Developing operator skills with new Training School

SITECH UK & Ireland is supporting Balfour Beatty and Flannery in their launch of a new plant operator training school. The Operator Skills Hubwill provide training and upskilling opportunities in GPS, semi automation and other construction technologies. The Hub will ensure operators are ready for the demands of the modern day, digital construction site and to support major infrastructure projects like HS2.

GPS and machine control can help plant operators generate highly accurate site data, reduce surveying errors and improve project efficiency. To maximise its benefits familiarisation training for operators has become a top priority.

The Operator Skills Hub will support operators at all levels, from apprentices to those with a great deal of site experience. As well as CPCS training and testing facilities, participants can benefit from using relevant technology and completing focused modules. For example, the Eco-operator course explores the greenest approach to driving plant machinery and increasing efficiency.

As part of the programme, SITECH provided various machine control kits that will be used on the school’s plant and equipment. It has also supplied a training simulator, which provides operators with the opportunity to hone their skills in a safe environment as well as being a great tool for engagement activities.

“Machine control and other construction software can improve project efficiency by minimising delays and reducing errors. However, many operators leave training college without the practical experience using these platforms,” explained David Kirkpatrick, Strategic Sales & Partnerships Manager at SITECH. “Because of their benefits, GPS and  telematics will play a vital role in big infrastructure projects, such as HS2, creating a need for operators to develop these skills.

“Supplying the simulator and Trimble kits was also great opportunity to strengthen our supplier relationships with Balfour Beatty and Flannery. We were united towards a common goal — inspiring and upskilling the next generation,” continued Kirkpatrick.

“As one of the largest providers of operated plant in the UK, it is imperative that we are able to provide a consistent, quality training experience for operators,” explained Patrick Flannery, Managing Director at Flannery Plant Hire. “It is clear that as the industry continues to adopt and drive innovation, we have to engage operators, helping to retain our industries best talent and ensuring they have the tools to deliver value on-site.

“This purpose-built facility reflects our vibrant and evolving industry and seeing the first intake of the new Trailblazer Plant Operator Apprentices starting their careers here is hugely exciting.”

“With real and growing skills shortages across our industry, inspiring young people has never been more important,” added Andy Ormerod, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Plant and Fleets Services. “Our new Operator Skills Hub provides a unique offering — one that will revolutionise the way in which we upskill plant operators and equip them with modern, digitally enhanced tools to support a safer, more productive construction and infrastructure industry.”

“Over the last year, we have been proud to partner with Flannery and collaborate with our peers, valued supply chain partners and local communities in order to create this truly immersive and exciting educational experience; providing a central resource to benefit major construction and infrastructure projects, such as HS2,” concluded Ormerod.

To find out more about the Operator Skills Hub, visit