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Switching careers and becoming a Plant Operator

It is no secret that the current pandemic has had a major impact on many professions, and few as severe as to an airline pilot. Conversely, the construction sector is buoyant, with a high demand for people and skills. A great solution for those looking for a career change.

Here at Flannery, we are passionate about recruiting hardworking, talented people into the construction industry while providing a stable and developing career path in plant hire. Our structured training and apprenticeship programmes are delivered through a blended approach of ‘on’ and ‘off’ the job training where candidates earn while they learn.

Today, we are delighted to spotlight Patrick, who switched career from airline pilot to plant operator. Whether in a plane or an ADT (articulated dump truck), Patrick has always enjoyed a career that kept him in the cockpit.

Read on to hear about his story, what attracted him to the industry and his advice to people who are thinking about a career in construction.

Tell us your story. How did you come into the construction industry?

Two years ago, I qualified as an airline pilot. Unfortunately, after a very brief career in the aviation industry, the pandemic situation profoundly changed the global market and airline industry most notably. I made the decision to immediately search for a robust alternative career that will recognise my learning mindset and high commitment to work.

What attracted you to join the Flannery team?

Flannery offers a range of immediate career opportunities which allowed me to up-skill relatively quickly, achieve a recognised qualification, secure a job and develop skills within a dynamic and team focussed industry.

How did you find your training at Flannery?

Very professional and organised with a real emphasis on health and safety culture.

What do you enjoy the most in your role as Plant Operator?

Every day is a unique, challenging and rewarding day. The environment is constantly evolving and working towards project targets.

What is your first impression of the new Operator Skills Hub?

This is an incredible space for both apprentices and plant operators that provides future-focused training with access to impressive technology. The Operator Skills Hub will allow me to develop skills and knowledge in a low pressure, simulated environment while removing immediate risk and increasing proficiency.

What would you say to people who are thinking about joining the construction industry?

If you are interested in a dynamic and team environment that encourages you to develop skills across a range of machines, and the potential to climb the career ladder – this is the right choice for you. The construction industry offers these opportunities.

There is lots of information on our training provision and apprentice opportunities here

If you are interested in a career in construction, please email