A Route to Learning for the Utilities and Waste Recycling Sector
- 03 July 2012
- Company & Industry News
With the ever increasing need to be able to both prove operational capabilities and to maintain thorough training records, it is vital that companies across all industry sectors know that the training their employees receive is of a high standard, relevant to their industry and fit for purpose. In recent years Mentor's mobile plant and materials handling training courses have been increasingly delivered to the employees of some of the largest companies within the utilities and waste recycling sectors.
Whilst this training has always been of a high standard and delivered under a nationally recognised accreditation, the utilities and waste sector were not represented directly with an industry specific scheme that exactly suited their needs.
In 2008, in response to employer demand, EU Skills launched the first edition of the Plant for Utilities Scheme (PLUS), with one category covering the training and assessment of 360° mini-excavators under 5 tonnes. Earlier this year, following close consultation with Mentor and FCC Environment (formerly the Waste Recycling Group), one of the UK's leading waste management and energy recovery companies and part of FCC the international environmental services, infrastructure and energy group, EU Skills reviewed and relaunched PLUS.
This latest edition of scheme; supported by the already established EUSR Recognition of Learning Programme (RLP), re-defines plant training within the utility and waste management industry, providing quality assured and contextually relevant learning to those operating plant within industry.
Through consultation with a number of industry representatives, years of training experience and by mapping all courses to the National Occupation Standards (NOS), Mentor and FCC Environment have submitted and attained recognition for 12 mobile plant and materials handling operator courses under the PLUS umbrella.
Improving sector skills
The Plant for Utilities Scheme (PLUS) is flexible enough to encompass all types of plant used within the Utilities and Waste Management sector, and provides assurance that the plant training delivered is relevant to the needs of operatives and meets the highest standard.
The scheme is available to both employers and external training providers alike. Training courses submitted to the scheme are measured against a robust set of criteria that is benchmarked by industry and recognised by sector experts to ensure programmes are:
Fit for purpose
Meet the required standard and, wherever possible and practicable, map to National Occupation Standards
Plant for Utilities scheme offers companies looking for plant operator training within the utilities and waste management industries the perfect solution for their training programme, it provides;
Assurance that the training that employees receive is robust and meets stated aims and objectives
Recognition by the Sector Skills Council for Utilities
Route to registration onto the national database, EUSR
Raising the Standards of Training
Mentor and FCC Environment are keen to see first class training courses available to the utilities and waste management industries. Emily Bonsall, Mentor's Marketing Manager explains "We take the training service we provide very seriously. As a company we are required to deliver our training courses across many industry sectors. As a result, we are very experienced in tailoring the training to suit every industry sector we serve. Whilst around 85% of most training courses will be generic, it is the remaining 15% that makes the course specific, relevant and most importantly engaging. This requires consultation with the industry and the recognised bodies and associations that support them. We would encourage other external training companies and businesses in the sector with internal training solution to get involved with PLUS"
Derek Chatting – FCC Environment's Group Training Manager – highlights: "The scheme allows for our plant trainers to deliver training and assessment to a very high standard. More importantly, the training has been developed in recognition that the Group's employees, and those who work in the waste industry, who are operating very large plant in very small and busy working areas, quite often working closer to the public than ever before. These factors alone require a higher degree of training and operator development."
Recognition of skills
On successful completion of a training course all delegates will be registered with EUSR. Employers can be confident that these registrations, shown on the register search at www.eusr.co.uk, are always up to date and, unlike similar registration systems, cannot be forged, lost or stolen. The register search is available 24 hours a day via the website, or from anywhere via a suitable internet enabled smartphone.
Registration on the scheme will prove invaluable to industry as a tool of identification and skills checks particularly for staff required to operate on external sites.
The Plant for Utilities Scheme (PLUS) is an excellent way for employers to have a clear and robust way of choosing high quality plant training for their organisations, and is an added value benefit of EU Skills membership.
For more information about PLUS and to download the submission form visit
To discuss the provision of mobile plant and materials handling training courses under the Plant for Utilities Scheme (PLUS) contact Mentor on 01246 555222