There is no doubt that lockdown has put up significant barriers to training in the Construction industry. This has proved to be especially challenging for the hands-on and practical nature of training required for Scaffolders and our Powered Access operatives.
Brogan Group adapted as the industry moved towards online learning, and as our training providers incorporated social distancing within classroom and onsite training. Courses continued and knowledge transferred, maintaining and improving our staff skills throughout a difficult year.
So what courses were most popular?
We continued to operate a mixture of internal and external training, with more than two-thirds of our training delivering the NASC SG6:15 Manual Handling, NASC SG4:15 Preventing Falls in the Scaffolding Industry internally and the CIF Online C19 induction in UK and Ireland.
SG6:15 is specific to the scaffolding industry, as more than a quarter of annual injuries reported by NASC members are caused by poor manual handling techniques. The dynamic, practical techniques from this qualification ensure the awareness of the correct techniques to carry out their tasks safely across the Group. Accompanying this as a training essential carried out by Brogan Employees is SG4:15 Preventing Falls in the Scaffolding Industry, a safety-critical requirement of our scaffolding operations throughout the UK and Ireland.
The CIF Online C19 Induction is a direct product of the COVID-19 pandemic, having been brought in by the Construction Industry Federation, of which Brogan Group Ireland are a long-standing member. The CIF C-19 induction programme was designed to deliver awareness on controlling and preventing the spread of COVID-19, to ensure the ongoing protection of construction workers and the wider community, which 100% of our Irish workforce undertook. On successful completion of the training, an electronic pass is issued to the individual’s mobile device.
James Lewis, Group HSQE Director commented:
“The CIF C19 Induction is a pre-requisite for all of our workforce in Ireland to ensure the ongoing best practice for preventing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, while also being a mandatory requirement for our staff to access construction projects throughout Ireland”.
Maintaining and enhancing knowledge and skills
Continual Professional Development (CPD) is at the core of our training and competence regime to ensure our workforce has the requisite abilities, knowledge and skills to deliver our services to our Clients. This focuses on job-specific qualifications, which range from the Use and Inspection of Fall Protection Equipment, Competent Person FPE Inspection, First Aid at Work, Tie Anchorage Testing, Lifting Operations, CPCS Slinger Signaller, Driver CPC and FORS eLearning modules.
Effective supervision is key to the continued effective and efficient delivery of our services. We have continued to develop our existing and future leaders with them undertaking the SSSTS or SMSTS qualification to support this.
A significant number of our projects require our powered access solutions and to support this our mast climbing team have progressed onto the IPAF MCWP Advanced Installer qualification. A number of them completed this course in 2020, run from our accredited training centre in Bedfordshire and accredited through The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), which promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide.
Similarly, our hoist team has been expanded with our new trainees undertaking and completing their Level 2 NVQ and CSCS card for Hoist Installers. While more experienced members of the team have progressed onto the Level 3 NVQ to ensure their continual professional development. As Brogan Group tend to operate on the tallest buildings in the UK and Ireland, it is critical to ensure our ongoing focus on these skills for our works at height.
The long tail of specialist courses
Just under 50% of the course in 2020 were for 1 or 2 people. Over recent years, there has been a continued focus on new areas of specialism, that we have embraced and delivered, including Mental Health First Aiders, FORS Practitioners, Construction Management, NCRQ Diploma in Applied Health & Safety, Thorough Examination of Lifting Equipment, amongst many others. This ensures expertise across the business.
The training stats from 2020 show we continue to provide both traditional and system scaffolding, and we maintain investment in our scaffolders attending CISRS scaffold qualifications through our affiliated CISRS training provider, in London. These range from Part 1, Part 2 to Advanced tube and fitting, Cuplok system and the recently introduced CPD Refresher qualifications. This has allowed us to continue to develop our workforce to the UK’s scaffolding industry accredited scheme.
The increase in digital learning has been particularly noticeable throughout 2020, with more than 20% of our qualifications involving E-learning, and this looks set to continue into 2021. But with the opening-up continuing into the summer of 2021, there remains the need and desire for face to face in-person training. If Covid protocols are adhered to, then hands-on learning will return.