A new Hire Controller Trailblazer Apprenticeship programme for plant, tools and equipment has been granted approval by the UK’s Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA), according to the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA).

CPA44 - Chloe A-Plant Hire Controller

Chloe is a hire controller at UK-based rental company A-Plant

This was said to come off the back of several years of work by the employer-led Trailblazer Working Group, which determined that such a programme was crucial for attracting new recruits to the construction plant industry, as well as upskilling existing staff into new roles.

The CPA said that hire controllers play an important role within plant rental companies across the UK since they are responsible for co-ordinating the rental of plant, tools and equipment to customers.

In developing the standard for this occupation, the working group defined the required duties of a hire controller for the training syllabus, which included the provision of technical information to customers in helping them to select and use suitable equipment for the planned activities, as well as ensuring the equipment being rented is compliant with health and safety requirements. The duties also include completing contract documentation at both on-hire and off-hire stages, and processing payments, including calculating rental charges, damage charges, fraud prevention measures and insurance payments.

The Trailblazer Working Group is chaired by Kirsty Archbold-Laming, Director of Southern Hoists, and the group comprises people from a number of employers in the rental sector, including general plant, cranes, rail plant, ground support, small plant and tools, and concrete pumping.

Archbold-Laming said, “This new apprenticeship will be a major step in helping recruit the new staff that we need in our sector.”

The CPA said it provided managerial and administrative support throughout the process, and the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and the Hire Association Europe (HAE) were also involved in the development of this new apprenticeship.

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