Skills and Employment Opportunities

The plant industry faces significant skills and employment challenges.  There are notable key occupation shortages including Plant Operators, Plant Fitters/Mechanics, and LGV Drivers.  The industry requires a range of training and skills development options to address these issues.

Thankfully, the industry is now working collaboratively to address several of these challenges and there is now a range of training and career development options for the industry to utilise and support the skill shortage challenge they face.

Apprenticeships

The plant industry has a range of apprenticeships that will encourage new talent to take up a career in plant and include construction plant operative, hire controller, lifting technician and construction equipment mechanic.

Pre-Apprenticeships

Alongside apprenticeships, the industry can take advantage of Pre-Apprenticeship and structured work placements. More colleges/providers are providing introductory plant courses, particularly in the West Midlands, due to flexibilities around adult funding.

Further opportunities for accessing talent are available through the new T-Levels (Technical Levels) which have been created by the Government as Technical equivalents to A-Levels. A Construction T-Level has been launched with several pilots around the country.

From September 2020

DESIGN, SURVEYING AND PLANNING FOR CONSTRUCTION

From September 2021

ONSITE CONSTRUCTION

Government Initiatives 

There are two new Government initiatives to support employment in the UK which the construction/plant industry can benefit from:

Talent Retention Scheme (TRS) - Where people who, left unemployed by Covid-19, can register on the TRS (Employment Portal) and find other employment opportunities.

Kickstart - Where the Government provides funding to employers to take on a 6-month work placement (with 25 hours a week) giving employers access to new talent and the potential for long-term employment.

Skills Development 

Another challenge for the industry is the continued need to upskill the existing workforce to ensure a more productive and healthier workforce.  Key areas are mental wellbeing, health, soft skills, technical, communication and leadership training.