Engaging the future generation is just the starting point to building a talented workforce. Ongoing career development and upskilling is key to ensuring our operators are up to date with best practises and the latest technology. With COVID-19 challenging our usual ways of delivering training, it is important that we consider ways to create a ‘new normal’, embracing technology and virtual learning.

To that end, Flannery have developed a series of training video tutorials, which can be accessed via a QR code in the cabs of our machines. Delivered by one of our team of CPCS Qualified Plant Trainers, they aim to refresh operators on our expectations when delivering best practice onsite. These short videos are a great online, quick reference guide, which we hope are useful not just for our operators but for anyone working onsite.

We have also developed virtual webinars for our operators, to include training on Eco-Operation. Delivered by an experienced Plant Trainer, this course provides candidates with additional knowledge and a deeper understanding of how they can reduce their environmental impact during machine operation. We have also developed an introduction to machine control technology which will be launched in July. Our virtual training sessions have gathered a lot of interest from our workforce, who are keen to upskill themselves in order to broaden their career development. We have seen over 100 operators register for our pilot virtual courses which are due to take place over the next couple of weeks.

We recognise that virtual training may not come naturally to some of our workforce, and therefore it is important that we find ways to slowly embed it into our delivery model and bring our operators along with us on our journey. We have therefore focused on ways to make the sessions interactive, with the inclusion of group activities, live feeds to sites and a thorough assessment process at the end of the session.

Sophie Francis, Training Manager states, “Safety is one of our core business values. It is a key focus and drives existing behaviour and behavioural change across our teams. Creating a consistent safety culture is key to our Zero harm ambition and we are constantly looking for ways to communicate this message with our teams.”

Of course, not all training can be delivered virtually, as practical training is a key component of most plant courses. However, covering the theory virtually and finding solutions to demonstrate practical application virtually, minimises face-to-face contact and reduces the need for delegates to be sat in training rooms for long periods of time – this is vital in the current climate.

We are committed to finding new ways to engage our workforce and we look forward to collaborating with our customers and clients to find the ‘new normal’ in the training and skills arena.