Shake-up of Plant Training System Angers Industry

Contractors and training specialists have been left baffled by plans to shake-up courses for plant operators.

Sweeping changes by the Construction Industry Training Board will make it more complicated for experienced operators to achieve a plant NVQ qualification.

The Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA) means of achieving a Level 2 NVQ will be discontinued by the end of this year.

Stuart Anderson of training provider Construction Skills People said: “Construction employers like the delivery model as it allows a plant operator to achieve their Level 2 NVQ on site, using their own plant, with the assessment part of the qualification taking less than a day.

“In the last 12 months over 1,400 experienced plant operatives have achieved their plant NVQ through the EWPA delivery model with us.

“Our clients like the delivery method that see us take into account the knowledge and experience of the operator and the cost effectiveness of the delivery model.”

Stephen McCarthy SHEQ manager for Duffy Group added: “Without doubt the easiest and cheapest way for our operators to achieve their Plant NVQs is via the EWPA assessment route.

“It’s very disappointing that this way of getting a plant NVQ is being taken away from us.

“We are now accelerating our plans to qualify the rest of our plant operators before the December 31st deadline.”

Another contractor said: “Yet again this has been decided after talking to trade bodies like Build UK and CECA rather than talking to real contractors actually doing the work on the ground.”

Steve Hearty, Director of Apprenticeships at CITB, said: “This change was called for by the Construction Plant Association in order to make assessments to gain a Vocational Qualification more robust.

“It means that a VQ can no longer be gained through a one-off test but must, from the start of next year, include evidence of working on site.

“However, the new-style assessments will still allow significantly quicker completions for experienced people compared to those new to the industry.”



Written by Grant Prior
Construction Enquirer 

27th July 2017

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