Following on from the COVID-19 pandemic and having to close our doors during lockdown, we are very excited to have our Training Centre back open. Mark Buxton, Training Centre Manager, sat down to discuss the difficulties during the last few months.
Q: What measures have you had to put in place following COVID-19?
A: Myself and the health and safety team have worked together to put a COVID-19 risk assessment in place. This was updated at the end of July and will be continually reviewed by us. To make sure people keep their distance in the centre I have marked out training rooms and hallways with tape, as well as putting in passing areas. The training centre has a one-way system throughout too. Our training courses are running with reduced class sizes, permitting one person per table in the classroom. Everyone that visits the training centre not from Van Elle is required to sign in for the test and trace system.
Q: Have the training courses you offer changed at all?
A: No, not in terms of learning material and how we structure the courses. We have had to reduce our class sizes to maintain social distancing though, and during plant assessments we are ensuring that we wipe down all plant equipment after each use.
Q: How does it feel to be back running training courses?
A: It feels great to be back after such a long time away. All our staff are now working full-time as of August 3rd and we look forward to picking back up from where we left off. I never imagined back in March that we’d have to close for so long! I’m proud of how we dealt with the situation as a team.
Q: How many training courses have you ran so far?
A: From mid July we have ran 2 NRSWA Unit 2 courses as well as a full capacity health and safety course. This was held in our conference suite to ensure social distancing was adhered to. We have completed 16 NPORS plant assessments on different plant categories as well as CPCS theory and practical tests on concrete pump, piling rig attendant and piling rig operative.
Q: What is the demand like for training courses?
A: It’s picking up nicely. Since July there has been a significant increase in enquiries taken by the training centre. Notably more enquiries in CPCS, NPORS, NRSWA and SSP (Site Safety Plus) courses. We have been able to keep the cost of our courses the same, even with reduced class sizes.
Q: Why should you book?
A: We have a £1m purpose-built facility that is COVID-19 compliant and expert knowledge of plant training. We cover a wide range of competencies across the industry. Some accreditors within the industry have given an extension towards some competencies to help the backlog, but cards and categories should still be updated as soon as possible.