes Lifting) Framework Apprenticeship which will eventually be phased out.”

    Laing O’Rourke headed up the working group which also consisted of several crane owners and contractors, namely Ainscough, Baldwins Crane Hire Ltd, BAM Nuttall, Balfour Beatty, Bronzeshield Lifting Limited, Emerson Cranes, Skanska, Select Plant Hire, Sarens, Liebherr and CITB.

    Integrating crane operating and slinging/signalling skills

    The working group was formed in early 2014 to devise the standards and assessment plan for the Lifting Technician Apprenticeship, with the aim of integrating both crane operating skills with slinging/signalling skills to provide both the apprentice and employer with a greater scope of skills and to fully understand the lifting operations sector, preparing a pathway for the apprentice to become a Crane Supervisor and ultimately an appointed person.

    This apprenticeship has been placed within the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s funding band 11 which allows apprenticeship levy paying employers to spend up to a maximum of £15,000 for the training and assessment of the apprentice. Non-levy payers can currently receive up to 90% of the maximum.

    Potential employers can approach an approved training provider of their choice and discuss a training delivery model that suits their needs. The aim by Government for Trailblazer Apprenticeships is that the employer retains a level of responsibility for the overall training of apprentice in conjunction with a lead provider.

    The CPA is hosting the training and assessment documentation and a training syllabus, training record portfolio..

    Chair of the Trailblazer working group, Elizabeth Astill of Laing O’Rourke said:

    “We’re very pleased and relieved to have received the final approval from the Institute for Apprenticeships after some three years of hard work by the working group. Being one of the first Trailblazer Apprenticeships to be developed meant that we had to endure constant changes to the rules whilst the custodianship for apprenticeships transferred from one Government department to another during that time, but we have managed to maintain our original criteria to ensure that the apprenticeship is fit-for-purpose for the construction and allied sectors. We look forward to industry supporting this apprenticeship and making the construction and lifting sectors an attractive place for new recruits to develop a long-lasting career.”

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