September 2018 saw the launch of the new 'Lads and Lasses' plant training programme at Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage.
The idea of the scheme is to bring new blood into the industry and try to stem the shortage of operators in the industry. The UK lose roughly 7-9% of the operator workforce due to natural retirement, leaving the industry for other trades, or promotion from the seat. Lynch introduced plant apprentices into the business back in 2015, with brilliant success, and to date have pushed through over 25 apprentices into the business. "Apprentices have played a very important part in the design of our 'Lads and Lasses' programme" commented Liam Moore, Senior Operator Manager. "We have been working on this project for the past 12 months and although apprenticeships have worked really well, there have been a number of constraints on the scheme such as: location of the training centre; the age groups that fit the demographic for government funding; and the duration of the scheme being spread out over two years. We wanted to look at a scheme that would see operators coming from all walks of life, ages and backgrounds, along with quicker turnaround times from classroom to site in a safe and controlled manner using local training centres. One of the positive things we noticed when launching our plant apprenticeship scheme was the volume of people who wanted to change their careers to join the heavy plant industry. We were overloaded with application forms from both men and women which proved that there clearly was a need for another scheme covering all applicants"
"This scheme is very different from anything currently operating in the industry and this can only be a good thing for the industry in the UK" added Merrill Lynch, Operations Director. "We need more men and women in the driving seat to ensure that we have enough operators for the future. Everybody needs to start somewhere and Lynch understand that those 'starting chances' are few and far between in the current climate. We would like to think that this scheme could be the start of something very special nationwide and Lynch want to be a driving force in turning the tide for the better. We have bigger plans for 2019 and this is the second stage of our 5 step plan. We believe as a family run and operated business we are going to play our part in building for the future."
The lucky eight 'Lads and Lasses' were selected from over 80 applications which were already on file from one of our Facebook campaigns. The team started on the 3 September at our local training centre where they spent two weeks, operating articulated dump trucks. After this they will then go and work on carefully selected sites across the UK. Once out in the field they will be monitored and assessed by our in-house operator supervisors, spending four weeks on the ADTs before returning to the test centre to complete another CPCS ticket. This type of training programme has only been possible by working with some of our key account customers who also understand the need to make changes and support the industry. "I'm personally really pleased that Lynch are making great strides in operator recruitment across the UK" commented Liam Moore. "I will to be doing my part to drive and support the scheme moving forward and am really looking forward to getting the next generation of operators out into the field".