Designed to help address the worldwide shortage of skilled overhead lifting equipment engineers, the LEEA’s individual trainee programme is open to anyone interested in pursuing a career in this field, regardless of whether they are currently employed by a LEEA member company.

Geoff Holden, chief executive of the LEEA, said: “The shortfall in engineers properly qualified to work on overhead lifting equipment is one of the most pressing challenges faced by our members.

“In recent years we have invested significantly in our training facilities and courses and the new individual trainee programme will make these accessible to any aspiring lifting equipment engineer.

By no longer restricting LEEA training to employees of member companies we can significantly increase the overall pool of talent available to the industry, whilst providing a springboard for students looking to develop their career prospects.”

Overhead lifting is a long established, safety-critical branch of engineering that encompasses a wide array of cranes, hoists, slings, lifting attachments and other equipment. Many countries, including the UK, have sector-specific health and safety legislation that requires regular examination of overhead lifting equipment by competent personnel.

The LEEA runs an ever-increasing range of rigorous and highly respected training programmes. These include an online distance learning course that prepares students for the association’s industry-recognised diploma qualification for engineers responsible for the test and examination of overhead lifting equipment.

The LEEA also runs a series of practical courses at its dedicated training centre in Huntingdon. These include five-day courses on general lifting gear or manual lifting machines, a specialist two-day course on hand chain block and lever hoist maintenance and a one-day course on chain, wire rope and textile slings.