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Construction Equipment Maintenance Engineering

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Trailblazer Apprenticeships


Following a recent meeting of employers, an employer development group was formed in September 2016 in order to develop a new apprenticeship for those that maintain and service plant and equipment. This is to replace the existing Construction Plant or Machinery Maintenance Framework Apprenticeship that will be phased out when this project has received final Governmental approval.


There are a number of employers representing owners and hirers and include representatives from the extractives, access, demolition and rail sectors. As a requirement of Government in the development of the apprenticeship, a lead employer is required and for this trailblazer, both Liebherr GB Ltd and Clee Hill Plant are acting as joint-Chairs for the development group and who welcome the particpation of employers from the extractives industry, and the small tools and access sectors to help form this apprenticeship. CPA development staff are project-managing the apprenticeship process on behalf of the group.


The apprenticeship will be designed for those who will ensure that construction-based equipment functions safely and efficiently allowing construction and other projects to be carried out efficiently and on time. This apprenticeship will build upon an existing framework apprenticeship which has a long and established route of providing skilled maintenance staff within the construction and allied industries to function at all levels. This occupation provides a vital service that is crucial to the prosperity of the country through the completion of vital infrastructure projects such a power generation, roads, airports etc.


The apprentice on completion of the apprenticeship will be able to work across the construction and allied sector employers including quarrying, demolition, utilities (water/gas/electric etc.), piling, rail, waste/landfill, housing, highways, access, ports/docks, and offshore.


The group are proposing to develop two standards - Mechanic and Technician.


  • The apprentice mechanic would learn how to undertake core functional activities around the checking, servicing and basic fault finding on a wide range of equipment, or within a specialised field. They would either through their own fault-finding activities or through given instructions, remove, dismantle, repair, assemble and refit a plethora of components, and ensure that the item of plant is fully functional prior to handover to the operational side.


  • The apprentice technican would learn how to carry out in-depth inspections and examinations of equipment, provide comprehensive reports for inspection and maintenance activities and carry out in-depth technical diagnostics on all equipment including electronics, hydraulics and pneumatics. They would further provide technical information to others and operate equipment in the workplace to ensure correct functioning. Their skills would be across a wide spectrum of equipment for all sub-sectors and specialisms, and would undertake a supervisory or autonomous role within a given area or activity, such as undertaking a mentoring role for lower level apprentices and trainees.


The mechanic will continue to align with the long-term maintenance engineering requirements as per the existing framework apprenticeship whilst at the technician level, the role has evolved to take into account new technologies that have become widespread within the construction-based equipment world such as dealing with complex electronic control systems, undertaking diagnostic activities, programming of equipment to meet environmental legislative and safety requirements such as noise, emissions etc. reflecting the increased knowledge base of the apprentice who need to embrace and cope with the new technologies.


At various stages of their daily work, the apprentices would - both during and subsequent to apprenticeship completion - be mobile and working on-site undertaking maintenance activities and work alone, unaided and autonomously. They will be interacting directly with customers and other employees, for which behavioural, adaptability and thinking skills will form a crucial element to this occupation.




The submission for the mechanic trailblazer was made in time for the IfA's August 2018 submission deadline.




For more information, please contact Peter Brown at 


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