Launch of New Hire Controller Trailblazer Apprenticeship Programme


The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has officially launched the new Hire Controller (Plant, Tools and Equipment) Trailblazer Apprenticeship to ensure effective rollout and delivery of the new apprenticeship programme.

Following approval of the new Hire Controller Trailblazer Apprenticeship by the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) in December 2018, the CPA hosted a focus implementation group launch in London in conjunction with CITB to outline the new standard, documentation and end-point assessment devised to support the new apprenticeship programme.

This comes on the back of several years’ of hard work by an employer-led Trailblazer Working Group who determined that a Hire Controller Trailblazer Apprenticeship Programme was critical in order to attract new recruits to the construction plant industry, as well as upskilling existing staff into a new role. Hire Controllers co-ordinate the hire of plant, tools and equipment to customers and through a wide-ranging skills set, play a key role within plant hire companies nationwide.

 The Trailblazer Working Group was chaired by Kirsty Archbold-Laming, Director of Southern Hoists, and industry representatives from across the hire sector played a key role in creating the new apprenticeship programme and standards, with representation from companies such as A-Plant, AP Webb, Ainscough Cranes, Camfauds, Clee Hill Plant, GAP Group, Lavendon, MGF, Nationwide, Selwood and Speedy Services. The bid to develop this apprenticeship goes back several years with a number of hurdles overcome before approval was granted for delivery and rollout of the new apprenticeship programme.

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has provided extensive managerial and administrative support throughout the process and both the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and Hire Association Europe (HAE) have also been involved in the development of the new Hire Controller Trailblazer Apprenticeship which is supported by CITB. This means that the new Hire Controller Trailblazer Apprenticeship is recognised and accepted by all primary trade bodies and industry federations in the hire sector and members of the CPA, IPAF and HAE will all be able to make use of the new pathway into the hire and powered access rental industry.

The launch event was hosted by CPA Technical Development Manager Peter Brown and Neil Hartis MBE of the CITB and was attended by Kevin Minton, Chief Executive of the CPA, as well as representatives from CITB, IPAF, HAE, several members of the Trailblazer Working Group, employers and organisations who will be delivering the new apprenticeship scheme such as Askham Bryan College. The new apprenticeship programme also has support from several other training providers including Reaseheath College, West Nottinghamshire College and Stephenson College.

The new apprenticeship has been set by the group at a level 2 and will take between 12-18 months to complete, with 20% of that time to be devoted to ‘off-the-job’ training. The IfA has placed this Trailblazer in funding band 8 which equates to £5000 that can be spent or claimed by employers (subject to current funding rules) for apprenticeship levy and non-levy paying organisations, in line with typical training costs supplied by training providers.

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 select and use suitable equipment for the planned activities; ensuring the equipment being hired is compliant with Health and Safety requirements; completing contract documentation at both on-hire and off-hire stages; processing payments including calculating hire and rental charges, damage charges, fraud prevention measures and insurance payments; and handling customer technical enquiries and complaints.

The Hire Controller Trailblazer Apprenticeship process aims to develop certain behaviours including forming positive relationships with customers, working both within a team and independently, developing a ‘Health and Safety-first attitude’, being self-motivated to meet operational targets, remaining respectful of equality and diversity and remaining committed to continual personal and professional development.

The standard containing the skills, knowledge and behaviours for the apprenticeship, as well as the assessment plan, can be downloaded from:


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