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APP01a - Plant Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship details...


Plant occupations involve understanding and using heavy machinery, both on site and in mechanical workshops. A good eye for safety is required, and plant operators need to be able to communicate well with the people they're working with. Much of the equipment can be very complicated, but you'll be taught all you need to know on the job.

The People

A plant operator's role is a real "hands on" job, where you get to operate machinery, often away from home. With such large machines in use, health and safety is absolutely imperative.


The Job

Plant operators get to use the large machinery associated with building and construction, including excavators and bulldozers, cranes, forklifts and telescopic handlers. Plant operators can move hundreds of tonnes of earth in a day or shift some extremely heavy loads.

Skills and personal qualities

A plant operator needs:

  • Practical aptitude for machinery
  • A responsible attitude towards health and safety
  • A high level of alertness and concentration
  • The ability to follow instructions
  • Excellent judgement, co-ordination and spatial awareness
  • Strength and agility for changing heavy attachments
  • A head for heights for some tasks
  • Good eyesight and hearing
  • Strong teamwork skills, but to be equally comfortable working independently
  • Excellent communication skills

Entry requirements

There are no specific academic qualifications required, although a knowledge of vehicle engineering and GCSEs / standard in Maths, English and Technology may be helpful.

Apprenticeships are the usual route in and enable you to earn while you learn. Entry to this scheme will usually require you to take a selection test. You will then be given practical on-site experience and work towards NVQ/SVQ Level 2.

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