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Construction Plant Operative

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Trailblazer Apprenticeships

An employer development group was formed in July 2016 to develop a new apprenticeship for those that operate plant and equipment. This is to replace the existing Construction Civil Engineering Plant Operator Framework Apprenticeship that will be phased out by 2020.


There are a number of employers representing construction equipment owners and hirers and include representatives from the demolition, rail, and extractives sector. As a requirement of Government in the development of the apprenticeship, a lead employer is required and in this instance, both P Flannery Plant Hire and The Hawk Group are acting as co-chairs for the group. CPA development staff are project-managing the apprenticeship process on behalf of the group.


The occupation is an important one whereby the construction and allied sectors are totally reliant on the correct and efficient application of machinery to build - from start to finish - construction and built-environment projects safely and on time and includes infrastructure, civil projects, housebuilding, utilities, highways, marine etc. The uptake of apprentices is crucial to supplying the demand to meet the Governments’ National Infrastructure Plan for projects such as HS2, Crossrail 2, Hinckley Point C, Thames Tideway, London airport additional runway options, roads investments, additional housing and in support of other regional infrastructure programmes.


The size, complexity and expense of equipment requires high levels of skills and understanding and the operation of machinery is regarded by the Health and Safety Executive as one of a safety-critical nature, where the actions of the operator can have significant effects on the safety and wellbeing of others, including the general public. This requires a programmed approach to correct and rigorous training, and where workplace competence is a requirement under workplace regulations.




As of August 2018, approval has been given by the Institute for Apprenticeships to develop this trailblazer apprenticeship. The working group are now underway in developing the standards and assessment plan.


Working Group Membership



The working group consists of a number of employers representing the scope of construction plant operations and co-chaired by both P Flannery Plant Hire and the Hawk Plant. Members are providing their time to develop this important apprenticeship and additional employers are welcome to join the group. Those interested should contact Peter Brown on 0207 796 3366 or at

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