Construction Plant Operative

Following the formation of an employer group back in late 2016 to develop an apprenticeship for the occupation of Plant Operative at level 2, approval was eventually given in early 2018 by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATA) to develop this apprenticeship. A working group, chaired by Patrick Flannery from P Flannery Plant Hire, started work in earnest to develop a trailblazer apprenticeship for construction plant operatives.

The working group consists of employers representing construction equipment owners and hirers, including those from the demolition, rail, and extractives sectors as well as clients and training providers. The group developed the standard – the skills, knowledge and behaviours (KSB) required for the apprenticeship, with learning taking place with four machines over a fifteen-month period. The machine types include an excavator, dumper or dump truck, forklift and ride-on roller, acting as the stepping-stone into the sector and occupation.

The content includes learning on operator-level servicing and basic maintenance techniques as well as the marshalling of plant, providing apprentices with an overall understanding of plant operations and supporting activities. Although there is a requirement to have at least 20% of the learning of the job, the majority of learning will be undertaken within the workplace.

The apprenticeship is set at level 2 and over a duration of 15 months. 20% of that time should constitute off-the-job learning although this can be taken within the workplace through methods such as projects, assignments, mentoring etc. Employers need to appoint an approved training provider from the Government’s Register of Approved Training Providers.

Once the apprentice is deemed ready by the employer and provider, the apprentice undertakes the end point assessment conducted by an approved end point assessment organisation (EPAO) who must have had no involvement with the training of the apprentice.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have placed this level 2 apprenticeship in funding band 17 (£14K) - the maximum amount an employer can spend on the apprenticeship.