A college in Cornwall is investing in new machinery after an explosive growth in the plant operations sector.
Duchy College has purchased a new digger for its plant operations courses, which are seeing a growth in popularity.
Mark Rushton, Lecturer on the Plant Operations course at Duchy College Rosewarne, said the new arrival “is fantastic because it is a newer machine that reflects industry”.
“It has all the modern features which the students will be working with when they start their careers,” he continued.
Career prospects in the industry are fantastic especially within construction, according to Mark.
The Construction Skills Network (CSN) report, the UK’s most comprehensive construction forecast, predicts growth of 1.7% over the next five years, with 179,000 jobs to be created.
The course offers CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) testing which gives the students a licence to operate this type of machinery.
“The construction industry is booming at the moment, especially with the addition of the Hinkley Point power plant being built,” he continued.
“It has drawn a lot of operators out of industry, which has left a huge shortage of qualified plant operators. As a result, employers are having to pay a significant increase in wages to retain and attract to this industry, so the wages at the moment are fantastic and the opportunities are there.”
While Mark revealed that students enjoy the plant operations courses as they give them the opportunity to “get out and about and work with these large machines”, he warned that those interested in a career needed training and the CPCS card.
Kerran Dunne, a student on the Plant Operations course, said he chose to do Level 2 plant operations for this very reason.
“Duchy College is a great place to learn it as they teach you everything you need to know,” he added.
Duchy College offers both full- and part-time courses across its sites at Rosewarne and Stoke Climsland, including university courses, in agriculture, animal management, countryside and conservation, education, equine studies, construction plant, horticulture, land-based engineering, floristry and vet nursing.
For more information on the range of courses available across Duchy College visit www.duchy.ac.uk or call 0330 123 4784.