News from the CPA
Approval for Hire Controller Apprenticeship
The employer working group for the Hire Controller (Plant, Tools and Equipment) Trailblazer Apprenticeship are pleased to announce that the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) have now approved this trailblazer for delivery. This culminates several years of hard work by the group in getting this trailblazer through to fruition.
The hire controller is someone who through a wide-ranging skill set, co-ordinates the hire of plant, tools and equipment to customers and considered a key role to the success of an organisation. In a bid to seek new talent to this sector of industry, employers felt that a trailblazer apprenticeship would be a major enticement for new recruits as well as upskilling existing staff into a new role.
A working group was formed, chaired by CPA Member Southern Hoists, and consisted of plant hirers across a number of employers from the hire and rental sector including general plant, access, cranes, rail plant, ground support, small plant and tools, concrete pumping etc. Managerial and administrative support was provided by CPA staff and there was further participation from the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and the Hire Association Europe (HAE). The bid to develop this apprenticeship goes back several years with a number of hurdles overcome before the approval to develop the apprenticeship was received.
In developing the standard for this occupation, the group defined the required duties of a hire controller for the training syllabus which included the provision of technical information to their 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 & rental charges, damage charges, fraud prevention measures and insurance payments; and handling customer technical enquiries and complaints.
Behaviours need to form part of all trailblazer apprenticeship which for a hire controller would include forming positive relationships with their customers, able to work within a team but also be independent, have a ‘Health and Safety-first attitude’, be self-motivated to meet operational targets, are respectful of equality and diversity; and have a commitment to continual personal and professional development.
The apprenticeship programme has been set by the group at a level 2 and has a notional learning time of between 12 and 18 months, with 20% of that time needed to be devoted to ‘off-the-job’ training. The IfA have placed this trailblazer in funding band 8 which equates to £5000 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.
Chair of the Hire Controller Group, Kirsty Archbold-Laming said “We’re extremely pleased after several years of hard work to get the final approval from the IfA. This new apprenticeship will be a major step in helping recruit the new staff that we need in our sector. I’d like to thank my colleagues on the group for their support and perseverance in getting this trailblazer through to fruition and also thanks our Relationship Manager, Jill, from the IfA for the excellent support that she gave”.
The standard containing the skills knowledge and behaviours for the apprenticeship as well as the assessment plan can be downloaded from: https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/hire-controller-plant-tools-and-equipment/
The groups final task is to prepare the apprenticeship for delivery which will involve the 3 supporting federations, CITB and the training providers who participated on the group. It is envisaged that readiness-for-delivery will take place in early 2019.