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EXECUTIVE REPORT continued


More youngsters need to enter the industry to maintain the number of qualified plant operators.


their air quality. Daniel Marsh recommends plant hire companies to read the very recent publication entitled “Engineering Cleaner Air”. This is available as a free download from the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) website (www.ice.org.uk).


Tomorrow’s plant operators


Another important topic in the plant hire industry is operator supply and demand, which was addressed by Carl Letman of Skyblue Research. He has been working with the CPA and others to gain data in order to better plan and implement future recruitment and upskilling programmes. He said that his company estimated that the total number of plant operators in the UK is 289,000, including approximately 19,000 workers who drive plant some of the time as part of their main construction role.


An important message was that more needs to be done to make the sector attractive to young people, and there should be more plant operator apprentices. John Batty of Bluejohn Marketing also highlighted this challenge and referred to a report entitled “Construction as a Career of Choice for Young People” written by Liz Waters of Sir Robert McAlpine. She considers how the industry


can promote itself as a viable and attractive career option, and a particular recommendation is the need to really embrace the social media channels to connect with young people.


Having recently gained continued industry support - albeit with many calls for reform - for its Levy raising powers, the CITB is now revealing some of the changes it proposes. The presentation by its Industry Relations Director, Mark Noonan, said the organisation will have a simplified and more user-friendly grants and awards process, where smaller businesses get a fairer share of monetary support. Paperwork will be reduced through the introduction of automated grant payments.


Usefully, the CITB plans to introduce a new comprehensive training directory in April 2018. It will cover its own courses as well as the external and in-house training that is delivered to a recognised standard and, therefore, eligible for grant support.





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