The CEA Executive Board took the decision last year to establish a new Skills, Education and Training Committee. This is intended to replace the former Skills Advisory Panel set up in 2014, and will steer and focus the association’s skills and training activities. This initiative recognises that there are a number of key issues in this area which the industry needs to address. This includes the skills gap within the industry and the challenges presented by technology advances for many employees within the sector.
As a first step, a “pathfinder” meeting was held in December involving volunteers from member companies, who are involved in training and/or personnel activities within their company. This meeting was chaired by Rob Oliver, the CEO, and took the first steps towards establishing what the key priorities and work streams should be for the committee. This identified four key areas to focus activity in:
- To support and develop Primary Engineer activities
- To promote the Level 2 and Level 3 Landbased Engineering Trailblazer apprenticeships
- To attract more graduates to the industry via a range of activities. This includes liaising with Anglia Ruskin University on Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeships. Also, to develop the use of Internships and work placements for students and graduates within member companies.
- To promote the training of existing employees across a range of disciplines, including Integrated Systems Engineering (hydraulics, pneumatics and electronics), which the National Fluid Power Centre in Worksop specialises in.
The CEA has aspirations to establish minimum recommended training standards for the industry, involving appropriate progression routes for the education and training of employees leading to competence-based qualifications recognised by the construction equipment industry. This would place the Association as the “leading light” for education and training activities within the industry, matching what other associations do for their industries.
It is envisaged that the new committee will meet two or three times a year to progress activities. A second meeting is being planned, probably in April, as we work towards setting up a formal committee. If you are a CEA member, and have not been involved in this initiative, but would like to participate, or just to be kept up to date on the activities of the committee, please contact email@example.com for further information.