This week we have met lots of the fantastic Flannery Apprentices who are starting their career in construction. Today we talk to Patrick Flannery about why he is passionate that inspiring the next generation is important and what the business is doing to attract and encourage them to #LookBeyond and #GetFiredUp about a career in plant hire.

Don’t forget today we will also be supporting the #AskAnEmployer session on Twitter (12noon – 2pm).

Why is it important for Flannery Plant Hire to have an apprentice scheme?

As a business we are constantly on the lookout for operators, hire controllers and hire professionals who share our values and want to deliver the best service to clients (we have around 30-apprentice places available this year within the business). We know that the CITB estimates that as an industry we need to recruit 31,600 workers annually and it is important for us to be a part of that drive. As a hirer our apprentice scheme ensures we have a strong pipeline of talent to support future projects. Further to that as a business we are very proud of our wide range of training and upskilling courses that our inhouse team develop and deliver. I think that this helps us maintain a high level of engagement with all our operators and in addition to that, we like to pair up our newly qualified operators with experienced team members to help with their introduction to working onsite. This definitely helps us to deliver a great scheme that supports our apprentices throughout their journey with us.

Of all the Flannery Plant Hire apprentice focused activities, what are you most proud of?

In July 2016 I signed up to chair of the employer-led Trailblazer working group supported by the CPA. This group worked tirelessly to get approval from the Institute for Apprenticeships for the new Construction Plant Operator Apprenticeship scheme and we are hoping the standard will be ready for delivery later this year.

Last year I was also extremely proud of Jake Howard, one of our apprentices who won the CPA Plant Operator Star of the Future award. The awards are a great way to reward the excellent talent coming through the industry and we were delighted to have three of our apprentices shortlisted for this category.

What have you got coming up that you are excited about for your apprentices?

We can see lots of exciting projects coming up but most exciting for me is the launch of our training centre of excellence in Dunton Wharf. The centre will focus on upskilling operators to ensure they are prepared for the wide range of activities they will be expected to do on site. With an eye on familiarisation on the latest technologies like machine control, we will also be using the latest simulator training to ensure our operators continue to be leaders in their field.

What would you say to someone who is considering a career in plant hire?

I would say that if you are looking for a career in an inclusive, rapidly evolving industry then this is the perfect place for you. Whatever your skill set the industry has a variety of different paths, I think it is also really important to be clear that there are no stereotypes of suitable candidates. As a business we have two women apprentice operators on our current intake, people from all different backgrounds from bank auditors to those leaving a military career. If you want to work hard then you can look forward to a long and prosperous career in construction.

If you want to know more get in touch by emailing our training manager Sophie Francis at