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It is well documented that
the construction industry faces the continual challenge of a skills’ shortage,
with an ageing workforce and shrinking talent pool.  

According to the Federation
of Master Builders, 22 per cent of the current construction workforce is over
50 and 15 per cent are in their 60s.  At the same time, the industry is
also losing younger workers to competing sectors where work is perceived as
more stable or appealing and pay is more competitive.

This is why SITECH, the
UK’s premier Trimble construction technology provider is supporting Plantforce,
leading supplier of plant hire machinery, to deliver new technology-focused,
training courses designed to tackle the skills’ issue head on.

The new site-ready operator
training packages will serve a dual purpose. First, helping to upskill existing
construction workers to operate machines on a digitally enabled, high
performing construction site thereby retaining valuable skills within the
industry and second; training the next generation of employees on modern
machine control in order to attract much needed talent into the sector.

The new courses are the
first of their kind in the UK and will be delivered at Weston College’s
Construction Training Centre in Weston-Super-Mare, with a view to expanding the
training to other colleges across the country as demand increases.

Alongside Plantforce’s
significant investment in technology for use by students, the courses will
provide access to the latest Trimble technology, with SITECH offering expertise
on how to utilise machines to their full capability.

Steve Breen, General
Manager at SITECH said,

“It’s encouraging to note
that 60 per cent of employers in the construction sector already have some kind
of skills’ development system in place, with 71 per cent of businesses
recognising that technology plays a role in attracting talent.[1] 

“At SITECH, we want to take
this further and believe the key to developing talent is to ensure that
employees are equipped with the latest digital skillsets that are so sought after
across the industry.  These skillsets are now a key requirement for many
Tier one contractors delivering services to some of the country’s major
infrastructure projects, where machine control and ‘dig to design’ technologies
are now an expectation – helping to drive health and safety standards and
improve productivity and profitability.”

Dale Hawkins, Marketing
Manager from Plantforce added:

“Ensuring operators are
‘site-ready’ and have the necessary skills and competencies for Tier one
projects requires different skillsets than much of the standard training
available on the market can deliver. Rather than taking a basic excavator
course and earning a beginner’s licence, our exclusive five-day training
package provides the operator with experience of the latest technology, a
practical test and simulator profiling alongside a medical examination. This
provide customers with peace of mind that their operators are fully conversant
with the latest practices.”

Simon Werkshagen, Head of
Commercial Construction Training and Logistics Centre at Weston College

“Weston College is rated
Ofsted Outstanding, plus offers a quality training environment; delivering
group sessions through to individual upskilling.  This unique partnership
with Plantforce and SITECH, enables us to offer simulated training after the
basic course; bridging the gap that currently exists, by creating a virtual
construction site and teaching people how to use the various pieces of
technology that are required for higher level contracts.”. 

To watch how the training
centre helps reduce the skills gap, follow the link https://bit.ly/36eneJV.

The Centre also offers
apprenticeships and other construction and logistic training programmes. To
enquire about our training offer or for more information please go to www.construction-training-centre.co.uk,
email enquiries@construction-training-centre.co.uk
 or call 01275 465555.