Ross Moloney and Andrew Wright, CEO and Deputy CEO of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA), visited City of Bristol College’s Advanced Engineering Centre to view its facilities and discuss delivery of the Lifting Equipment Technician apprenticeship.

Located at Parkway in Bristol, the Advanced Engineering Centre delivers specialist engineering, aeronautical, manufacturing and automotive courses.

The facilities provide large engineering workshops, electronics equipment, a hydraulic lab, pneumatics test equipment, a CNC workshop and lathes. Other facilities include solid modelling equipment and computer-aided learning equipment.

The centre, which has a great geographical location close to Bristol Parkway station and the M4, is also home to the DAF Apprentice College, where the commercial vehicle manufacturer provides the latest technology, specialist tools and equipment as well as trucks for apprentices to train on.

With this being a new standard, City of Bristol College has been the first training institution to engage with the Lifting Equipment Technician apprenticeship, which is available across the whole of England.

“We have a strong tradition of working in engineering and so this is a natural progression for us. By working with LEEA we can add lifting engineering to our portfolio. Closely working with the trade association means that we’ll have a great solution for employers looking to engage with apprenticeships,” said Simon Arnold, director of Business and Commercial Partnerships, City of Bristol College.

“We see the apprenticeship as a fantastic opportunity to attract new entrants into the sector, acting as a pathway towards a professional, long-term career. However, it is important to remember that apprenticeships apply to all ages. Employers who may have taken somebody on and feel ready to invest in them, or want to avoid a member of staff doing a job they are not actually trained for, can see apprenticeships as a means of up-skilling.“

To ensure the apprenticeship is delivered with as much flexibility as possible, LEEA is evaluating a ‘boot camp’ approach that will get students into a college for a set period of time against day release for the 24-month duration apprenticeship.

LEEA is also working with an End Point Assessment (EPA) organisation to ensure apprentices get the best possible support throughout their course.