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.